Mayor provides updates about coronavirus at Bellevue

Mayor Bill de Blasio hands out fliers regarding COVID-19 preparedness in Union Square last Monday. (Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials provided updates about the city’s response and approach to the coronavirus at Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday, with the mayor noting that the city is working to keep the public informed but emphasizing that information has been changing rapidly.

“I think we can all say with coronavirus we have rarely seen a situation that started with people not even understanding the disease to begin with because it was brand new – that’s been the whole international community, the medical community,” de Blasio said. “We’ve all had to learn by doing and our understanding of the best approaches keeps evolving, so you will hear change because the information is changing. But we are still in the middle of a fight right now.”

The mayor also emphasized that while the government is working to protect New Yorkers and prevent the spread of the virus, residents can help with their own actions.

“Everyone has to participate from those basic things, washing your hands, hand sanitizer, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze onto the kinds of decisions we make in our life, starting with being very sensitive to the vulnerable people,” he said. “We have seen this over and over again. It’s very consistent all over the world.”

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If emergency strikes, head to this Union Square high school

The Clinton School replaces Baruch College as a local evacuation center. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street has replaced the Baruch building on East 24th Street as the closest evacuation center for Gramercy residents for the 2017 coastal storm season, altering the location that has been in place for the neighborhood at least since Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM) press secretary Nancy Silvestri said that the evacuation centers are reevaluated every year to make sure the facilities are prepared to operate in the event of a disaster, and the previous site was swapped out for the Clinton School after discussions with Baruch and the City University of New York (CUNY).

Silvestri noted that the OEM has partnered with CUNY in the past to designate university buildings as evacuation centers but some of those sites were swapped out this year for various reasons.

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City proposes reconfiguring 2 playgrounds as part of East Side flood protection plan


Asser Levy Playground (pictured) and Murphy’s Brother’s Playground will be impacted by the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. (Photo courtesy of Parks Department)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The city has been exploring options to redesign Asser Levy Playground and Murphy’s Brother’s Playground, since both will be affected by the construction of flood protection along the East Side of Manhattan from East 23rd Street to Montgomery Street.

Earlier in the month, representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency discussed the proposals at a community meeting held at Washington Irving High School.

Carrie Grassi, the deputy director of planning for the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, mentioned how the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project will run adjacent to both parks and construction will disturb activities there.

However, since the city is only in the concept design stage with the project, Grassi said that decisions for all aspects aren’t necessarily final yet. One such instance is the placement of the floodwall as it approaches the Asser Levy Playground. One configuration has the wall bordering the park along the FDR Drive, turning along East 25th Street and connecting with the floodwall that the VA Hospital is working on.

“But some feel that would be too imposing,” Grassi said.

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UPDATED: Mayor issues travel ban for NYC

snow by sidney schneck

The snow at around 11 a.m. (Photo by Sidney Schneck)

Mayor de Blasio has just issued a travel ban for New York City. The mayor restricted travel in all cases except emergencies beginning at 2:30 p.m. today. The latest forecasts anticipate approximately 20 to 25 inches across New York City. The mayor also urged Broadway theaters and restaurants to close for the day.

“New Yorkers should head home now,” de Blasio said in an official statement. “We need cars off the road so that our equipment can do its work and keep streets passable for emergency vehicles. Travel conditions are dangerous, and we want to keep all New Yorkers safe until this storm passes. This travel ban is mandatory as of 2:30 p.m. today.”

UPDATE: The travel ban was lifted on Sunday at 7 a.m.

In addition, the MTA has also just begun a service shutdown.

I an email to neighbors, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association shared the announcement from the Transit Authority.

“Because of the winter storm, an orderly shutdown of all local, limited and express bus service is planned to begin at noon. Please adjust your travel plans accordingly.”

For more information, visit

UPDATE: As of 7:45 a.m. Sunday, all MTA Bus and Access-A-Ride service was restored. Commuters have been warned to expect residual delays. All elevated MTA subway lines will resume service Sunday, January 24, at 9 a.m.. Metro-North Railroad service will begin restoring service at noon. Long Island Rail Road is still suspended and is expected to be restored Monday morning, January 25. Expect residual delays and check MTA for updates:

UPDATE #2 at 9:02 a.m.: The outdoor sections of the following MTA subway lines will remain suspended until further notice due to on-going snow clearing operations: A, Q, N, L, S (Franklin Ave Shuttle) and Staten Island Railway. Additionally, bus customers should expect delays and service changes throughout the day. For the latest information on subway service and bus routes visit:

The East River Ferry service has also been suspended until further notice. For more information visit

UPDATE: As of 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, the ferry has resumed service. For the latest updates, see:


Additionally, The New York City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Department of Sanitation, on Saturday announced that Alternate Side Parking Regulations will be suspended Monday, January 25 to allow for snow removal. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the city.

