Waterfront committee seeks advice to prepare for next superstorm

Brooklyn Daily
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There’s $4 million dollars on the line, and to win big, all locals need to do is complain.

The Southeast Brooklyn Waterfront Planning Committee — part of the state-funded New York Rising Community Reconstruction project to make neighborhoods more resistent to the next superstorm — is asking for public input about how to spend the $4 million dollars allocated to fix storm-related problems in Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, and Mill Island before its next public meeting on Sept. 10.

“That is how we’re gathering the information,” said Joe Dai, co-chairman of the committee. “The whole process is for the community so we’re talking to the people from the community to find out what the real problems are.”

Dai said the problems locals have brought up so far include:

Sewer system back-up

Homes still waiting for repairs

• Dead trees still standing

• A lack of healthy trees

• Flood-prone inlets

• Regular power outages

• No clear plan for the next disaster

Dai said the committee is working on a questionnaire, soon to be accessible online, for residents to report their problems — especially hidden annoyances that pose clear risks. At the first of four local New York Rising meetings, held in July at the Carmine Community Center, Dai said residents discussed the issues that, almost two years after Hurricane Sandy, are still causing problems. Dai said most committee members were unaware of the widespread problems like sewer system back-up and electrical outages.

“Issues that they’re still having a year and a half later, with sewers or power outages, we had no idea about,” said Dai. “When we speak to the community, we’re finding out different issues.”

He said until the questionnaire is ready, committee members are monitoring the New York Rising Facebook page at, where Dai said locals can post their concerns or ask questions about the recovery process.

One committee member said that while the turnout for the first meeting was respectable, he hopes even more locals attend the upcoming meeting on Sept. 10 so everyone in the community can be represented.

“We had people but we could have had more people,” said Jim Ivaliotis, who serves on the committee.

Southeast Brooklyn Waterfront Public Forum at John Malone Community Center (2335 Bergen Ave., between Avenues W and X, Sept. 10 at 7 pm.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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