New York City Taking Action Ahead Of Hurricane Season

Prompted by the destruction and deaths following flooding from Hurricane Ida, New York City is taking a number of steps to aid residents in protecting themselves and their property in times of extreme rainfall. The Rainfall Ready NYC action plan is estimated to cost taxpayers US$2.5 million.

“Climate change is the city’s biggest environmental threat, and while we continue to invest in resiliency and infrastructure projects to protect us for generations to come, the Rainfall Ready NYC action plan will help every New Yorker to protect themselves, their families, and their homes,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “The city is acting now to keep New Yorkers safe as we move into hurricane season, and I encourage every New Yorker to make emergency plans for the next extreme weather event.”

Those at high risk for flooding will receive free inflatable dams. Approximately 8,000 homes in the city’s most flood-prone areas will soon receive letters informing them of their eligibility for the inflatable dams. Those selected residents may then collect dams and sandbags from distribution points in August – which precedes the height of the hurricane season – along with the required resources for the layout and circumstances of their homes. The city currently has about 25,000 dams on hand.

The city has also released a resource guide to help residents make individual plans for extreme weather. The guide outlines what steps New Yorkers and the city government can take to combat extreme weather together, including: 

  • Using the new interactive stormwater flood maps to understand the likelihood of flooding on one’s block and to make a plan to get to higher ground if need be; 
  • inspecting chronic flooding locations and clearing debris from catch basins in at-risk locations prior to predicted storms; and
  • Expanding FloodNet – a network of street flooding sensors designed to better understand the frequency, severity, and impacts of flooding in New York City. 

“Our climate is changing and that means increasingly common extreme weather impacting New York City, but there are measures we can take to prepare ourselves and the Rainfall Ready NYC action plan outlines the projects city government has underway to manage our new reality, as well as steps residents can take to protect themselves and their property,” said New York City Chief Climate Officer and DEP Commissioner Aggarwala. “The design and construction of large infrastructure projects to manage our changing climate will take time to complete and Rainfall Ready NYC is meant to outline the shared actions that can be taken in the short-term to ensure public safety.”