UPDATE: ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk sent out an email on Saturday evening to brief tenants on the status of snow removal and other issues.

“Dear Residents of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village,

“The snow continues to fall at this hour and it is reported we are to receive even more snow before it tapers off around midnight.

“The PCVST team has been at work since midnight to stay on top of the snow removal.  Right now, we are focused on clearing the drivable roads ensuring access for emergency vehicles along with terrace level entry and exit points.  In addition, we are clearing the perimeter sidewalks but struggling to keep them clear due to drifting snow off of 1st Avenue and 20th street.  Know that over 50 of our team are out in the storm operating machinery and shovels to keep the roads and pathways safe.

“Inasmuch as Mayor de Blasio has asked everyone to stay inside, for those who do venture outside, be warned that there is significant black ice (under the  snow pack and covering cleared areas) and snow drifting.  Conditions are dangerous and we also encourage everyone to stay inside.

“With the expected termination of the snow around midnight, the team will continue to work into the early morning to clear roads and paths in preparation for the tomorrow’s activity.  Our equipment will continue to make noise and as such, we ask for your forgiveness.

“PCVST’s Sunday services operation will be limited as we return the complex to normalcy.  As always, the resident services representatives are on the phone to take any emergency calls.  We ask that any non-emergency calls be held  until Monday simply because we are not sure how many associates can make it to PCVST tomorrow.   Trash pick-up today was extremely limited and it is expected that tomorrow’s pick up will be as well solely due to the sanitation team assisting with snow removal.   As for all other services and activities (Oval Concierge, ICE, Oval Café, etc.), it is a fair assumption that they will not operate tomorrow but will return to normal operating hours on Monday.

“We are grateful for your patience and want you to know that the dedicated associates of PCVST are tirelessly working to get us back to normal as quickly as possible.

“Please reach out to me or anyone on our team if there’s any way we can assist you at the Resident Services number  of 212-420-5000.”


UPDATE on Sunday evening: Hayduk sent out an updated memo to tenants on the status of snow removal and to warn motorists not to double park on the Loop Roads or they will get towed.

“Dear Residents of PCVST,

“Thank you for your continued patience as we clear roadways, paths and sidewalks.  As of this hour, the team has made great progress but our director of horticulture (and  snow removal), Chuck Hartsell,  reports we’re at the 75%-80% mark.  The remainder of the clearing will be a bit slower due to the volume of snow restricting the use of plows.  We’re focused  on widening the drivable roads but must use the smaller equipment that lifts and removes the snow.  In addition, we continue to salt all areas and the melting process will be expedited as the sun hits these areas.

“All terrace level entries are clear but in some cases, such as the buildings on 1st avenue, the main entries remain under significant snow.  Once the bobcats are finished with the road widening, they will  move over to the few entries that need removal.  We will be out with the equipment until midnight so we ask for forgiveness for any noise created.

“Regrettably, some residents are double  parking  on the loop roads.  Those  vehicles will be towed as we cannot risk emergency vehicles being restricted from passage.  If  you are or know of said owners, ask them to remove them immediately.  We also ask residents to refrain from leaving boots and other items in the hallways.  The porters are on their normal schedule but sanitation removal continues to be restricted.  We’re back to normal tomorrow.

“Also, with the warming temperatures, icicles and snow are falling from air conditioning units and window sills.  Please, proceed with caution whenever exiting or entering the  buildings.

“We’ve opened Playgrounds 1 & 7 along with the perimeter areas of the Oval.  These areas have seen some great snowmen and igloos.  I’m confident the next generation of New York’s engineers and creatives are coming out of Stuy Town and PCV.

“ICE was opened a couple of hours ago.  Andrew and the ICE team dug out the equivalent of a speed skating circle for skaters.  We expect to have the full rink open tomorrow by 4pm.  The tented basketball courts are  open as is the Oval Café.  All other amenities will be open tomorrow with business as usual.  Lastly, our resident services team remain on the phones if you should need  anything at 212-420-5000.  We ask once more to hold off on non-emergency requests until tomorrow so we can focus on the clean-up.

