Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is asking city Comptroller Scott Stringer to audit the funds the Parks Department received from the federal government to reconstruct the Rockaway Boardwalk, which was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.
Several published reports said FEMA is expected to announce $480 million in federal reimbursement money to rebuild the boardwalk and related park amenities in Rockaway Beach, but Ulrich noted that the total far exceeds the $274 million Parks budgeted for the project, which isn’t due to be completed until 2016. Ulrich said he wants to know where the extra $206 million is going.
(Family Features) Americans who have recently endured a prolonged power outage at home are much more likely to improve their family's emergency preparation for the future, according to a recent report.
(NAPSI)—A recent survey conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that nearly 70 percent of Americans have not participated in a preparedness drill or exercise, aside from a fire drill, at their workplace, school or home in the past two years.
The city’s Community Emergency Response Teams, also known as CERT, are looking for volunteers who wish to be trained in disaster preparedness and emergency response.
CERT volunteers play a supporting role to the city’s first responders in the event of serious fires or explosions, major accidents and natural disasters.
Last Thursday was the type of the day that is the reason people live in Roxbury, the small hamlet on the western Rockaway Peninsula between Breezy Point and Riis Park. The warm summer sun illuminated the beige sand that scattered along the narrow walkway “streets” of the gated community.
A crowd of neighbors gathered in front of 402 Seabreeze Ave., where Lorraine and Doris Gresser anxiously waited to climb the steps to her front porch and walk into their home.
(NAPSI)—When it comes to dealing with extreme weather such as hurricanes, planning and preparedness can pay big dividends. That’s the word from the experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA.
(NAPSI)—People may be surprised to learn that an emergency alert can be sent to their mobile phones, providing them with the life-saving information they need during an emergency.
(BPT) - Running a restaurant or food service business is complex. Business owners need the right restaurant equipment to cool, cook and properly store food – but a safe and successful kitchen requires more than that. One of the most important pieces to keep a kitchen functioning smoothly, and the most necessary to obtain proper permits is having the right commercial ventilation system.
(BPT) - After a winter of frigid temperatures and record snowfalls, the nation now faces the spring thaw and long, rainy months. Flood season is officially here – is your home ready for it?
My name is Roger Gendron and I am the president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association and have been a resident of Hamilton Beach for over 50 years.
Many of us are still in the process of recovering from the worst natural disaster to hit our area but we are faced with an even greater man-made disaster, the Build it Back program. Homeowners, their homes destroyed or damaged, who lost nearly all of their possessions were informed by the city that Build it Back would do just that, help build back their homes.
In the year and a half since Sandy hit, while some homeowners have completed repairs on their own, most are still repairing their homes using insurance proceeds, which more often than not did not cover all of the damages inflicted from Sandy, as well as savings accounts and retirement accounts. Most have maxed out their credit cards. They are also paying both the mortgage on their damaged home as well as renting another place to live.
The areas, and the residents who live there, that have been affected the most seem to be the same areas that will suffer the most if Build it Back does not start releasing funds for repairs as well as reimbursements. Hamilton Beach, like Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Breezy Point and other hard-hit areas, is composed mostly of single-family homes. Most of our residents have family ties to our community having grown up here and later purchased their first homes. The homes are modest but they are our homes, homes that would have become unaffordable if the flood insurance rates hikes were allowed to go through, but they were stopped in large part because of a grassroots organization called Stop FEMA Now. We are now facing an even bigger battle. The Build it Back program has allocated $306 million for single-family home rehab and reconstruction. They have spent $ 9.6 million but have finalized and released to the homeowners zero.
We call upon the mayor to start releasing funds to homeowners who desperately need the financial help before this man-made disaster does more to destroy our communities than any storm has ever done.
The state-backed committee tasked with coming up with more than $18 million in recovery plans after Hurricane Sandy in Howard Beach presented its proposals to the public on Tuesday in the next step toward making those ideas a reality.
Armed with nine plans, including flood remediation, establishing relief centers and funding resiliency programs, the committee, part of the statewide New York Rising program, allowed members of the public to vote for their favorite ideas at a six-hour open house at Russo’s on The Bay.
The House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that would roll back the flood insurance rate hikes caused when legislation passed two years ago removed some subsidies that aim to make premiums more affordable.
Hurricane Sandy damage to a seawall at LeHavre co-ops in Whitestone has left owners of the 28-acre upscale waterfront property overlooking the Long Island Sound wondering who will pay.
Described as “luxury waterfront co-ops” by the real estate industry, LeHavre was built as rental units in 1958 and converted to co-ops in 1984. Damage to the seawall was discovered after the 2012 storm and the development’s insurance does not cover repair costs.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation last Thursday that would relieve the flood rate hikes mandated by a 2012 law aimed at stabilizing the finances of the National Flood Insurance Program.
