• Waves crash over barriers in Gravesend Bay, New York during Hurricane Irene

    Courtesy of Marnee Elias-Pavia

  • Concept diagram of proposed integrated flood protection measures for Gravesend-Bensonhurst community in New York

    Proposed Integrated Flood Protection Concept Diagram

  • Section diagram depicting proposed elevated walkway along belt parkway for Gravesend-Bensonhurst community in New York
  • Illustrative image of proposed elevated walkway along belt parkway in Gravesend-Bensonhurst community of New York
  • Participants in public engagement meeting gather around presentation materials to discuss storm recovery challenges and solutions

    Courtesy of Perkins Eastman/BFJ Planning | Louis Berger

  • Section diagram depicting proposed berm along belt parkway for Gravesend-Bensonhurst community in New York
  • Illustrative image of proposed berm along belt parkway in Gravesend-Bensonhurst community of New York
  • Illustrative image of proposed flood gate on belt parkway in Gravesend-Bensonhurst community of New York

    Proposed Flood Gate on Shore Parkway

Planning for long-term flood resilience in New York

Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on New York State, and have since signaled the immediate need to rebuild more resilient and sustainable communities.

Challenge
The Gravesend and Bensonhurst Community in southern Brooklyn, New York, is vulnerable to tidal flooding from Coney Island Creek and Gravesend Bay. During Superstorm Sandy, the tidal storm surge resulted in a flood level estimated at 5.4 feet above ground, disabling the community’s three subway lines. Gravesend-Bensonhurst remains susceptible to flooding in low lying areas during smaller events as well. This flooding is magnified by the community’s extensive impervious surfaces, which prevent water from soaking naturally into the earth.

Solution
As part of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program established by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), Louis Berger helped develop a plan that provides an integrated approach to resilience, including flood management in the Gravesend-Bensonhurst community. This plan includes several sustainable and cost-effective resilience strategies to:

  • Develop a comprehensive resiliency approach to the waterfront.
  • Protect the community from flooding during significant rain events.
  • Provide resiliency assistance and education for homeowners, renters and business owners.
  • Develop a coordinated community response plan during times of extreme weather.
  • Upgrade, maintain and strengthen community infrastructure.

The resiliency plan was recognized and awarded the “Best Inclusion of Vulnerable Populations” Rising to the Top Award by GOSR for demonstrated effective outreach to vulnerable populations.