“This has been an epic 48 hours.  I’ve learned (to no surprise) that those who serve you: the porters, the sanitation team, the horticulture (snow removal team), public safety, resident services and those who lead them, care so much for the residents that many have worked 24 hours straight to ensure your safety and limited interruption to your Sunday.  I come out of this proud to be a part  of this team. ”


Over 700 area residents get trained by National Guard for future disasters

The auditorium of the High School for Health Professions and Human Services was packed with people, many from Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village,  to be trained in emergency preparedness from the New York National Guard. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The auditorium of the High School for Health Professions and Human Services was packed with people, many from Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, to be trained in emergency preparedness from the New York National Guard. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Over 700 community residents, many from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, received training in emergency preparedness from the New York National Guard last Thursday evening, courtesy of a program initiated by Governor Cuomo and designed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The training was led by Captain Glenford Rose, who advised area residents to be aware of different kinds of emergencies, including fires and gas leaks, and not just Sandy-like disasters. Rose reminded residents, who had packed the auditorium at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services, to stock up on supplies and to have a kit ready with everything needed in an emergency. Participants at the training received a knapsack full of necessities, but Rose emphasized that this kit was just a starting point and noted that individuals should make sure to customize their kit for their needs, such as accounting for pets, special medications and adding in various important documents.

Councilwoman Rosie Mendez was at the event and had a tip of her own: fill the bathtub with water.

“But make sure the lock works,” she added. “I put water in mine and two hours later it was gone!”

A number of other local elected officials were involved in the event, including Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. City Councilman Dan Garodnick and State Senator Brad Hoylman also made appearances at the event, with both offering opening remarks for the training.

Garodnick recounted his experience with a group National Guard troops during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in which he led about 50 servicemen and women all the way through Stuyvesant Town, on a chilly November night while the power was still out, in an attempt to reach Waterside Plaza before they were met with a locked gate at the northeast corner of Peter Cooper Village.

“That was the end of my military career,” Garodnick joked.

The Manhattan CERT team also collaborated on the event with the governor’s office, in addition to New York State Community Affairs, the PCVST Management office and the ST-PCV Tenants Association.

Ready New York liaison Virginia Rosario had put together 950 packets of materials to hand out at the event and ST-PCV Tenants Association president and Ready New York member John Marsh put together a flier that was posted in all Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village buildings, courtesy of management.

Alexandria Wiedenbaum and Sergeant Major Armando Lopez, helping people sign in and register for the training.  (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Alexandria Wiedenbaum and Sergeant Major Armando Lopez, helping people sign in and register for the training. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

There were 739 people at the training meeting, which wound up being the highest number of people that have been trained at a single event. Following the training last Thursday, there was an additional event in Lower Manhattan last weekend where 455 people were trained. Since the program was launched in February, the New York State National Guard has held 205 of these events and trained 27,245 people.

Erik Bottcher, a representative from Governor Cuomo’s office, said that he was thrilled with the turnout and said it probably won’t be the last opportunity for residents to find out about emergency preparedness.

“This is an ongoing project,” he said. “As a storm-affected area, there will definitely be more events here in the future.”

Garodnick noted after the event that the chaos following Hurricane Sandy increased awareness for emergency preparedness and since then the number of these kinds of events has increased.

“It is really important for people to be prepared for the unexpected and the expected in New York,” he said. “We’re no strangers to natural disasters or other emergencies but the time to focus on this issue is in a moment of calm. I think because of the number of people it affected and the duration of time that they were affected, (Hurricane Sandy) opened a lot of eyes toward emergency preparedness.”

Alexandria Wiedenbaum, who has been in the Army National Guard for over two years, usually leads trainings in Staten Island with Sergeant Major Armando Lopez. There are eight teams of throughout the state and each team is responsible for a different region, but Wiedenbaum said that she and Lopez, as well as others from teams throughout the state, had congregated at the Thursday training, because it was such a big event.

“This is our tax dollars invested,” Lopez said of the training sessions. “Sandy told us that there’s a problem. Sandy showed how many people weren’t prepared so we’re trying to change that.”

Meetings and drives in the community

Below is a list of a few upcoming events for community residents:

Go bag (Image courtesy of the NYC Office of Emergency Management)

Go bag (Image courtesy of the NYC Office of Emergency Management)

Emergency preparedness meeting

An meeting on emergency preparedness will be held Thursday, November 20, 6-8 p.m., at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services (old Stuyvesant High School), 345 East 15th Street, between First and Second Avenues. There is a disability entrance on 16th Street with an elevator to the main floor.

