The Real Deal New York

How should the city mark low-lying areas?

December 14, 2012 04:30PM

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The streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn, flooded after Hurricane Sandy

A Red Hook, Brooklyn cartographer named Jim McMahon is calling on the city of New York to mark flood-prone areas of the city, DNAinfo reported. The amateur storm-chaser said elevation signs would help residents determine which areas should be evacuated ahead of a storm — and alert potential buyers and renters to flood risks, DNAinfo said.

“If they’re predicting a storm surge of 13 feet and people live at two feet, they can say, ‘I better get out of here,’ or at least move things out of the basement,” McMahon told DNAinfo.

McMahon’s research during Hurricane Sandy showed that “roughly 95 percent of Red Hook streets flooded — indicating, in part, that the neighborhood lies far closer to sea level than previously thought,” according to DNAinfo. McMahon’s improved maps have been sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as relevant politicians, the news website said.

FEMA is currently redrawing the borders of the city’s flood zones, as reported. [DNAinfo] –Guelda Voien

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