Hurricane Sandy 5 Years Later: Lower East Side Gets a “High Water Mark” Sign

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Just a few days before the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the Lower East Side is still waiting for the city to begin resiliency upgrades along the East River. But beginning next Friday, you’ll see small signs of progress along the waterfront.

Make that a small sign similar to this one.  There will be an unveiling on Friday the 27th at 11 a.m. on South Street near Rutgers Street, in front of Pier 35. It’s part of FEMA’s High Water Mark Initiative, which is meant to,” increase local communities’ awareness of flood risk and encourage action to mitigate that risk.”  Joseph Esposito, commissioner of the NYC Department of Emergency Management, will be on hand for the ceremony.  There was some debate as to the “high water mark” during Sandy in this area. The powers that be eventually settled on 5 feet.

About $200 million has been dedicated for flood protection in the Two Bridges area (below Montgomery Street). According to the most recent presentation from the city, flood barrier construction in this area is not anticipated until 2020. There were reports over the summer that cost overruns and other complications had delayed construction on a separate flood protection initiative along East River Park, above Montgomery Street.