At the end of the session, attendees will get a free go-bag packed with items essential to have in an evacuation situation. Participants must register in advance at To receive the go-bag participants must register and attend.


tenants Assoc logoTenants Association planning meet for December 6

A general meeting of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association will be held in the auditorium of Middle School 104, East 20th Street between First and Second Avenues, on Saturday, December 6 at 1 p.m. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. More details will be provided at a later date.


Cub Scout Pack 422 holding food drive on Sunday

Cub Scout Pack 422 is holding food drive on Sunday, November 16 to benefit New York Gospel Mission which is an organization dedicated to feeding our local men, women and children from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The drive will take place at Trader Joe’s at 14th Street, just West of Third Avenue.

Most requested non-perishable items are: canned vegetables, pasta, canned fruits, rice, canned fish, baby food, canned soup, crackers, boxed macaroni & cheese, dried fruit and nuts, cereal and juice.

The Cub Scouts will be in front of Trader Joe’s to help with food selection or to even shop for your donation.


Stuy Town holding holiday season food drive, coat drive

The management of Stuyvesant Town is asking residents to donate to two community drives, a coat drive that will benefit New York Cares and a food drive benefiting City Harvest.

For the food drive, nonperishable foods such as canned and boxed goods will be accepted through December 17. The items will then be distributed by City Harvest to over 500 community food programs.

For the coat drive, gently used coats and jackets for adults and children will be accepted through December 26. The coats will be distributed to New Yorkers most in need by New York Cares through local churches, schools and shelters.

The dropoff point for both drives is the Stuyvesant Town management office at 276 First Avenue.

This will also be the dropoff point for the Town & Village holiday toy drive benefiting Beth Israel, with donations being accepted through December 12.


For local entertainment events such as concerts, theater, comedy, children’s activities and art exhibits, see our Around & About section. For listings of free events happening throughout the city this week, see Cutting Corners. For health and fitness events such as screenings, support meetings and classes, see our Health and Fitness section. To see what’s going on service and program-wise at different houses of worship, see our Religion in the Community section.

Bellevue gets $380M for Sandy rebuilding

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

Bellevue Hospital (Photo courtesy of hospital)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Bellevue Hospital Center will get a $376 million slice of federal money to cover the cost of putting right damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced last Thursday that the city has secured $1.6 billion in federal aid from FEMA to repair the city’s public hospitals damaged during Hurricane Sandy two years ago.

With its share of the cash, Bellevue will install flood-proof elevators, storm pumps and a flood wall.

“The entire New York Congressional Delegation came together to fight for these funds, and wisely sought resources not just for repairs, but also for mitigation,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, in whose district the hospital is located.

“Bellevue is an important facility and it sustained substantial damage and had to be evacuated during Hurricane Sandy. We are taking the necessary steps to be sure that doesn’t happen again.”

According to Bellevue authorities, much of the damage caused by the 2012 superstorm has already been repaired and the fresh FEMA funds will reimburse HHC for those repairs and mitigation work.

Many pieces of critical equipment, such as electrical switching gear, have been relocated out of the basement to higher elevation on the first floor and the hospital has installed removable flood barriers at the two loading dock entrances facing the East River.

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East Side residents and groups participating in People’s Climate March on September 21

Mural of fifteen environmentalists created by girls of the Lower Eastside Girls Club

Mural of fifteen environmentalists created by girls of the Lower Eastside Girls Club

As world leaders convene in New York City next week for a United Nations Summit on Climate Change, more than one hundred thousand people are expected to attend a mass demonstration demanding action on the climate crisis. Organized by a coalition of over 1,200 environmental, labor, faith, and business groups, The People’s Climate March will be held this Sunday, September 21. The march comes less than two years after Superstorm Sandy caused more than $65 billion in damage along the east coast and as the world continues to experience  extreme weather events including severe drought in California and the worst flooding South Asia has encountered in more than a century, all of which scientist consensus increasingly links to manmade climate change.

Residents of East Lower Manhattan, along with neighborhood organizations such as Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), are campaigning to get their neighbors to join the march, which will start at  11:30 a.m. on Central Park West and proceed south through midtown.

“During Hurricane Sandy, the stretch from E. 20th Street to E. 34th Street was under over six feet of water,” said Stuyvesant Town resident and organizer Lucy Block.  “As climate change continues, NYC will face more extreme weather events. As a young person, I’m fighting for my future.”

