Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

MTA Launches NYC Flood Control Tests, States 'Climate Change Is Real'

Climate
The staircase to a subway station in SOHO with a temporary closure, flood control installation sign. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City tested out a new system designed to protect its subways stations from flooding when another super storm hits, creating a bizarre sight on Wednesday, as The Verge reported.


For four hours on Wednesday, the entrance to the Broadway Station on the G line in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was completely submerged, even though it hadn't rained. The flooding was intentional because the MTA is prepping itself for extreme weather events that will become increasingly common as the climate crisis escalates, as CBS News in New York reported. It was testing out a "flex gate" that seals off the entrance to the station and can hold back 14 feet of water bearing down on it, as The Verge reported.

The MTA joked in a reply to a tweet that it was pivoting to submarines, but then followed up with its own tweet, "But actually, we were testing a new 'flex gate,' which is a flood barrier that would allow us to seal off a subway entrance. We 'test flood' the entrance for four hours to make sure it was installed correctly, which it was!" The tweet said. It continued, "We're doing this because climate change is real."

In another reply, the MTA wrote, "We're investing in capital projects around the system to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate." The tweet linked to an statement titled Preparing for Climate Change, where the agency made about taking a drastic step to prepare for the climate emergency by completely shutting down several stations for six months so it can protect a maintenance facility and storage yard for its trains in Coney Island.

"The location of the yard provides ideal access to multiple subway lines, but it's vulnerable to flooding," said the statement. "With intense weather events like Superstorm Sandy expected to occur more often, we need to act now to protect this vital part of our system, so we can keep trains running safely."

The "flex gate" that the MTA tested on Wednesday easily unrolls and makes a tight seal against a metal lip that runs along the edges of a subway stairwell opening to keep water from running underground, as the New York Post reported.

The subway system experienced catastrophic flooding during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 when stations were inundated from track to ceiling with corrosive salt water. Since that weather event, the MTA has upgraded stations and tunnels to prevent flooding and installed the flexible stairwell cover, or flex gate, at 65 station entrances so far, as The Verge reported. The agency spent $369 million to upgrade the South Ferry 1 train station at the southern tip of Manhattan, which was flooded by 15 million gallons of salt water, according to Gothamist.

"At street level, we built flood gates into flood-prone train station entrances, while hatches and manhole covers were redesigned to withstand large volumes of standing water. Underground, marine cabling replaced the regular wiring in the under-river tubes to increase flood resiliency," the MTA Climate Action Task Force wrote in its 2019 Resiliency Report, as Gothamist reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

People relax in Victoria Gardens with the Houses of Parliament in the background in central London, as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celsius on June 25, 2020. NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP via Getty Images

The chance that UK summer days could hit the 40 degree Celsius mark on the thermometer is on the rise, a new study from the country's Met Office Hadley Centre has found.

Read More Show Less
A crowd of people congregate along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on June 26, 2020, amid a surge in coronavirus cases. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / Getty Images

By Melissa Hawkins

After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.

Read More Show Less
A Chesapeake Energy drilling rig is located on farmland near Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, on March 20, 2012. Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor / Getty Images

By Eoin Higgins

Climate advocates pointed to news Sunday that fracking giant Chesapeake Energy was filing for bankruptcy as further evidence that the fossil fuel industry's collapse is being hastened by the coronavirus pandemic and called for the government to stop propping up businesses in the field.

Read More Show Less
Youth participate in the Global Climate Strike in Providence, Rhode Island on September 20, 2019. Gabriel Civita Ramirez / CC by 2.0

By Neil King and Gabriel Borrud

Human beings all over the world agreed to strict limitations to their rights when governments made the decision to enter lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis. Many have done it willingly on behalf of the collective. So why can't this same attitude be seen when tackling climate change?

Read More Show Less
A crowd awaits the evening lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota on June 23, 2012. Mindy / Flickr

Fire experts have already criticized President Trump's planned fireworks event for this Friday at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial as a dangerous idea. Now, it turns out the event may be socially irresponsible too as distancing guidelines and mask wearing will not be enforced at the event, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Mountains of produce, including eggs, milk and onions, are going to waste as the COVID-19 pandemic shutters restaurants, restricts transport, limits what workers are able to do and disrupts supply chains. United States government work

By Emma Charlton

Gluts of food left to rot as a consequence of coronavirus aren't just wasteful – they're also likely to damage the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The gates of the unusually low drought-affected Carraizo Dam are seen closed in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on June 29, 2020. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP via Getty Images)

Puerto Rico's governor declared a state of emergency on Monday after a severe drought on the island left 140,000 people without access to running water, despite the necessary role that hand washing and hygiene plays in stopping the novel coronavirus, as The Independent reported.

Read More Show Less