Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Horrific Flooding of the Gowanus Canal Last Night onto our Community Streets

Last night was a catastrophic night at the Gowanus Canal, with the putrid waters of the highly contaminated, federally Superfunded Gowanus Canal spilling out onto the streets of Carroll Gardens/Gowanus creating what was arguably an environmental disaster.

The Gowanus Canal soup spilled over all the way to Bond Street (on the Carroll Gardens side) bringing with it disgusting debris, and a horrible, petroleum like stench from an unknown source.  The Third Street bridge, at Third Street and the Gowanus Canal, which is also the neighborhood's evacuation route, was entirely submerged.

In fact Third Street became entirely impassable last night with the stench of the Canal Waters filling the air near the bridge crossing, and a car seen bobbing in the waters on the bridge.  One of our very own CORD Co-Founders, Triada Samaras, took the pictures here at roughly 10 PM where she reports several people were in the area near the Canal gaping in disbelief, some even bringing their young children to see the site. (See below).

It has been a CORD contention for a long time that our electeds and other officials in NYC need to really see and comprehend the danger of using the Gowanus Corridor for development of hundreds of new units of housing (such as the Lightstone Project proposes) in what is clearly a highly contaminated flood plain.  Do we also need to point another obvious point:  that much of that flooded Canal Water last night seeped into the ground, into the sewars, and no doubt into many resident's basements?  And do we need to ask again the obvious questions:  What sort of health risks are created by such a situation? Or:  How will Carroll Gardens escape a disaster if the escape route is impassable?

We hope this is the last time we at CORD need to see with our eyes such a catastrophe occurring. It really is no fun repeating the same things year after year after year.....Are our Electeds listening?  Is the City of NY listening?

1)  The evacuation route on Third Street needs to be further studied because it was submerged last night.

2) The toxic, Gowanus Canal will, indeed, flood into our streets in some weather conditions, making the surrounding area, which is already a contaminated floodplain in Zone A) even more contaminated (!) and an extremely lousy place to put any new and perhaps unsuspecting residents.  This looks like a development plan that must have spawned the original slogan:  BUYER BEWARE!

We hope our Electeds are listening!  
Please help us contact them and demand some sensible answers and not the usual rhetoric.  Tell them what we already know:  Brooklyn is too GREAT a borough to tolerate such a massive health and safety risk running right through our sidewalks and backyards and stoops and over our children's shoes!

City Councilman Brad Lander  http://council.nyc.gov/d39/html/members/home.shtml 

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz 
    Brooklyn Borough President http://www.brooklyn-usa.org/
    Marty Markowitz
    (718) 802-3700


Assemblywoman Joan Millman

In addition, if you are concerned about this issue, please write to us and send us your pics of last night's disaster.  We will post them with your name (if you wish) here on the CORD blog.  CORD can be reached at:  CGcord@gmail.com

All pics above:  Second Street and Bond Street 10 PM

All pics above:  Third Street and Bond Street 10 PM


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........