“After years of organizing to protect our community from unjust housing policies and bad landlords, surviving Hurricane Sandy taught us that we would also have to protect our community from the impacts of climate change,” said Demaris Reyes, Executive Director of GOLES. “We know that climate change disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color, and capping greenhouse emissions is an huge step to prevent more disasters like Sandy and protect our community.”

Area organizations that have signed up as partners of the Climate March include the New School, the Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition, the Sixth Street Center, La Plaza Cultural, 9BC Tompkins Square Block Association and the NYC Community Garden Coalition.

Benjamin Tressler, a resident of Kips Bay, said, “The march is just the start. We have to keep up the pressure on our government and corporations – but we also have to do more as individuals and as communities to reduce our carbon footprint, conserve energy, and turn from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable power.”

Seniors attend East Midtown Plaza forum on emergency preparedness

Seniors in attendance at the event held on Tuesday by the Office of Emergency Management and CERT volunteers (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Seniors in attendance at the event held on Tuesday by the Office of Emergency Management and CERT volunteers
(Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the worst of hurricane season yet to come, since activity in the Atlantic picks up the most from August through October, the Office of Emergency Management offered a presentation for the East Midtown Plaza senior committee last Tuesday evening.

John Greenwood, a Human Services Planning Specialist for the OEM, and members of Community Board 6’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) explained the importance of emergency preparedness for seniors, including evacuation protocol in the event of a disaster and the new hurricane zones, at the monthly meeting. Greenwood noted that the hurricane guide changed after Hurricane Sandy and that instead of three lettered zones, there are now six numbered zones.

Committee co-chair Jeanne Poindexter added that the buildings East Midtown Plaza are in three different evacuation zones and that any of the buildings located on First Avenue are highly susceptible to flooding.

Jeanne Poindexter, East Midtown Plaza senior committee co-chair

Jeanne Poindexter, East Midtown Plaza senior committee co-chair

The new hurricane maps, which were made available at the meeting, are also available online or zones can be found out by calling 311 and Greenwood said that although they’re not the most pleasant place, it’s important for residents to know where the evacuation centers are as well, which are also noted on the maps.

“They’re just a giant room with cots and the food isn’t the greatest, but it’s good to know where they are in case you have to go,” he said.

He added that pets are allowed in all of the evacuation centers and Baruch College is the closest handicap accessible facility that functions as an evacuation center. There are 10 facilities throughout the city that are handicap accessible and meet all the ADA requirements but Greenwood said they haven’t been noted on the map yet. Greenwood noted that one of the reasons for the changes in zones is money.

“The mayor is the only one who can make the call for evacuations but it’s a multimillion dollar decision,” he said. “With the changes in the zones, there are now less people per zone so it won’t encompass as many residents if evacuations have to take place.”

Jeanne Poindexter, East Midtown Plaza senior committee co-chair

Jeanne Poindexter, East Midtown Plaza senior committee co-chair

Greenwood also told the seniors at the meeting that it’s important to have an emergency plan and to fill out the “Ready New York” packets that detail important information for residents to have at hand in case of an emergency, like contact phone numbers and any medical conditions. “That’s beneficial for you because if you show up at an evacuation center with this guide, they’ll have all the information already and can give you the best care if you need help,” he said.

Virginia Rosario, a member of the CB6 CERT and a resident of Stuyvesant Town, explained what her responsibilities are as a member of the team and how she is prepared to help other residents if disaster strikes. “We’ve been trained by the OEM and we’re only deployed when the office gives permission,” Rosario said. “We weren’t deployed during Hurricane Sandy because most of CB6 was down but some volunteers can help with things like bringing water to residents.”

Citizen Preparedness Training on Tuesday, August 12 at UNIS

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Daniel Garodnick and Community Board 6 invite you to participate in the New York State’s Citizen Preparedness Training Program.

The program will take place on Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 7 p.m. at United Nations International School (UNIS), 24-50 FDR Drive (just North of 23rd Street).

All participants must register in advance at: or by calling (212) 681-4605.

Through the Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program, approximately 100,000 New Yorkers will be provided with the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions.

