Smith Houses a Focus of Evacuation Efforts

Smith Houses, early this evening.

All day long, officials urged residents in New York’s Zone A to evacuate by 7 o’clock this evening.  But they have been paying particular attention to the Smith Houses on James Street, near the Brooklyn Bridge.   School buses were still lined up when we visited the 12-building public housing complex a couple of hours ago.  City Council member Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron were among those on the scene today at Smith, urging people to heed the evacuation order.

Last year, as Hurricane Irene approached, there was also a major effort to get Smith residents out of their apartments. The nearly 2000 unit project is low-lying and especially prone to flooding.   A lot of residents did evacuate and after the storm passed, city officials, tenant leaders and elected officials met to discuss how to do even better in the future.

This afternoon, City Council member Chin told us she’s confident more efforts had been made to communicate with residents in multiple languages.  Written materials have been translated into Chinese and Spanish.  There were still several empty buses lined up at Smith tonight, although we did see quite a few residents leaving in their own cars.