News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 28, 2021
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News + Views

Red Hook and Gowanus Still Reeling

By Lisa M. Collins

Monday’s storm was gentle on Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, but Red Hook and Gowanus were flooded, and residents there, including many low-income seniors and the disabled, were ordered to evacuate, as they live  in Zone A. Tuesday they found themselves without power, heat or running water, and many have evacuated to local shelters. Find out how you can help.

As of Saturday, according to the group Occupy Sandy Relief, five of the high rises that comprise the Gowanus Houses projects are still without power. The group FUREE is helping to check on seniors, make sure prescriptions are filled, and traverse the stairways of the 14-story building to deliver supplies.

Meet at the FUREE Office at noon (81 Willoughby Street between Bridge and Lawrence Sts. in Downtown Brooklyn) or meet at Gowanus Houses (211 Hoyt Street at the corner of Baltic Street) at 1 p.m.

If you can donate supplies, needed is non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, sanitary napkins, diapers, toiletries, Ensure, Pediasure, (canned, ready made) formula and toiletries.

Last week, our intrepid photographer Joshua Kristal went down around Red Hook and Gowanus to survey the damage. Kristal reports that Red Hook was looking pretty rough, with nearly all the basements anywhere near the waterfront flooded on Tuesday, and residents pumping out water as quickly as possible.

Flooding in Red Hook. Photos by Joshua Kristal, South Brooklyn Post Photographer.

Many people lost property and face extensive water damage to their apartments and belongings. The question now is whether, and how much, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will dole out for victims, as many don’t have flood insurance, which often is not offered in flood zones.

Elizabeth Freund, manager for musicians such as Ringo Starr, Tuesday faced a flooded basement, which housed her office, bedroom and her child’s bedroom.

Several businesses, homes and art studios in the Gowanus area got as much as three and four feet of indoor flooding Monday evening.

Boat washed ashore.

Plenty of water surged into basements and washed trash up onto streets.

What a mess.

Dumbo also was hit hard–the restaurant Governor, a critically-acclaimed high-concept restaurant on Main Street, was terribly flooded Monday evening, with five feet of water in the bar area, as reported in Bon Appetit and New York Magazine’s Grub Street.

The Gowanus area was largely spared although several homes, artists’ studios and businesses on ground floor spaces in the lowest-lying areas were flooded with as much as four-feet of water. One woman told of her friend’s goldfish swimming away in the course of the storm.

The Gowanus did flood but most folks on the second floor were fine.

Kristal shot around the canal just over the 9th street bridge, an area with amazing art spaces. Below is Tom Glynn, owner of HMH Iron Design. There was 10 feet of water in his huge space, Kristal said, and the storm smashed in the doors.


And in Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill, many were saying prayers of thanks that, short of some trees down, most were spared, and power stayed on.

If you have pictures or stories to tell, email

Local faithful were not going to let the Madonna, at 3rd Place and Court Street, face Storm Sandy unprotected.

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