After being partially submerged by water during Hurricane Sandy last year, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s historic Jane’s Carousel now has a much-needed flood protection system. Donated by David and Jane Walentas, who are also responsible for lovingly restoring the 1922 carousel itself, the system will include a removable AquaFence that will line the perimeter of the carousel. The fence can be quickly installed in the event of a storm warning to keep the new neighborhood icon safe from future storms.
Walentas herself watched from her apartment last October as waters rose in DUMBO to the edge of the carousel’s $9 million acrylic pavilion, which protects the 90-year-old carousel while letting visitors enjoy its illuminated splendor. Luckily, although the waters splashed against the pavilion at the height of the storm, only damage to the basement and floor was suffered. Even though the horses themselves were untouched, the realiation of danger spurred Walentas and her husband to enact a plan to safeguard their beloved carousel for the future. The carousel itself is named for Jane, as she painstakingly restored each horse by hand before giving it to the neighborhood of DUMBO to enjoy.
Along with Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Meyer, the Walentas witnessed the system being installed yesterday at a press conference. The AquaFence flood protection system is made up of 44 marine-grade panels that can be quickly assembled and effectively block out storm water. The panels can be stored out of sight when not needed.