You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Hurricane Sandy’ tag.

Horrible news heard today, I am still in shock.

Our beloved Meade’s Restaurant and Bar in South Street Seaport will shutter this Sunday, February 23, 2014.

Why? Word on their facebook page is that their landlord has doubled their rent and has even already found a new tenant for the Peck Slip space.

Hurricane Sandy couldn’t keep Meade’s down… Photo from Meade’s facebook page.

Meade’s made it through hurricane Sandy, and were the first to reopen their water-logged doors to the neighborhood – one of the few shining lights in the storm-surge devastated area for months after.

The waterline on the walls remained as a reminder of Sandy’s surge. Photo from Meade’s facebook page.

But now, it’s goodbye tater-tots, goodbye awesome guacamole, goodbye friends and compadres …

We will miss you Kathleen and Chano! Thanks for everything… Photo from Meade’s facebook page.

Meade’s will serve their last drink this Sunday, Feb 23rd.

Please stop by Meade’s this week and give Lee, Kathleen, Chano, Israel, Izzy and all Meade’s peeps we know and love a proper send-off.

Read more about this sad news at DNAinfo

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

The National Transportation and Safety Board has released their official report on the sinking of the tall ship Bounty during Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012. With all the sad details of Bounty’s last sail we have heard from rescuers and rescued, the findings come as no surprise.

HMS Bounty with full sails. Photo: Dan Kasberger via wikipedia

The NTSB 16-page report details the struggles of the inexperienced crew with failing ship engines and bilge pumps in hurricane-fueled seas – and states the “reckless decision to sail into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy” was a voyage that, “should never have been attempted.”

Download the full 16-page report here (pdf)

HMS Bounty. Photo: Ebyabe via wikipedia


NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs

Captain’s decision to sail into the path of a hurricane caused the tall ship Bounty to sink off Atlantic coast

February 10

A captain’s “reckless decision to sail into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy” was the probable cause of the sinking of a ship off the North Carolina coast in October 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released today. The captain and one crewmember died in the accident. Three other crewmembers were seriously injured.

On the evening of October 25, 2012, a day after a closely watched developing storm had reached hurricane strength, the 108-foot-long tall wooden ship, the Bounty, set sail from New London, Conn., for St. Petersburg, Fla., into the forecasted path of Superstorm Sandy. The 52-year-old vessel, a replica of the original 18th Century British Admiralty ship of the same name, was built for MGM Studios for the 1962 movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty.”

HMS Bounty replica sinking during hurricane Sandy, 29 October 2012. Photo: US Coast Guard via wikipedia

Prior to setting off from New London, some of the crewmembers had expressed their concerns to the captain that sailing into a severe storm could put all of them and the ship at risk. The captain assured the crew that the Bounty could handle the rough seas and that the voyage would be a success. Just a month earlier, in an interview with a Maine TV station, the captain said that the Bounty “chased hurricanes,” and by getting close to the eye of the storm, sailors could use hurricane winds to their advantage.

The 16-page report details how a mostly inexperienced crew – some injured from falls, others seasick and fatigued from the constant thrashing of 30-foot seas – struggled for many hours to keep the ships engines running and bilge pumps operating so the seawater filling the vessel would not overtake it.

Read more from the NTSB Press Release here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee, hat tip to Capt. John Doswell, Executive Director, Working Harbor Committee

The NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Parks Department has issued a call for innovative ideas to re-invigorate the public beachfronts and open spaces on the East and South Shores of Staten Island.

South Beach, Staten Island boardwalk. Photo courtesy NYC Parks Dept via New York Daily News.

The request for expressions of interest (RFEI) aim to revitalize these areas and to stimulate economic recovery for shore communities hit hard by superstorm Sandy last year.

Wolfe’s Pond Park. Photo via NYC Parks Department

The city is also seeking proposals to develop several sites, including the historic Hangar No. 38 at Miller Field, and the FDR Boardwalk at South Beach. Submissions are due January 21, 2014.

Photo via Staten Island Advance.

