The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is gross. An EPA Superfund site, the agency describes it as “one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies.” The contaminated water “poses a threat to the nearby residents who use the canal for fishing and recreation.”
And thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the Gowanus is flooding.
From the New York Observer:
With the combined effects of the surge from Hurricane Sandy and high tide, the Gowanus Canal broke its banks this morning in multiple locations and flooded over many of the streets in mandatory evacuation Zone A along its shores. The Observer was on hand to take pictures of the waters. It was far worse than anything we witnessed with the initial Sandy surge at high tide last night.
While the only serious flooding we saw last night was on 2nd Street, this morning saw waters creeping up almost every block next to the canal near Carroll Gardens. Flooding in the canal is troubling as its a superfund site that is home to extensive industrial activity and has a long, well-deserved reputation as a hotbed of toxic sludge and pollutants.
The worst is yet to come. As of writing, water levels near Gowanus at the lower tip of Manhattan were about 4.5 feet above normal. This is at low tide. In several hours, the tide will be near its peak — and the Gowanus flooding will be far worse.
As always, Brooklynites: Don’t use water you find on the street near the Gowanus Canal. It is not safe for your artisanal beverages.
Get Grist in your inbox