It seemed like just another Sunday afternoon at the Ladder 163 firehouse on 51st Street with one firefighter watching the Jets-Dolphins game at the entrance, while another enjoyed a cigar outside. The men could relax because all the preparations for the big storm were already complete.
“We are fully staffed and the trucks are all loaded to go,” said Firefighter Peter Georganes. Chainsaws were prepared for the biggest threat to the area, fallen trees. “With sustained winds from 60 to 80 miles an hour, I’d say that’s the biggest threat,” he added.
With a large chunk of the Sunnyside/Woodside neighborhoods in the Zone B flooding area (Skillman Ave. west of 43rd St.), FF Georganes said that there would be no need for Ladder 163 to have small boats on hand. He said in the Zone A flood areas of Western Queens, the fire companies (located in Astoria) had boats delivered to them this morning. “If there’s flooding they’ve got it covered; boats go to the companies that are by the waterfront.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and his staff spent much of Sunday afternoon handing out flyers in Long Island City. Sections of LIC, particularly Hunters Point, are under an evacuation order. The councilman also visited an evacuation center at Aviation HS and planned to visit the centers at Bryant and Newcomers High Schools, as well.
With mass transit shutting down beginning at 7pm and schools closed on Monday, FF Georganes said “if there are emergencies, at least the street will be clear of traffic.”
Van Bramer and his staff will remain in the District office. Call (718) 383-9566 with concerns