The New York Daily News: Superstorm Sandy devastated the Staten Island shore, and now the city wants to put the beaches to work helping communities still recovering from the disaster.

From the foot of the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island’s southern tip, the Bloomberg administration has identified eight beaches primed for investment that could draw crowds and business for hard-hit neighborhoods.

Cedar Grove beach. Photo via Staten Island Advance

“You can’t even buy sunscreen or a pail on our beaches here,” said Adena Long, the Parks Department’s Staten Island Borough Commissioner. “These services will make our beaches more attractive while also bringing business to the surrounding communities.”

New Dorp Beach. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger

The Parks Dept. and the city’s Economic Development Corp. have set no specific guidelines for what they want built at the eight beaches, which include South Beach, Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach and Cedar Grove on the East Shore and Wolfe’s Pond Park and Conference House Park in the south.

Historic Hangar No. 38 at Miller Field. Photo via Staten Island Advance

“We want to cast a wide net and see what people are interested in here,” Long said. Proposals must be submitted by Jan. 21, and Long hopes at least some will be implemented by Memorial Day, when the beaches reopen.

An historic photo of the boardwalk at South Beach, Staten Island. Photo courtesy NYC Parks Archives via the New York Daily News.

Possibilities include food carts and full-fledged restaurants, concerts and amusement rides, as well as a kiddie park proposed for Midland Beach.

The city has also partnered with the National Parks Service to try turn empty airplane hangers at Miller Field into some kind of recreational facility.

Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Peck Slip, between Water and South streets which has been mostly cordoned off for water main reconstruction for several years will gain a new neighborhood park, once all the pipes are upgraded.

Superstorm Sandy pushed back scheduled infrastructure work on Peck Slip, which in turn has delayed the pocket park project. Work will start on the new Peck Slip park in the fall of 2014, and is expected to open to the public in October 2015.

A rendering for Peck Slip Park, which will sit on Peck Slip between Water and South streets. The park is slated to open in 2015. Photo Credit: Courtesy of CB1 via DNAinfo

DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos: Peck Slip Park, a green space and granite plaza set to be built along the middle of a wide slice of cobblestone Peck Slip, between Water and South streets, is slated to open in the fall of 2015, Parks Department officials said.

A ‘before and after’ rendering of Peck Slip Park. Photo Credit: Courtesy of CB1 via DNAinfo

The idea for a park that reflects the maritime history of Peck Slip — an area once used as a docking slip for boats, which offered George Washington and his troops protection as they fled from the Battle of Brooklyn — has been in the planning stages since 2006, with the city presenting several versions of the design over the years before winning public support.

Peck Slip Park planned for Peck Slip, between Water and South streets. Image Credit: Courtesy of CB1 via DNAinfo

The park’s “ghost-ship”-inspired design is shaped like a boat, getting slightly wider as you move toward South Street. The greenery-dotted granite plaza with benches will also have a pool of water, surrounded by several curved wooden beams, evoking the skeleton of an old ship. The space was previously a parking lot. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Here is the third and final installment of The Last Voyage of Bounty’ by Michael Kruse, where the heroic rescue of 14 crew is told. Entitled: ‘Facing It’, the epic story rivets with harrowing first-person tales of survival entwined with chilling fears of regret.

Illustration by Don Morris via Tampa Bay Times

We hear the POV from the Coast Guard rescue team – as they plunged into the darkness and fury of the hurricane to pluck 14 souls from certain death. Split-second decisions made that meant the difference between a successful rescue mission, or “splash”.

Aircrews and operation specialists who were directly involved in the HMS Bounty crew rescue. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd class David Weydert

Today, some of Bounty’s crew have returned to the sea where their heart draws them, others continue to recover from their injuries. Here the story concludes leaving us to ponder the events, mere spectators in this very real-life tragedy.

