City Council announces series Sandy investigation hearings
It's been nearly two months since Superstorm Sandy hit New York, but the discussion of how to protect the boroughs from Mother Nature will last longer.
The City Council announced Tuesday a set of hearings starting in the new year that will look at how various city agencies handled the storm and what they will do in the future.
In addition, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other council members, many of whom represent the hardest-hit areas of the city, introduced legislation that aims to better protect the five boroughs.
"Climate change is an irrefutable reality, and New York City must be better prepared when the next storm strikes," Quinn said in a statement.
There will be 13 Sandy related hearings, starting on Jan. 14 with a session that will assess the city's Office of Emergency Management's storm disaster plan.
Following Tropical Storm Irene, the office updated its evacuation zones to include more coastal areas. Mayor Michael Bloomberg hinted two weeks ago that those zones might change because of Sandy's destruction.
Another major hearing will be on Jan. 31, when the MTA testifies to the Transportation Committee.
The hearing will focus on the closure and recovery plans for subway and buses and on how the agency's infrastructure rebuilding efforts are coming along.
The final hearing, which has no date, will assess planning for the long term.
The four bills announced Tuesday call for adopting FEMA's new flood zones, raising elevation requirements for buildings in low-lying areas, flood proofing hospitals that are in low-lying areas and a study that looks into burying the city's power lines.