(AP) — A facility using giant tents to temporarily house migrants being sent to New York City will now be located closer to Manhattan instead of a remote corner of the Bronx, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday, after weekend storms raised concerns over flooding at the original site.
The city’s humanitarian relief center will now be on Randall’s Island, which sits in the waters between Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.
It had previously been slated for a parking lot at Orchard Beach, in the northeast part of the Bronx on Long Island Sound, where access to public transportation is limited.
Images online showed water ponding in the area following rainfall over the weekend.
In a statement announcing the change, Adams said while the city could have made the original site work, moving the center “is the most efficient and effective path forward.”
He said the new site would open in around the same time as the original one, although he didn’t specify when that would be, and would house 500 people.
In recent months, New York City has seen an unexpected increase in migrants seeking asylum in the United States, sent to the city from other states including Texas and Arizona.
The influx has put a strain on the city’s shelter system, leading officials to look for places to house people and proposing the temporary tent facilities.
The city’s plan for Orchard Beach was met with concern by immigration advocates, who cited its inaccessibility among their criticisms.