After Irene, FEMA has given Brooklyn the cold shoulder and Marty Markowitz is pissed. Is his anger warranted this time?
Yesterday, after a plea from Governor Andrew Cuomo, President Obama declared that a major state of disaster exists in New York. According to the statement, the following counties will receive federal funding from our favorite, oh-so-competent disaster relief organization, FEMA: Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Schoharie, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren and Westchester.
Four New York City boroughs will receive money for the aftermath of tropical storm Irene. Notably absent from the list is Kings Country—Brooklyn, which suffered countless fallen trees, some power outages and flooding throughout evacuation Zone A. The borough being so diverse, topographically as well, means many people had a lot of disparate experiences. For some whose houses or cars were destroyed by fallen trees, it was a true disaster. For others, brunch went on as planned. Perhap’s the media’s increasingly jocular post-storm coverage hasn’t served the borough’s interests as well as it could.
Coney Island was the only place in the city where the storm actually made landfall, and yet still, no funding. Marty has said he’s “dumbfounded,” by the announcement and the poor assessment of damage across the five boroughs. He told NY1 in a interview, “In Brooklyn [we have] more than $25 million worth of damage, a lot more than Manhattan, so I have no clue how we’re not on the list.”
Read his full statement below:
In Brooklyn, hundreds of trees were knocked down, doing significant damage to cars, homes and infrastructure, and some Brooklynites remain without power. Brooklyn’s low-lying ‘Zone A’ neighborhoods that were evacuated saw significant flooding, including Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Coney Island, Red Hook, DUMBO and Williamsburg. Just yesterday, it was discovered that a section of the BQE may be unstable as a result of storm damage and will need urgent repair. The storm even made landfall at Coney Island.
Given these facts, I am absolutely dumbfounded that federal officials have excluded Kings County from a disaster declaration for public assistance. I applaud Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg for requesting this help, and hope that FEMA immediately reverses this dreadful decision and includes Brooklyn.
(Bensonhurst Bean, Gothamist)