Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in NYC a few weeks back in the midst of extreme flash flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Ophelia, and unfortunately the storm has had some lasting impacts.
One of which includes extensive flood damage done to Prospect Park Zoo’s basement power and heating systems, causing them to close indefinitely.
A message on the zoo’s website reads:
THE PROSPECT PARK ZOO IS CLOSED FOR STORM-RELATED REPAIRS. PLEASE CHECK BACK PERIODICALLY FOR UPDATES
According to an official statement no animals were harmed or negatively affected by the flooding, thankfully. Alas, we unfortunately can’t say the same for the zoo itself.
More than seven inches of rain hammered down on the zoo–that paired with run-off from surrounding streets had major impact on boilers, HVAC, electrical, and aquatic life support and other systems which are located in the zoo’s basements. A total of 25 feet of water flooded the basement at unprecedented rates as storm sewers in the area reached full capacity.
The zoo is currently relying on generators for power, and temporary boilers will be used to provide heat as necessary in the upcoming months.
Craig Piper, Vice President of City Zoos for the Wildlife Conservation Society, stated:
There has been millions of dollars of damage to the Prospect Park Zoo. As we move from triage to restoration of the facilities, we will continue to assess when we will reopen to the public. We have pumped the water out of all flooded basements and restoration is fully underway. I want thank all our WCS colleagues from the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium for their assistance following the storm.
Throughout NYC and elsewhere, we all are facing extreme weather conditions which are unprecedented. We plan to restore Prospect Park Zoo and its critical infrastructure in ways that will prevent future flooding of our facilities. Prospect Park Zoo suffered significant damage during storms Henri and Ida two years ago and we expect these extreme weather patterns will continue in the future due to climate change.
As of now the zoo remains temporarily closed and a re-opening date has not been identified. In the meantime, here are 7 other must-hit zoos in NYC.