Hurricane Aftermath–What’s Up and How You Can Help


Green-wood Cemetery may have lost upwards of 100 trees. Photo: @RJMoylan

Watching the hurricane from Graham Avenue on Monday was a very strange sensation. Other than the constant wind, which sounded like crashing waves, the storm wasn’t so strong, and there was very little flooding that far from the East River–in fact for many parts of Brooklyn, Sandy was relatively mild, though in a tense, eerie way. But was clear from Twitter that in Lower Manhattan, Red Hook, DUMBO, South Brooklyn and the Rockaways, Sandy was wreaking serious havoc. There were reports of transformer explosions in Vinegar Hill and South Slope, flooded streets in Red Hook, DUMBO and Greenpoint and knee-deep water in apartment building lobbies in DUMBO and Sheepshead Bay, plus widespread power outages. (A tweet from the Red Hook wine store Dry Dock to Fairway painted a particularly vivid image of Sandy’s effect: “@FairwayMarket If your [sic] looking for your security booth it is floating in front of my store.”)

Since the storm hit, we have been updating the blog with ways to find gas, volunteer opportunities and more–just search for stories tagged with #Sandy Relief for the most recent posts. Below are more resources.

Here’s how you can help those most affected by the storm:

To donate to the communities and organizations hit hardest by Sandy, there is a fully tax-deductible Brooklyn Recovery Fund.

To donate time, money or items to Red Hook residents, use this site and follow @rhookinitiative for upcoming donation opportunities. We’ll add more resources for Red Hook as we hear of them.

To help DUMBO get back on its feet, you can donate to businesses here, and follow @DumboBID for more volunteer opps.

This is a map of all the shelters and evacuation centers. Based on accounts from our contributors and the Twitterverse, The Park Slope Armory, Brooklyn Tech and John Jay High School has been in need of volunteers, especially at night, and clothing donations, ear plugs, entertainment like DVDs and magazines, socks and particularly plus sizes. Just show up when you can–and note that starting Monday, Nov. 5 schools will be open again, so presumably places like the Armory will be taking in even more evacuees.

If you’d like an idea of what it’s like to volunteer and what to bring, these personal accounts will give you a clue.

The Red Cross is seeking volunteers over 16, available through Friday, able to lift 50 pounds and comfortable working in stressful situations. Email them at

The New York City Public Advocate’s Office is seeking volunteers–just fill out this form which includes times you’re available and neighborhoods you’d be able to get to.

The Rockaway Emergency Plan is a Facebook group where you can read and share information about the hard-hit neighborhood.

Here are some resources to get you through the aftermath:

It’s going to take awhile to get the MTA up and running, but this Transit Tracker from WNYC should help make sens of what’s running and what’s not. We’ve heard reports of long lines for the shuttle buses into Manhattan from Barclays Center and Jay St., and a relatively shorter wait time for the Hewes Street shuttle from the JMZ line.There is also the option of getting to Jay St., and walking to the Dumbo East River Ferry to get uptown or downtown–not a quick commute but a mighty fine one.

911 is not for downed tree reports–use 311, preferably online or via text, as the phone system is overloaded right now. Stay away from parks–they are officially closed and damaged trees are dangerous. Also, floodwaters? Stay away, especially those of you near Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal. It’s likely full of stuff you don’t want to touch.

Finally, check out this round up of real, fake, and spectacularly fake Sandy photos on Atlantic Wire, and read this amazing piece of hurricane writing from Hugo in 1989 from the Miami Herald, via Slate.

For local photos, check out our slideshow, the river that used to be the N train, the destruction in Green-wood Cemetery (strangely Halloween appropriate), this collection on Curbed, Newtown Creek Alliance‘s Greenpoint pics, these Gothamist photos of Jane’s Carousel in DUMBO, Brokelyn’s favorites, and photos sent in to The New York Times by readers.

And if you have any more resources or photos you’d like us to share, tweet us @brooklynbased or post to our Facebook page.

One Response

  1. WorldFamous Bob -

    I went to the Park Slope Armory last night to help with the senior citizen clients there. It was AMAZING! They need magazines and newspapers to read. They need clean socks and extra extra large clothing- (as of midnight last night). Just show up if you are nearby. <3 Hanging out with old people is like getting a post card from your future!


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)