Trainings participants (one per family) will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit, which includes:
–          AM/FM pocket radio with batteries
–          Regular flashlight
–          Plastic drop cloth
–          Light stick
–          (2) D Batteries
–          First Aid Kit
–          Face mask
–          Safety goggles
–          (6) packs of drinking water
–          (6) food bars
–          Emergency blanket
–          Duct tape
–          Work gloves
–          Water bottle

PCV, sections of ST in preliminary FEMA flood zone maps

(left) Screenshot of FEMA's 2012 flood hazard zone map (right) FEMA's preliminary flood hazard zone map for 2013

(left) Screenshot of FEMA’s 2012 flood hazard zone map (right) FEMA’s preliminary flood hazard zone map for 2013

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the impending arrival of hurricane season, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Office of Emergency Management have begun releasing preliminary data on flood hazards and evacuation zones.

FEMA released new maps on June 10 based on the best available flood hazard data. The maps are only preliminary but there are already noticeable differences between this year’s and last year’s versions of the flood zones for Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village and Waterside Plaza. The preliminary map can be found at

According to the 2012 map, Waterside Plaza, Avenue C, one block of East 23rd Street, less than a block of East 14th Street and only part of the Avenue C loop had a 0.2 percent chance of flood.

On the preliminary map for this year, Waterside Plaza is in a zone with a one percent or greater chance of flooding and has an additional hazard associated with storm waves. East 14th Street to the 14th Street Loop, Avenue C, the Avenue C Loop, the 20th Street Loop, East 23rd Street to First Avenue and all of Peter Cooper Village to the 20th Street Loop have a one percent annual chance of flood hazard. Part of the 14th Street Loop and the Oval are also now in a 0.2 percent annual chance flood hazard zone.

However, the FEMA maps are intended to assist communities and property owners understand flood risks and are created for flood insurance purposes. They are not meant to designate evacuation zones. A spokesperson for the Office of Emergency Management said that there are sometimes overlaps between OEM’s evacuation maps and FEMA’s flood hazard maps, but they are based on different criteria.

The evacuation zones designated by OEM are based solely on the area’s vulnerability to storm surges and are based on life safety, while the flood hazard maps from FEMA tell homeowners what the risk is for flooding over a period of years, and not just due to storm surge. Creeks and streams are taken into account in FEMA’s maps so a building can be located in a flood zone but outside an evacuation zone.

The evacuation zone map from OEM is still preliminary and hasn’t been officially released yet but some changes have already been made, including a switch from letters to numbers to designate the zones. The new zones, from one to six, include an additional 640,000 residents that were not included in the boundaries of the former zones, according to the Hurricane Sandy After Action report that was released by the mayor’s office in May.

There is a link for an evacuation map on the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Facebook page, but this map is only a beta site with preliminary zones and it is not always accessible because the maps are continually being updated, according to OEM. When the official map is released later this month, it will be available at

The Midtown East-Stuyvesant Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was planning to give a presentation at the Community Board 6 full board meeting on Wednesday evening about updates to the evacuation zones based on the link posted to the TA’s Facebook page.

However, CERT chief Pat Sallin said on Wednesday morning that they have cancelled this to prevent spreading misinformation based on the posted link.

Presentations from CERT have also been planned for upcoming 13th Precinct and 17th Precinct Community Council meetings, and Sallin said that those presentations will be dependent on whether or not OEM has officially released maps with updated evacuation zones.

As of T&V’s press time, the next 13th Precinct Community Council meeting, set to take place on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at 230 East 21st Street, will have an update on NYC Coastal Storm Evacuation Zones.

FEMA Workshop at Stuy Town

FEMA_ClrCommunity residents are invited to The Stuyvesant Town Community Center on Tuesday, January 15th from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. to learn about their options for FEMA assistance, the office of Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh has announced. FEMA representatives will be on hand to answer questions and to help those in attendance register to apply for assistance.

You may be eligible for assistance if your apartment was made unlivable as a result of the storm, if you had disaster-related damage to a vehicle or if you incurred moving or storage expenses due to Sandy.

The Community Center is located at 449 East 14th Street. (Enter via First Avenue Loop at 16th Street and First Avenue).

If you cannot attend the event, you can find more information about applying for FEMA assistance or by calling1-800-621-3362. The deadline to register for assistance is January 28th.

Disclaimer: This event will be run by FEMA and they will not be able to address rent abatements offered by Waterside Plaza, Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village management.

Storm preparation message from Council Member Garodnick via the ST-PCV Tenants Association

The following message has been sent out via email by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village
Tenants Association

Important Message

from Council Member Garodnick On Storm Preparation


Dear Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town Neighbors:

I just spent the last few hours with our neighbors at Waterside Plaza, who happen
to live in Zone A, and are being evacuated.  While Peter Cooper and Stuyvesant Town
are in Zone B and not subject to mandatory evacuation, please remember that we are
right on the border of Zone A, making us particularly susceptible to storm surge.

