News 12 offers a preview of the Floyd Bennett Field migrant relief center

Days before the tour, protesters gathered to argue that conditions on the former naval air station are inhumane. The major concerns are over flooding and fire safety.

Katelynn Ulrich and News 12 Staff

Oct 30, 2023, 10:02 PM

Updated 262 days ago

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There are now seven massive tents stationed on Runway 19 of Floyd Bennett Field. 
They will soon be used by migrant families for intake, health screenings and other basic needs.
"We're working incredibly hard to prevent any family with children from having to ever sleep on the street. And I'm proud in New York City, compared to other cities,  we have not had any families with children sleeping on the street," said Dr. Ted Long, senior vice president at NYC Health + Hospitals.
Upon arriving, families will learn that their stay will be 60 days. 
They will have pods as bedrooms with three to six cots and sleepers.
Protesters gathered days before the tour to argue that conditions on the former naval air station are inhumane. The major concerns are over flooding and fire safety.
"People from here would go to the coastal storm shelters just like anybody else would," said Zachary Iscol, NYCEM commissioner.
Should city officials know of an incoming coastal storm, they will evacuate families to those shelters. As for flash floods, there wasn't much said about plans; only that the runway is crowned, estimating most water will run off.
"These are not fire traps, these are not deaths traps. Every single space has issues we need to mitigate," said Iscol.
The commissioner for Emergency Management says FDNY was part of site construction. They detailed their concerns, and leaders addressed most and are working on others. Should there be a fire, there are currently no nearby fire hydrants or apparent water sources. Officials said they're securing a water source but wouldn't say what or how.
"Every single time we open one of these sites, there is a dozen things we need to address and mitigate," according to Iscol.
Transportation will be available to families from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day with buses arriving every 90 minutes to bring them to public transportation access. Food will be served every day at all hours.


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