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Community Urges Red Hook to Prepare for Blizzard

By Nikhita Venugopal | January 26, 2015 1:37pm
 Red Hook preps for the incoming snow storm on Jan. 26, 2015.
Blizzard of 2015 in Red Hook
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RED HOOK — Red Hook is bracing itself for the first blizzard of the year, with residents stocking up on groceries and officials warning residents to stay indoors and follow updates on the incoming blizzard.  

“There is no doubt that our communities have been through tough weather events,” said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca in a statement, urging locals to “be prepared” and “stay home.”

“While the idea of a storm of this scale is worrisome, I have full faith in this community as a model for organizing to respond in difficult times, and in looking out for those around us,” said Menchaca, adding that local groups were gearing up to assist residents in the coming days.

One such group is running the Red Hook Hub, an online public communication system that works to keep the neighborhood informed. The Hub has already gone into emergency mode with a “blizzard warning” for New York City, said Dabriah Alston, the Hub’s coordinator.

Alston will be posting regular updates on the blizzard from local community groups, elected officials and city agencies.

She urged residents to keep checking the Hub’s website for the latest alerts and also to post on the website or tweet to @redhookhub if they had important information they wished to share with the community.

“It’s a collective effort,” she said.

Like Alston, Tony Schloss, director of community intiatives at Red Hook Initiativeasked residents to keep an eye on the Hub and contact the local nonprofits for more information.

As the snow began to fall Monday morning, Fairway Market was a hub of activity with a packed parking lot and New Yorkers stocking up to prepare for possibly getting snowed in.

Dalia Flanagan, 33, was picking up her usual supplies from the shop, including Ritz Crackers, a baguette and ingredients to make chili for dinner. The only thing she couldn’t find was chicken breasts.

“Everybody seems frantic,” said Flanagan, a Ditmas Park resident. “Like something really, really bad is supposed to happen.”

But the Red Hook supermarket, which opened at 7 a.m. Monday morning, was mostly well-stocked, with some empty shelves seen in the meat section, packaged food aisle and kale shelf.

For Alex Ray, 30, a chef who lives in the Financial District, the top items on her grocery list were milk, garlic, crab cakes and dog treats for her pooch, she said.

While she doesn’t expect the incoming storm to be the worst in the city’s history, she’s preparing to spend the next couple of days at home.

“I’m ready for everything to shut down,” she said.