The most immediate known effect will be the loss of steam, and thus, hot water.
Con Edison has indicated that it is going to cut off steam as a precaution.  This
will result in the loss of hot water until further notice.  This shutdown will not
affect cold water at this time.

I have spoken directly to the leadership at CW Capital, and they advise that they
have added additional personnel to the property to prepare for the storm.  They
also have implemented an emergency phone notification system. To add or update your
phone or email I encourage you to register at []

This email is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions from residents.


When will the storm hit?

As of the time of this email, the storm is still expected tomorrow, with the heaviest
rain occurring in the afternoon/early evening.  There is a flood watch in effect
from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned to the radio and TV for
updates.  Online, you can also monitor the latest official information from the
City at  []

When will I know if I need to evacuate?

Residents of Zone A – which does not include Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper —
are subject to a mandatory evacuation by order of the Mayor by 7:00 p.m. today.
Any further evacuations will be communicated on television, on radio, on the
website, as well as via the Office of Emergency Management’s “Notify NYC” system,

At this time, residents of Zone B (including Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper) are
not required to evacuate, but are encouraged to make contingency plans to stay with
friends or family further inland in case the storm worsens.  Some residents are
even acting on those plans in advance of the storm.  (Flooding in our area would
not be without precedent.)

If I need to leave my home, where should I go?

If you are subject to a mandatory evacuation, you should try to stay with a friend
or family member who lives outside the flood zones.  (Residents in mandatory evacuation
zones are required to leave their homes by 7:00 p.m. today).  The city evacuation
centers are also available to you.

Where is the nearest evacuation center, and when will it open?

The nearest evacuation center for Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village and Waterside
Plaza is Baruch College (155 East 24th Street).  Evacuation centers are already
open.   I went over to Baruch earlier today, and they are open and ready for evacuees.

Can I go to an evacuation center even if I don’t live in “Zone A” area?

Yes.  Evacuation centers will not turn anyone away.

What should I bring with me if I evacuate?

Prepare a “go-bag” for yourself so that you are ready if you need to head out in
a hurry.  Make sure to include in it copies of important documents in a portable
waterproof container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.).  A go-bag
should also include an extra set of house keys, credit/ATM cards and $50 to $100
cash in small denominations, bottled water and nonperishable food such as granola
bars, a flashlight, up-to-date medication information (the medication each member
of your household takes, why they take them, their dosages, and doctors’ names and
phone numbers), and contact and meet-up information for your household.

What should I do with my pet?

Pets with owners will be allowed at evacuation centers.  In the meantime, create
a go-bag for your pet in case of emergency.  This should include “comforting” toys
or treats; a current color photo of you and your pet, in case you are separated;
and a cotton sheet to place over the pet’s carrier to keep it calm.

Am I safe to stay in my Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village building if there
is flooding outside?

Yes.  Your safest place during this storm will be to stay at home, unless the City
issues a mandatory evacuation for Zone B.  Residents are advised to stay home, with
adequate supplies.   Traversing the property presents additional risks because there
are many trees, whose branches are vulnerable in heavy winds.

If the bottom of my building floods, is it safe to stay on the upper floors?

Management advises that it is safe.  The buildings’ basements have flooded in the
past, and they feel confident that there are no structural concerns that arise from
basement flooding.

Will the gas and water work in my building if there is a power outage?

Water pumps will not work in the event of an outage, and water tanks in ST/PCV buildings
frequently drain from use within 2-4 hours of an outage.

It is advised that you take steps to ensure that you have adequate drinking water
in advance of a power outage.  Aside from purchasing bottled water, some people
fill water jugs or other containers to ensure that they will have enough water around.
And you should not wait until the last minute to do this.  One gallon per person
per day is recommended.  Management does not expect any issues with the gas in the
event of an electrical power outage (though stove-top ignition lighters may not
themselves work).

If the building floods, is it safe to drink my tap water?

Yes.   The City will advise residents publicly if there is ever any concern about
the safety of drinking water.

Will we lose power if the building floods?

Not necessarily.  According to management, insofar as flooding does lead to a loss
of power, it is usually caused by flooding in and under the streets, where Con Ed
runs its power lines.

What else should I do in the event of a power outage?

Con Ed advises that you turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded
circuits when power is restored.

