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In response to arrival of hurricane season, Mayor Eric Adams unveils Rainfall Ready NYC Action Plan

Mayor Eric Adams unveils Rainfall Ready NYC Action Plan
Mayor Eric Adams unveils Rainfall Ready NYC Action Plan 02:56

NEW YORK -- Hurricane season is here. As we look back at the tragic loss of lives from last year's remnants of Hurricane Ida, Mayor Eric Adams' office says the Rainfall Ready NYC Action Plan will help keep residents safe.

As CBS2's Alecia Reid reported Thursday, families should also prepare for potentially extreme weather.

Nearly a year after Ida hit the New York City area, leaving dozens dead and structural damage across the region, city agencies are working to ensure this hurricane season looks a lot different.

"It wasn't high tides that affected us. It was rain. The level of rain our system wasn't able to handle and we're going to make sure we're prepared this coming season," Adams said.

READ MORECBS2 First Alert Weather Team urges everyone to stay safe as hurricane season starts

While the city designs and constructs infrastructure to combat climate change, Adams said a recent meeting with the Office of Emergency Management to look at basement apartments seemed promising. In the meantime, Rainfall Ready NYC is hoping to help protect New Yorkers from flooding. Among other things, the mayor's initiative will check the water drainage system.

"Mother Nature is unpredictable and we have to shift to work with Mother Nature and her unpredictable aspects," Adams said.

The public can also work with city government to prepare by clearing debris from catch basins and curb lines to help prevent flooding, and by using the flood map to see if their neighborhood is in a flood zone.

READ MORERed Cross warns of above normal hurricane season on Long Island

The mayor said legislation from the state level will play a huge part in legalizing and bringing basement apartments up to code. But with tens of thousands of unregulated apartments in the city, Sylvia Morse of the Pratt Center for Community Development said the city can approve zoning and building code reforms to prevent further deaths.

"There's a significant amount of work the city could be and must be doing now that, unfortunately, we don't see outlined in the mayor's housing blueprint that was recently released," Morse said.

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Morse said a recent basement conversion pilot program in East New York to bring basement apartments up to code was defunded during COVID budget cuts and hasn't been restored, leaving the most vulnerable neglected.

"Many tenants of basement apartments are immigrants, low income, people of color in neighborhoods that are underserved," Morse said.

Keep in mind extreme weather can happen at any time. Make sure to have an emergency plan for you and your family, should that occur.

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