A GIS STUDY OF THE FATALITIES FROM SUPERSTORM SANDY ON STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
Further GIS analysis shows: (1) In all cases the distance from fatality location to high-ground was less than 1.29km; (2) 11 of the 23 fatalities occurred adjacent to the New Creek stream system which is a comprised of former tidal channels according to the 1902 topographic USGS map. This stream is being modified with BMP’s(Best Management Practices) in storm water management and is part of what is now known as the New Creek “Bluebelt”. Although this “bluebelt” stream system was supposed to function to get storm water out into the ocean it actually served as a conduit to bring storm surge water in. In fact this stream system was able to carry the storm surge as far as 2.03 km inland. This surge extent was not realized anywhere else on Staten Island. Staten Island is very vulnerable to hurricane storm surge due to its geography. The Mayor of the City of New York issued an evacuation order for the then evacuation zone “A” prior to Superstorm Sandy. This study shows the importance of complying with emergency evacuation orders. High-ground was nearby. Since each hurricane is different it is important to evacuate when the orders are issued. With modern communication we have to address getting the word out to those who couldn’t evacuate. We also have to educate the population on where to go to high-ground. We have proposed signage that will aid in this.