Because of the electronic keycard system, will we be able to get in and out of our

There is a 72-hour battery backup for the keycard system.

Are tenants on upper floors supposed to take shelter on floor 10 or lower?

That recommendation is meant more for large high-rises; residents should be safe
in ST/PCV buildings.  To the extent that there is any concern, it would be about
the potential for water to infiltrate on the lowest floor of the building, not the

What’s going on with our cars?

Garages 3, 4 and 5 are most at risk of flooding, because they are closest to Zone
A.  Management is asking the users of those garages to move their cars out of those
garages.  Garages 1 and 2 had some flooding in past storms, so users of those garages
also may want to move their cars to higher ground.

In summary:

For your home:

Keep enough supplies in your home to last for at least three days, including

water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit.  If power
goes out, we will lose access to running water, so you want to fill your bathtub
with water (for bathing, or to flush toilet), and maintain extra bottles of water
or pans with tap water in your kitchen.

Secure your home:  close and lock all windows and doors, draw all shades, close
all blinds and drapes.

Place folded towels on window sills to absorb any leaking water

During the height of the storm, stay away from windows and do not use elevators
unless absolutely necessary.

If power goes out:

–Turn off all lights and appliances.

–Avoid opening your freezer or refrigerator.  Most freezers will keep food frozen
for at least 24 hours

For your car:

Quik Park recommends that customers with cars parked in garages 3 and 4 move their
vehicles off-site to an area outside the flood zone by Monday at 8AM.  Call Quik
Park at 212-614-5895 for more information and options

Parking on the street carries risks from flying debris and extreme flooding.

Going outside:

If you don’t need to go outside, don’t.  The City shut all parks today at 5pm because
of fear of the risks presented from falling branches.  The same concerns are present
in our community, which has many mature trees.


The MTA has suspended all service, with subways ending service at 7pm and buses
at 9pm tonight.  Until then the MTA has increased service to assist with the evacuation.

All public schools are closed tomorrow, Monday, October 29th.

All Senior Centers are closed Monday and Tuesday, October 29th and 30th.

*For up to date information on the storm, call 311, visit, or tune into
TV and radio broadcasts.

*Call PCV/ST Public Safety if you need assistance or to report an emergency on the

*Call Resident Services at 212-420-5000 to report a maintenance emergency.

*Check back at []
for more updates.

Stay safe,

Dan Garodnick


Hurricane Sandy Alert (Update: City evacuation zone map)

The Office of Emergency Management is monitoring Sandy.

According to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, at the time of this posting, Hurricane Sandy is moving northward off the southeastern U.S. coast., but its precise track is still unknown. Additionally, though the effects of Sandy on the city are also still unknown, high winds in excess of 100 mph are expected.

On Friday afternoon, CW Capital/CompassRock issued a resident alert regarding hurricane Sandy. Residents should expect to get the notice under their doors.

Management is asking that residents take the following precautions and maintain: water, non-perishable food, a battery operated radio and a working flashlight and extra batteries, rather than candles.

Residents are also being asked to make sure cell phones are charged and check in on neighbors.

Other precautions include closing and locking windows and shades, keeping folded towels on window sills to absorb leaking water and staying away from windows.

Residents who park in Stuyvesant Town Garage 3 or 4 should move their vehicles somewhere outside the flood zone by 8 a.m. on Monday, October 29.

More information can be found online on the website of the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Updates will also be posted on the Stuyvesant Town website.

Con Ed has also issued an alert, with the following safety tips:

If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.

Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.

Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

UPDATE: The city has issued a map of evacuations and non-evacuation zones, the evacuation zone being A. Zone B faces a “moderate” risk of evacuation. The closest shelter is located at Baruch College, 155 East 24th Street. The map can be viewed here. To see what zone your building is in, visit the Office of Emergency Management’s Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder. 

Sanitation seeks laborers for coming snow season

Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today reminded New Yorkers that the Department of Sanitation is continuing to register emergency snow laborers who can be called upon to remove snow and ice citywide from bus stops, crosswalks, and from step streets in sections of the City after heavy snowfalls.  Step streets are sets of stairwells located between avenues to connect streets that have a significant height differential.  The rate of pay begins at $12 per hour and increases to $18 per hour, after completing the first 40 hours, each pay week.

“While most snow removal duties citywide are handled by the dedicated men and women of the Sanitation Department, emergency snow laborers are a vital part of our supplemental snow-fighting efforts in major snowfalls,” said Commissioner Doherty. Continue reading