If you live in Brooklyn in Flood Zone A area — either on the Atlantic Ocean coast, near the East River or even near the Gowanus Canal — you may be forced to evacuate during major storms such as a hurricane. See below for the top 10 hurricane flood-prone neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
And, that's useful information to know if you're buying a home in one of these areas, because in this era of global warming and severe weather events, you might find yourself paying for extra homeowners flood insurance — for good reason.
What's a Flood Zone?A flood zone is an area that's prone to flooding, whether due to storms, wave surges or a combination of the above and rainfall. NYC has three different kinds of flood zones, with "Zone A" indicating the highest risk areas, such as coastal neighborhoods.
According to the NY City Office of Emergency Management, here are the different kinds of flood zone risks:
- Zone A: Homes, offices and real estate in Brooklyn's Flood Zone A face the highest risk of flooding from a hurricane's storm surge;
- Zone B: Homes, offices and real estate in Brooklyn's Flood Zone B have a moderate likelihood of evacuation if a hurricane is expected to reach NYC;
- Zone C: Homes, offices and real estate in Brooklyn's Flood Zone C have a low likelihood of evacuation in the event of a hurricane in New York City.
Note: Many parts of Brooklyn are not in any flood zone whatsoever.
Flood Zone A areas are subject to mandatory evacuation, such as occurred during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Find out about mandatory evacuation in Brooklyn.
Where Are the High Risk Flood Zones in Brooklyn, NY?Zone A includes some entire neighborhoods, for instance, Manhattan Beach, which is a flat area and built very close to the Atlantic Ocean. In other parts of Brooklyn, say DUMBO, which is on the East River, not the Atlantic, and has an uphill grade, only certain sections of the neighborhood are high risk for flooding. In alphabetical (not risk) order, the top ten Zone A Brooklyn areas include:
- Coney Island and SeaGate
- DUMBO : Sections only, from Old Fulton Street and Water Street to Water and Washington Street; all of Plymouth to Bridge Street, then Plymouth St. to Bridge St. Ferry pier, waterfront sections of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- Gowanus: Sections only. 14th Street to 7th Street, from 2nd Ave to Smith Street, 7th Street to Carroll Street between 3rd Ave and Bond St., Carroll St. to Butler between Nevins and Bond Streets.
- Greenpoint: Small area only, and mostly nonresidential: Along Gem, Banker and Dobbin Streets up to Wythe; Norman to Calyer St.west of Dobbin; east of McGuinness from Calyer St. to Newtown Creek. India St. ferry pier.
- Greenwood Heights and Sunset Park Sections only, from 19th Street to 38th Street from 3rd Avenue to the water.
- Columbia Heights: Sections only, mostly nonresidential area on East River water-facing side of Columbia St.
- Manhattan Beach
- Red Hook: Almost all streets. (Check your specific address on the NYC site below)
- Sheepshead Bay: Sections only, from East 22nd to East 2nd up to Avenue X. (Check your specific address on the NYC site below)
- Williamsburg: Small area only, on the waterfront up to Kent Avenue.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard : Nonresidential, from Navy Street to Kent Avenue
- Parts of Belt Parkway
To see if your home or a specific address is in Flood Zone A, use this link: Is Your Home in A Flood Zone? to plug in your address.
Or, consult the NYC Flood Zone Map.
A Special Note For Residents of Public Housing In Brooklyn's Flood Zone A
When a hurricane hits, public housing buildings located inside of Evacuation Zone A and subject to mandatory evacuation may be closed for public safety. In that situation, residents must find shelter elsewhere, either with friends and family, or in public shelters. Why? Because it's unsafe to stay in a flood zone during a hurricane! Here are NYCHA (NY City Housing Authority) areas that are within New York's Flood Zone A.
1. Carey Gardens
2. Coney Island
3. Coney Island Site 1B
4. Coney Island Site 8
5. Coney Island Site 4,5
8. O’Dwyer Gardens
9. Red Hook East
10. Red Hook West
11. Surfside Gardens