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Flooding

The Brian Lehrer Show

Keeping the Floodwaters at Bay

Friday, March 20, 2015

A new report reinforces the need for NYC to plan for more rains and floods as the effect of climate change become more pronounced.

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WNYC News

Rinse and Repeat? No Easy Fix to Chronic Flooding

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

NJ Spotlight
Some homes in New Jersey have flooded dozens of times, costing the national flood insurance program millions of dollars.

Comments [2]

WNYC News

With Record-Breaking Rainfall on LI, Islip Declares State of Emergency

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A slow-moving storm has deluged towns across Long Island and southeastern Connecticut, leaving as many as 2,000 without power. 

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New Jersey News

Hoboken Mayor Zimmer and Her Big Sandy Check

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

WNYC

A pot of federal Sandy funds that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer famously alleged to be part of an illegal Gov. Christie shakedown scheme will come to the city after all.

At an event Monday in Little Ferry, notable for Zimmer's absence from the stage and Christie's refusal to take questions, ...

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WNYC News

Cuomo Pushes More Homeowners to Leave Flood Zones

Monday, November 18, 2013

Governor Cuomo expanded a program to de-populate the state's most vulnerable flood zones by offering buyouts to 129 homeowners in Staten Island. 

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The Takeaway

Colorado Floods Continue to Ravage the State

Monday, September 16, 2013

Colorado is now a state changed forever from ruthless floods as the mountains absorb torrential rains in 15 counties across the state. Larimer and Boulder Counties have so far been the hardest-hit. Joining The Takeaway for an update on the rescue efforts in the state is Kirk Mitchell, reporter for the Denver Post.

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Transportation Nation

Amtrak Made a Smart Call to Let Tunnels Flood During Sandy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WNYC

Amtrak might have been able to avoid the flooding in at least one of its Hudson River tunnels during Sandy, but it is probably best that it didn't.

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Transportation Nation

NJ Transit Disregarded Its Own Hurricane Plan

Monday, August 19, 2013

WNYC

Now it can be told:  New Jersey transit never had a plan to move its trains to low-lying areas during Sandy. The decision to move much of its fleet to rail yards in the Meadowlands and Hoboken resulted in damage to almost 400 locomotives and rail cars, snarling commutes for months. But according to documents newly released to the Record newspaper, that wasn't the plan at all. 

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WNYC News

Betting on the Next Catastrophe

Monday, August 19, 2013

WNYC

Brisk sales of a relatively new financial instrument called a catastrophe bond could help governments pay for disasters.

Comments [4]

Transportation Nation

Study: Rising Sea Levels Made Sandy Flooding Worse in NYC

Monday, August 05, 2013

WNYC

A new study finds rising sea levels have increased the damage on New York City wrought by hurricanes and storms like Sandy.

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WNYC News

3D Map: Virtual Tour of NYC Under Flood Waters

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What would the FEMA flood zones released this week look like flooded with water? Now you can see.

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The Takeaway

Midwestern Farmer on this Year's Record Floods

Thursday, April 25, 2013

As the city of Boston has picks up the pieces from last weeks’ bombings, and Texas struggles with droughts and the aftermath of explosions, the Midwest has been facing some of the worst flooding they’ve ever seen.

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New Jersey News

New Jersey More Prone to Flooding Post Sandy

Friday, March 29, 2013

WNYC

Up and down the New Jersey coast, municipalities from Sea Bright to Ortley Beach are reporting increased incidences of flooding, even in places that don’t normally flood. But officials don’t agree on why it’s happening or how to stop it.

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Transportation Nation

Officials: As Construction Site, World Trade Center Vulnerable To Floods

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

One World Trade Center with 9/11 in the foreground. (photo by melfoody / Flickr)

(New York, NY - WNYC) A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official says a built-out World Trade Center site will be less vulnerable to future storms like Sandy once construction is done by 2020. But the authority hasn't decided what to do in the meantime to protect the site from rising tides.

Construction sites that include open pits, as does the 16-acre World Trade Center site, are vulnerable to flooding. And much of the site is built on landfill where the Hudson River once flowed--and would flow again if not for retaining walls.

But Port Authority executive director Pat Foye wouldn't elaborate on what steps could be taken to protect the site from flooding while under construction, and harden the site once construction is done in an age of climate change and rising sea levels.

"Port Authority people and outside experts are looking at how to make the site more resilient," Foye said. He wouldn't give details about possible mitigation efforts beyond saying, "The review continues."

