Old Howard Beach residents wonder why they weren’t evacuated


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of Victoria Holt (VRPhotography)
Photo courtesy of Victoria Holt (VRPhotography)

As the flood waters from Hurricane Sandy ebb back in to Jamaica Bay, some are questioning why residents of Howard Beach were not evacuated.

Howard Beach lies on the edge of Evacuation Zone A, which, for Queens, includes the Rockaways, parts of Long Island City, Broad Channel and nearby Hamilton Beach.

“Our lives were put in jeopardy,” said Joe Barretta, who lives on 95th Street in Old Howard Beach.

Barretta said that as the flood waters rose, his two-year-old and two-month-old children were taken to safety by a neighbor. To prevent some of the massive damage to homes and threats to lives, Barretta said the neighborhoods lying on the edge of Jamaica Bay should have been evacuated.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich said he was upset Howard Beach residents had not been advised to leave the area.

“They were just as much victims as anyone else,” he said.

People and store owners in the neighborhood, Ulrich said, suffered tremendous losses, and had not been prepared for the severity of the storm.