Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park will no longer be filled with seahorses — thanks to a new system to keep floodwaters at bay in the event of another superstorm. On Wednesday, the historic merry-go-round was fitted with an “AquaFence” system, which consists of 44 four-foot-high watertight panels that will save Jane and David Walentas’ investment in frivolity.
“For our 40th anniversary last winter, instead of diamonds, I got floodgates,” said Jane Walentas, who lovingly restored the 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel and donated it to the park between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges two years ago. Last year’s storm flooded the waterfront ride with 18 inches of water, causing $300,000 worth of damage to electrical systems, yet sparing the horses and the Jean Nouvel-designed glass pavilion in which they strut their stuff. The AquaFence panels take just three hours to deploy and can be stored out of sight, said Adam Goldberg, a sales manager for the company. “We want to protect the architecturally beautiful carousel, but we don’t want to change the landscape visually 364 days of the year,” Goldberg said. Flood-zones in Hungary and Fargo, N.D. have already successfully used the system, Goldberg said.