By a vote of 67-32, the Senate approved the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which if made into law would delay the increases in the flood insurance rates mandate under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, until the Federal Emergency Management Agency does an affordability study to determine how the rate hikes would affect homeowners in food zones. It also would require FEMA to certify that its flood maps are accurate and ensure local levees and other flood control structures are taken into account in the mapping process.
Nearly $5 million in federal funds has been allocated for major Hurricane Sandy-related repairs and emergency protective measures at Beach Channel High School and related cleanup in Jamaica Bay.
The total funding, $4,902,607.21, will reimburse 90 percent of the costs the School Construction Authority undertook for post-storm repairs at the school on the shore of Jamaica Bay. They include cleaning up an oil spill caused by the school’s ruptured oil tanks; rental and installation of temporary power generators, including staging for more than two dozen other schools in the disaster zone; rental and installation of a temporary boiler and a fuel oil tank; and new fire alarms.
The ongoing recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy dominated life in South Queens for most of 2013 and was a factor in many other big stories, from the future of the abandoned Rockaway Beach LIRR line to the election battle between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and his Democratic opponent Lew Simon.
But South Queens also dealt with a wide array of other issues in 2013, from crime at Forest Park to internal strife on Community Board 9.
The news that Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) was bucking his party and backing Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) for speaker was met with stiff opposition from some, especially a few veterans upset over reports that Mark-Viverito did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in past Council sessions.
“The fact that he will support such an individual who has displayed contempt for our national symbol and refused to pledge allegiance to our flag until she decided to run for speaker is nothing less than disgusting,” Marvin Jeffcoat, former commander of the Queens Veterans of Foreign Wars, said in a letter.
(StatePoint) When it comes to protecting your family from the devastation of unexpected events, you may think homeowners insurance is all you need to be covered. However, most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding — the number one natural disaster in the United States.
Howard Beach’s PS 207 may have been the most heavily damaged school in Queens by Hurricane Sandy.
The school, at 159-15 88 St., is in the heart of the heavily residential Rockwood Park section of the neighborhood that was hit hard by Sandy’s storm surge last year.
Much of Howard Beach is placed in Zone AE under the new flood maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but several blocks on the west side of the neighborhood and higher areas, including Lindenwood, are in the less risky Zone X.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency released Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for New York City last week that reflect the latest updates to the agency’s redrawing of the coastal flood zones.
The Preliminary FIRMs replace the Preliminary Work Maps that were released in June as an interim product. Those maps, placed much of Howard Beach into a new zone, Zone A, would require residents to have flood insurance and take measures, such as raising their homes, or risk substantially higher flood insurance premiums.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last Friday that he will allocate $50 million from the state’s share of the $67 billion federal Hurricane Sandy aid package toward rebuilding protective marshland in Spring Creek Park to serve as a stronger barrier between Howard Beach and Jamaica Bay and alleviate future flooding in storms like Sandy.
The project, developed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, will involve excavation, recontouring, and revegetation to establish a self-sustaining system of wave-dampening barriers to reduce storm damage on the south and west coasts of Howard Beach. It would also make the land, which is a public park, into a more inviting and functional space.
Congratulations on the anniversary coverage of last year’s superstorm. The lucky residents who were untouched by the flooding, weeks of power outages and loss of homes, cherished possessions and vital records need these reminders of the hardships others faced and surmounted.
Driving through Broad Channel last month, we were amazed at how normal it looked. So many homes were repaired. At the office in Arverne of “Build It Back,” we noticed that the new development there seemed unscathed. We learned that the homes were built to defy the forces of severe storms. Shouldn’t this be required in all low-lying areas?
It is shameful that insurance costs are prohibitive through FEMA increases. Our legislators must find a way to prevent another disaster without flood insurance bankrupting families and businesses. We applaud the efforts of our state assemblyman, Phil Goldfeder, and others who are pushing back against these costs which will doom whole neighborhoods.
For all of us who survived and are able to repair and restore our losses, we surely have reasons to celebrate this Thanksgiving. May all who need assistance get it swiftly.
After 43 years in Jackson Heights, the main campus of Plaza College will call Forest Hills home starting next September.
Plaza College has agreed to a 15-year, 40,000-square-foot lease with Muss Development LLC and will move into the first two floors of the Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Blvd. The move of the main campus from Jackson Heights, where the school has been located since 1970, is designed to celebrate the school’s upcoming 100-year anniversary in 2016.
Those concerned over the possibility of massive flood insurance rate hikes can breathe a sigh of relief. At least for now.
Congress unveiled a deal struck last week to postpone the rate hikes that started taking effect last month because of the Biggert-Waters Act, a 2012 law that sought to put the cash-strapped National Flood Insurance Program, administrated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on more solid financial footing.