Paper No. 12-2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM

LEARNING FROM THE IMPACT OF SUPERSTORM SANDY ON STATEN ISLAND, NY


BENIMOFF, Alan I., Department of Engineering Science and Physics and the Masters Program in Environmental Science, The College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314, Alan.Benimoff@csi.cuny.edu, FRITZ, William J., Interim President, College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314, KRESS, Michael, Vice President For Technology Systems, College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314, and SELA, Liridon, CUNY Interdisciplinary High Performance Computer Center, College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314
Staten Island suffered massive property loss and loss of life from Superstorm Sandy. Using a GIS and data from FEMA, USGS, NYC and NYS we have plotted (1) maximum surge; (2) building footprints; (3) damage from Sandy; (4) wetlands (5) bluebelt drainage basins; (6) urbanization patterns; (7) hurricane evacuation zones; (8) SLOSH zones;(9) elevation data; (10) FEMA flood zones and (11) census data. The results of this study are very useful in learning from the impact of Sandy.

Using ADCIRC in collaboration with RENCI we modeled the storm surge. In many key locations on the South-Eastern shore of Staten Island agreement was within 0.4 meters of the high water mark recorded by the U.S.G.S.

We recently held an interdisciplinary forum (http://www.csi.cuny.edu/sandyforum/news.html) in which we brought together community experts to deal with a number of aspects of storm surge and flooding. In addition to the geologic issues we also dealt with issues such as the human impact, the economic and political aspects and the need for more education.

As a further result of this study is a five point plan presented by one of the above authors (WJF) (1st) Protect the existing natural barriers — the beaches and dunes; (2nd), build them higher; (3rd), rezone in the flood zone and buy up as many properties as possible in low-lying areas, turning them into parkland; (4th), Be very careful about engineering solutions such as sea barriers because they will not only be expensive but necessarily protect one area at the expense of another; (5th) is education(The College of Staten Island is producing a hurricane survival guide for Staten Island Residents.)