Read the last installment of The Last Voyage of Bounty – Facing It here.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Illustration by Don Morris via Tampa Bay Times

Part 2 of The Last Voyage of Bounty’ – Michael Kruse’s epic story reveals the jaw-clenching hours leading up to Bounty’s sinking one-year ago off the North Carolina coast. The second installment entitled: ‘Rising Water’ tells of failing generators and clogged bilge pumps filling to rid Bounty of water that leaked through her timbers and slopped on her deck.

Bounty, lost at sea. Photo via NPR

The raging sea plagued the crew further when both Captain and able seaman sustained major injuries as Hurricane Sandy’s 100 mile and hour winds tossed the ship like a toy.

It became clear that the moment had come to abandon ship. Read the second installment of The Last Voyage of Bounty – Rising Water here.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Illustration by Don Morris via Tampa Bay Times

I wanted to let you all know about a 3-part report in the Tampa Bay Times this weekend, published on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and Bounty’s tragic journey. The first installment entitled: ‘Safer at Sea’ is live – with the 2nd and 3rd to follow in coming days.

The Last Voyage of Bounty’ by Michael Kruse compiles the testimonies from the Coast Guard hearings of surviving crew, interviews with survivors, their family and friends, former crew, Coast Guard rescuers, tall ship captains, experts from all maritime walks of life.

It’s a riveting, albeit sad read.

HMS Bounty. AP Photo/Mark Duncan

It’s a beautiful website, kudos to the team who researched, designed, edited and built the site. Steeped with loads of info and data, video and photography by Maurice Rivenbark, and beautiful illustrations by Don Morris. I highly recommend you check it out here.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Photo Credit: Ingfbruno/Wikipedia

Almost one year to the day after Sandy swamped it with 8-foot storm surges, Ellis Island is reopening to the public.

For the past year, the National Park Service has been working to repair the national monument after water damaged boilers and electrical systems, leaving Ellis Island without any power for months.

This Monday, Ellis Island will open her doors once more.

The Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Photo Credit: NPS

AP News via abc News: Ellis Island will reopen to the public Monday, almost exactly a year after Superstorm Sandy’s swells reached 8 feet and badly damaged the former U.S. immigration entry point.

“We are delighted to be able to share Ellis Island’s uniquely American story with the world once more,” Superintendent David Luchsinger said in a statement Thursday.

Ellis Island after the superstorm. Photo Credit: NPS

The Oct. 29 storm swamped boilers and electrical systems, and the 27.5-acre island in New York Harbor was without power for months.

The Ellis Island Immigration Museum, housed in the main building on the island, showcases the stories of the millions of immigrants who passed through the island to start their lives in the United States.

More than 20 million people passed through the federal immigration station between 1892 and 1954. Photo Credit: Bettmann/Corbis via

More than a million documents, photographs and other artifacts at the museum were moved before the storm because it was impossible to maintain the climate-controlled environment needed for their preservation.

National Park Service staff pass boxes of artifacts down the stairs near the Great Hall. Photo Credit: Kevin Daley, National Park Service via Tribeca Trib Online

While the halls and buildings will reopen, the artifacts remain in a temporary storage facility in Maryland, park officials said. There is no estimate on when they will return to the island, because considerable work to upgrade and fix the buildings is still ongoing.

Doors and windows to Ferry Building knocked down by storm surge. Photo Credit: NPS

“You’re not going to see a complete restoration of Ellis Island for a while,” spokesman John Warren said.

Crews are still working on revamping so that the next bad storm won’t leave the island shuttered for a year, he said.

Post-Sandy damage. Photo Credit: NPS

There is no cost estimate yet on how much it will take to repair and revamp the island.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Last years devastating storm left our region battered and still struggling to recover. The after effects of Hurricane Sandy continues to plague many area residents, who are trying to rebuild their lives and return to normal.

One lineman from Houston, Texas who traveled here to help rebuild our flooded electrical grid, recently made good on a promise he made. He sent a Texas flag to North Caldwell Mayor Joseph Alessi.

