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Van Bramer Advises Residents on How to Get Through Hurricane

Aug. 26, 2011 Message from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

As everyone knows by now, Hurricane Irene is expected to hit our area sometime Saturday into Sunday. We should all take precautions to be prepared for a storm of this magnitude.

Some areas in our district are in evacuation zones and at high risk for flooding. Those areas of Hunters Point/Long Island City should familiarize themselves with the map below and know that should an evacuation be ordered, Newcomers High School (28-01 41st Ave.), Aviation High School (45-30 36th St.) and W.C. Bryant High School (48-10 31st Ave.) are your nearest evacuation centers.

The City will make a decision about whether to order a mandatory evacuation of Zone A for the general public by 8:00 AM on Saturday. The evacuation centers will be open as of 5:00 PM today and the City is strongly recommending that people within these areas immediately make plans to go to alternative locations outside of Zone A starting tomorrow for the duration of the storm. The orange areas are Zone A. The yellow areas are Zone B. The green areas are Zone C.

We are also concerned about significant portions of the district including parts of Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria and Maspeth that have experienced flooding during several recent storms. Our office has been and will continue to be in contact with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other city agencies throughout this weekend.

Anyone experiencing difficulties as a result of Hurricane Irene should contact me and my office as soon as they occur. We will report problems in real time. For those outside of Zone A areas that have experienced flooding or are concerned that you may, please click on the link below on how to protect your valuables. In addition to calling our office, DEP is asking for reports of flooding to be called in to 311.

I have also been in touch today with NYCHA and the Mayor’s Office to make certain that Queensbridge, Ravenswood, and the Woodside Houses are included in any and all emergency plans including evacuation, should that be necessary. We will continue to be in regular contact with NYCHA throughout the storm.

While we continue to hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst. The city has published some useful information in securing your home during the storm. Please click on the link below for recommendations on how best to prepare for the hurricane.

Given the high volume of traffic to OEM’s (Office of Emergency Management) website there have been delays and interruptions in gaining access to some of these links. For that reason, we also include the Red Cross’ Hurricane Safety Checklist below. We have also included information from OEM’s Hurricane Guide at the end of this email should that link not respond when you try it.

In advance of the hurricane I wanted to remind you that clogged catch basin grates can aggravate flooding.  Although DEP staff – with the help of their colleagues at other agencies – are busy cleaning catch basins now, DEP has asked us to remind homeowners and residents that they welcome assistance in removing leaves, litter or other debris that may prevent water from flowing off the streets and into the catch basins.

For any of you that aren’t familiar with catch basins the attached link to a page on DEP’s website has some text and visuals that will help explain why flooding occurs and how citizens can help DEP minimize flooding by removing debris where they see it blocking catch basin grates.

I will be keeping my district office open on Saturday to field questions and concerns from constituents. Needless to say, we will close the office when the storm approaches and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. My district office number is (718) 383-9566.

I will be in the district throughout the storm and encourage anyone with problems to email me concerns at [email protected] as well as using social media including Facebook ( and Twitter ( to reach me. You may also call 311. Please only call 911 if you have a very serious or life threatening emergency.

I hope this update and the attached information proves useful to you. Again, my staff and I will be working throughout the weekend and please do not hesitate to contact me should you need assistance.


Jimmy Van Bramer

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Lucky Lu

A – because being gay or not gay has very little to do with representing a neighborhood on the city council where 90% of the issues relate to city services that affect all of us (i.e. safety, sanitation, transportation). Do you think gay people don’t care about these issues, that they live on a different gay-issues only planet? I just thank heavens that you probably didn’t vote.

Time's Up

“According to the president, this is all George Bush’s fault.”

Wow! Really? Please, oh please, share with us a link to that extraordinary quotation.

Or are you two friends, and he told you that personally?

Oh, wait, maybe you mean a different president, and I’m the one who’s wrong for assuming you meant Obama. But if you do mean Obama, then please, I would love to read that myself.

Or, can it be you’re just someone who spends tons of time on the internet and makes silly comments and believes that all of the profound problems we as a nation are facing can be simplistically reduced to a Democrat/Republican paradigm.

Nah, that can’t be it either. You probably just forgot to paste the link.


Ok JVB – good job keeping us informed and on the news as well – was he handing out flyers to people?!? *takes deep breath* I guess I’ll let that whole park-issue slide 😉

-a- WTH man? This is the USA.

What’s it to you anyway?!? Be mindful of your own life and don’t ride others because they’re not you. Look yourself in the mirror because if you’re making comments like that then you’re obviously upset at some aspect of yourself and using comments like that to vent frustrations at things you’re refusing to change within.


lets all have a safe Hurricane. Grabage pick up is usully sat am for us. They should be in our town. There has been no announemts that it has changed. lets keep our kids same and our homes safe and call brammer if we have any problem. I mysef have a tree prblem.


I hope the Sanitation Department is going to pick up garbage soon, because as of Friday night so much trash is piled up on the streets Sunnyside is going to look like a city dump if any significant wind comes through and blows it all around.


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