U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved $100,000 funding for phase 1 of Sea Gate’s proposed bulkhead project through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The perimeter bulkhead and sea wall of Sea Gate that previously protected the homes and buildings from storm surge and flooding was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, leaving Sea Gate and the surrounding areas of Coney Island vulnerable to future damage in the event of another storm. The approved project seeks to mitigate against future breaches to the bulkhead system, and to safeguard and maintain the structural integrity of structures within the Sea Gate community. Specifically, phase 1 of the project includes the costs for the engineering design and analysis, surveying costs, permits and application fees as part of the project. Schumer, Gillibrand and Jeffries pushed FEMA to approve funding for this project.
“This project is instrumental in further protecting the shoreline of Sea Gate, which was badly damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy. This federal investment will help make sure this bulkhead project gets off the ground soon so that these communities are better protected in the event of a future storm. Overall, the project will provide mitigation measures, including bulkhead, between Beach 48th Street and Beach 50th Street,” said Senator Schumer.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated our communities and the approved FEMA grant will help establish a plan of action to effectively launch the proposed bulkhead project,” said Senator Gillibrand. “New York is still recovering and these investments remain critical to provide much needed resources on the ground. I will continue to fight for funding that will help keep our communities safe and better prepared for when the next storm hits.”
“Superstorm Sandy decimated many of the beach communities throughout the district I represent, including Sea Gate. This grant of $100,000 in FEMA funding will play an instrumental role in protecting our shores in the Sea Gate community from the devastating effects of any future storms,” said Rep. Jeffries.
After Superstorm Sandy, the community of Sea Gate was badly damaged. Specifically, there were multiple breaches and breaks, centrifugal cracks, heavy separation of joints, concentric misalignments and the intrusion of sand and debris throughout the streets, homes and sewer systems. In most areas, the bulkhead was destroyed leaving the Sea Gate and Coney Island community vulnerable to future damage.
Overall, the bulkhead project will serve approximately 1,177 linear feet between Beach 48th Street to Beach 50th Street in Sea Gate. The project includes a large timber and pile wall with interlocking heavy vinyle sheeting acting to retain and also protect the land and property it is holding. FEMA is authorizing $100,000 for Phase 1 of the project. The total estimated project cost is $2,800,000. Upon the timely completion of Phase 1, FEMA will consider the additional costs for Phase 2 of the project; Phase 2 of the project will include construction costs ($2,700,000).
FEMA’s HMGP provides funding under Section 406 of the Stafford Act, the federal disaster law that supplies aid to states and localities to implement long-term resiliency measures after a major disaster. The purpose of these grants is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. Normally, without these grants, FEMA will only provide enough funds for a locality to rebuild using the same specifications as the original structure.