Rockaway, Queens. Just hearing its name makes us smile. Some of our happiest high school memories involve sitting on its beaches looking out at the Atlantic, content in the knowledge that we were still in the City and that Manhattan was but an A train away. But will it always be? That's the question posed by today's News in a story that might as well have been written by Chicken Little. Short answer: For now, but watch those hurricanes.
The gist of the article: Rockaway, that 11-mile spit of sand separating Jamaica Bay from the Atlantic, houses 100,000 New Yorkers but only has three routes to the
mainland Long Island. Considering that on August 23, 1893 a hurricane completely wiped away nearby Hog Island and the intensity of the last hurricane season (Katrina, anyone?), the News points out that, maybe it might not be the best idea to be adding 4,000 new homes to the island. To make their point, they quote some Columbia grad students: "One has to realize that building on the peninsula is just as risky as building right on top of a non-dormant volcano."
Sure, there are definitely risks to living on the Rock, but this isn't exactly anything new - we've got many friends who tell stories about the storm that caused the ocean to meet the bay. What is new, and what seems to us more "special report-y," is the beefed up storm and evacuation planning that the city Office of Emergency Management has been doing and the ideas being put forward by the locales (like "putting power generators in every police and fire station" which seems obvious). But then again, quotes like "I figured I could live another 27 years without any flooding. Now I'm getting really scared" do make good copy...
UPDATE: Don't know how we missed it, the Gray Lady shows how its done.