Sunday, August 28, 2011

As storm approached, were materials and equipment at Atlantic Yards site secured? Photos suggest vulnerability

As Hurricane Irene approached yesterday, how well was the Atlantic Yards site secured?

At least one passer-by found evidence, as noted in the photos below, that the site was left vulnerable--with materials and equipment exposed to the elements. (Surely there was some measure of organization in anticipation of the storm.)

We should learn today and in coming days whether that meant any significant impacts, and whether Forest City Ratner and its contractors took any further measures. Note that the Department of Buildings threatened to issue violations unless those in charge of construction sites took measures including:
  • Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
  • Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.

The arena site photo

Brooklyite Eric Kuo tweeted at about 8:30 pm last night: "Atlantic yards construction site with equipment not tied down. #brooklyn yfrog.com/kl2jyfxj."



The photo, shot at about 5:45 pm, shows the arena site. There appear to be two pieces of motorized equipment left uncovered, as well as materials--wood and metal--not tied down.

The plaza site photo

Kuoalso tweeted:  "Atlantic yards construction site, abandoned but nothing is tied down.



The photo shows the site destined for a plaza, with materials not tied down. I suspect Forest City Ratner would say the site was "left secured" rather than "abandoned," but we'll see what the DOB thinks.

What winds can do

Are wood and metal heavy enough to stay put in heavy winds? Not necessarily. This web site points out:
  • 60-mph winds can lift the roof off a carport.
  • 70-mph winds can turn a mobile home on its side if the mobile home is not anchored to the ground.
  • 80-mph winds can lift the roof off a house.
The National Weather Service, according to the Times, has predicted wind speeds of 55 to 75 mph today,  with gusts of up to 80 mph.

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