Foye estimated it will cost $2 billion to repair storm damage to the World Trade Center, along with the rest of the authority's facilities, including airports, bridges and tunnels. Foye said $800 million alone is needed to fix the PATH train system, which only recently returned some of its lines to a pre-Sandy schedule.

Foye said insurance reimbursements and FEMA payments should cover those costs."There will be no material impact on the budget," he said.

Still under construction in Lower Manhattan is One World Trade Center, which carries a price tag of $3.8 billion, making it the world's most expensive new office tower. To offset the costs of the 1,776-foot skyscraper, the authority last year levied higher bridge and tunnel tolls and reduced spending on transportation infrastructure.

One World Trade Center is scheduled to be done by early next year. But some part of the larger World Trade Center site will be under construction, and vulnerable to flooding, for at least the next eight years.

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New Jersey News

Analysis: Is More Flooding the New Normal for NJ?

Friday, December 21, 2012

High wind and heavy rain caused delays at local airports, thousands of power outages throughout our region, and flooding in places along the shore in New Jersey Friday.

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WNYC News

City Council Introduces Legislation to Better Prepare City for Storms

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The New York City Council announced a package of legislation on Tuesday that seeks to improve the city’s infrastructure in the aftermath of Sandy, as well as better prepare the city for future storms.

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Transportation Nation

Fed Study Warned Transit Agencies of Flooding Potential

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

(Nancy Solomon, New Jersey Public Radio) A year before storm Sandy, federal officials warned transit agencies to get their trains out of flood zones in advance of severe storms.  But New Jersey Transit, the nation's third largest transit agency, didn't heed that advice.

Maps produced in 2009 by the Army Corps of Engineers, taking into account storm dynamics and shoreline elevation, showed NJ Transit's rail yards well within potential flood zones for a Category 1 or larger hurricane.

Even as New York's MTA was moving subway and commuter trains to higher ground, NJ Transit parked valuable trains squarely in the middle of known potential flood zones for a Category 1 hurricane -- the equivalent of New York City's evacuation "Zone A." While the MTA had much of its system up and running within a week,  NJ Transit has taken much longer.

A spokesman for Governor Chris Christie says the trains were stored in in places that had never been inundated before. "You can prepare for a worst-case scenario," the spokesman, Michael Drewniak, said.  But, he added "the standard of preparedness was definitely raised by this storm."

In an interview with the NJ Star-Ledger published Wednesday, NJ Transit officials maintained the trains were stored where they "should be."

A year earlier, however, the Federal Transit Agency had distributed a report on climate change adaptation called "Flooded Bus Barns and Buckled Rails."  The study warned transit agencies to prepare for worsening storms and floods. New Jersey Transit has not released a detailed accounting,  but Reuters has reported damage to trains could cost tens of millions of dollars.

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Transportation Nation

VIDEO: Drying Out the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One tube of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (now known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) is now open to traffic, and New York's MTA has released a video of the recovery process.

Hurricane Sandy flooded the tunnel with millions of gallons of sea water "from floor to ceiling," according to New York Governor Cuomo. (Exactly how much water isn't clear. Earlier reports said the tunnel had taken on 43 million gallons; in the above video, the tunnel's manager, Marc Mende, says the tunnel was flooded with 80 million gallons. Whatever the amount, you can see footage of water in the tunnel at about 38 seconds in -- and it's daunting.)

That was a new experience for the MTA's tunnel employees. "We've never had a leak," said Mende. "We never had a puddle. The only water we ever had in this tunnel came off of vehicles."

The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel remained completely closed to traffic for over two weeks while workers pumped out the water and repaired electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance, and ventilation systems. Cuomo says it will another "few weeks" before the second tube is open.

Here's the scene, after Sandy:

Mouth of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, after Sandy (MTA photo)

 

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WNYC News

NYU Starts Seeing Some Patients, but Bulk of Hospital Remains Closed

Monday, November 05, 2012

New York University Langone Medical Center reopened many of its outpatient offices, and the 600 students in the medical school went back to classes – but it’s still not clear when the hospital will open its emergency room, surgical suites and labor and delivery ward.

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Radio Rookies

Remaining in the Flood Zone, Despite the Warnings

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Staten Island was one of the areas hit hard by massive flooding from Sandy. Among the people that stayed, was the family of 17-year-old Tasina Berkey, a current Radio Rookie. Her family, like many of their neighbors, never experienced flooding like this before.

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