Flooding by Median Income

Map 1–Median Household Income by 2010 Census Tracts, versus Flooded First Floors between one and four feet.  Hover/click over an area to see how many damaged homes were registered with HUD as having this much flooding of their first floors. Sources: NHGIS and HUD

Map 2–Median Household Income versus Inundated Schools.  These schools were registered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as being flooded during Sandy.  However over a school dot for that school’s name.  Sources: NHGIS and FEMA

Many areas of the South Shore, the most damaged of Long Island’s coastlines, sustained heavy flooding on their first floors. The communities with the most first floors flooded over a foot were by no means all located in lower income areas, as many wealthier areas were flooded in great numbers as well. Areas colored the darkest (black) had the most flooding followed by the darker blue areas for second most flooding, and so on. The less affluent towns most affected included Inwood, Neponsit, and Island Park. Wealthier homes were more affected to the east, all the way from Long Beach through Ocean Parkway and from Merrick through Babylon.

Lower median incomes were more closely linked to inundated schools and flooded first floors on the western third of Long Island, within or nearer to New York City. The places with a lighter yellow color are lower income areas and the darker green are affluent areas. The second map shows that the darker green (more affluent) areas have less affected schools as a whole; the town of Islip is representative of this with one dot. In lower and mixed-income Long Beach, however, there are multiple dots since this city did receive a great deal of flooding as shown by the first map. Bay Parkway and Seaside to Inwood were also heavily affected and represent how lower income areas had many more schools that were overwhelmed by the storm surge and associated flooding. The eastern half of Long Island had better protected schools even as many coastal homes there suffered from first floor flooding. In both maps one can see that the North Shore received far less water damage both in their homes and in their schools. The middle of the Island, whose mixtures of incomes more closely resemble the South Shore than the North, was predictably much less affected than the latter by the floodwaters of Superstorm Sandy.

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