Post Hurricane Sandy Update and Idea

Regular scheduled programming should return tomorrow.  On Monday I posted how the storm surge was the biggest threat to New York City and that’s exactly what happened. There was definitely damage from wind blasts and also several people were killed by falling trees but in terms of knocking down the city, the flooding of tunnels, the power outages and the loss of subway transportation have had by far the largest impact.

According to a NY Times article today, the three highest water marks at the Battery have all occurred in the last three years (one was Irene, the other Sandy and I am not sure about the third).  Sea levels are projected to rise six inches per decade wich by itself would give us another foot of water level by 2030.  And if anything the melting of Greenland ice is accelerating.  Plus the surge from future storms could be even higher.  In fact, the models for Sandy still had some probability at 4 (!) more feet than were actually realized.

What all this means is that we need to look seriously into major flood mitigation efforts.  One idea is to put floodgates under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and also under the Throgs Neck Bridge.  The latter would protect the East River from water being pushed through the Long Island Sound (and protect La Guardia Airport, which was badly damaged with submerged runways and flooded terminals).  But it would of course make flooding in the Western Part of the Sound that much worse.

That brings me to another idea: a Kickstarter project to fund the immediate exploration of different alternative options.  If a group of qualified engineers would put that up, I would give a fair bit of money to it.

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Posted: 31st October 2012Comments
Tags:  New York City Hurricane Sandy flooding