North Caldwell Mayor Joseph Alessi hung the flag of Texas in his borough hall office after he received a package from Jason Beard, a lineman from Houston who did repair work in town in Sandy’s aftermath. Photo: Frances Micklow/The Star-Ledger

The Star Ledger: At first glance, it looks awfully misplaced: a big Texas flag hanging in borough hall in a small New Jersey town. North Caldwell’s mayor actually hung it there. And this week, he’s sending a bit of Jersey to the Lone Star State.

Call it a cross-country bond born in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The flag was a gift from Jason Beard, a Houston lineman who was among hundreds of workers sent to New Jersey to do emergency repairs in the wake of the Oct. 29 storm. Mayor Joseph Alessi said Beard came to the rescue of many North Caldwell residents.

In addition to a New Jersey flag, Mayor Joseph Alessi is sending salt water taffy, a North Caldwell DPW hat and a “Jersey Strong” t-shirt. Photo: Frances Micklow/The Star-Ledger

So how did this flag-swapping friendship begin?

In June, Alessi received a package from Beard containing a full-sized red, white and blue Texas flag and a short letter.

“Dear Mayor Alessi,” the letter read, ”My name is Jason Beard and I am a lineman from Houston, Tx. I had the pleasure of meeting you one day while working on power lines in North Caldwell after the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and I promised you a Texas flag. Mayor, as a token of my thanks to yall’s wonderful hospitality here is a Texas flag. The people of North Caldwell, NJ were incredibly nice especially considering the recent events. It seemed that each person I talked to had a heart of gold, and let me tell you, that is such a nice thing to see when you are so far from home. I will never forget my experience in yall’s wonderful town of North Caldwell and I hope everything is getting back to normal. Sincerely, Jason Beard.” Read more here…

On October 16, 2013, the NY Metro Chapter American Planning Association and Regional Plan Association is hosting a public presentation of the results of a year-long study, Urban Waterfront Adaptive Strategies:Coastal Climate Resilience, by the New York City Department of City Planning funded through a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant.

Hear about Mayor Bloomberg’s plan, A Stronger, More Resilient New York, and how the Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) built off Urban Waterfront Adaptive Strategies to develop a multi-layered plan to protect the city from coastal storms and climate change.

Location: Hudson River Park, Pier 40, West Street between West Houston and Clarkson Streets(By subway: #1 to Houston Street, walk 4 blocks west / PATH to Christopher Street)

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 16th, 2013, 6 – 8 pm;
Cost: $15 for non-members, $5 for students

Click here to register.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee, hat tip to Roberta Weisbrod

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow via CTV News

Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, who recently completed a record-breaking swim from Cuba to Florida, just finished a 48-hour marathon swim event in Herald Square to raise funds and awareness for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

Together with the record-breaker, swam 2 local teens from Ocean Breeze, Staten Island.

Elissa Zboinski,13, joined Diana Nyad, 64, in Swim for Relief in Herald Square. Photo courtesy of the Zboinski Family via SI Advance

Staten Island Advance: Ocean Breeze Resident Eileen Pepel,whose family lost 13 homes in Hurricane Sandy, wants people to know it’s nearly one year after the storm and many victims still need help.That’s why her son, James, 15, and niece, Elissa Zboinski,13, joined Diana Nyad, 64, on Tuesday in the Swim for Relief two-day charity event in a 40-yard pool set up in Manhattan’s Herald Square.

Photo via NBC New York

“My sister-in-law Karen Zboinski was contacted by AmeriCares and they wanted to invite the kids to swim because they are swimmers and so many members of our family were affected by Sandy,” said Ms. Pepel, whose home is in the Graham Beach section of Ocean Breeze.

“This event is bringing attention to the fact that it’s a year later and we’re still waiting for answers. We are still waiting for the help that has never come,” she said.

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow via NY Daily News

Ms. Nyad, who recently completed a Cuba to Florida swim, kicked off the 48-hour swim event for charity on Tuesday at 9 a.m. to raise money for Sandy victims who still haven’t recovered from the storm.

By Wednesday at 6 p.m. Ms Nyad had raised more than $66,000 for Sandy recovery. [Ed note: $100,000 raised by event end SOURCE]

All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to Sandy victims through AmeriCares. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

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