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New York City Spends Billions on Flood Protection

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New York City Spends Billions on Flood Protection
Pump Train in Cranberry Street Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. MTA New York City Transit / Leonard Wiggins / Wikimedia

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on New York City's transportation system. Storm surge pushed a flood of seawater into vehicle tunnels, railyards, ferry terminals, and subway lines.


"Hurricane Sandy was a big wake-up call for the city," says Susanne DesRoches, New York's deputy director of infrastructure and energy.

She says after the storm, subway tunnels and stations had to be pumped out. Electrical systems needed to be cleaned, repaired, and tested. In some places, it took weeks to get up and running again.

As seas rise and weather gets more extreme, the risks from flooding only grow. So New York is working to make its massive transportation system more resilient.

"We're looking at major flood protection systems across the subway network, the airports, and our vehicular tunnels that go in and out of Manhattan," DesRoches says.

For example, the city has installed huge floodgates at the entrances of two tunnels. A steel floodwall will soon protect the Coney Island railyard, and the city's working on ways to seal off subway station entrances and vents.

It's a multi-billion-dollar effort, but DesRoches says the next time a natural disaster hits, New York expects to be better prepared.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Milkyway from Segara Anak - Rinjani Mountain. Mount Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok. It rises to 12,224 ft, making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia. On the top of the volcano is a 3.7 by 5.3 mi caldera, which is filled partially by the crater lake known as Segara Anak or Anak Laut (Child of the Sea) due to blue color of water lake as Laut (Sea). This lake is approximately 6,600 ft above sea level and estimated to be about 660 ft deep; the caldera also contains hot springs. Sasak tribe and Hindu people assume the lake and the mount are sacred and some religion activities are occasionally done in the two areas. Abdul Azis / Moment / Getty Images

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