The damage of Hurricane Sandy is still being fully realized and we won’t know the full cost of the damage for a little while. What we can do for know is to look into ways to lessen the damage the next time an anthropogenically influenced storm hits the city. The Atlantic has put together some previously thought-out plans for preparing New York City for flooding from ideas that are used elsewhere in the world.
As ocean levels rise this will be a more pressing issue for New Yorkers and other cities on coasts.
Here’s what I think will be the easiest for NYC to implement, but I haven’t been there for years so I could be way off.
2. Elevated infrastructure. There are very few buildings in the entire state of New York built at grade at elevations below sea level. But New York City has constructed one massive piece of infrastructure below that threshold: the subway system. As we saw this week, flooding can devastate an underground network of tunnels, train platforms and corridors. So how do you keep more of that water out? For one thing, elevating subway entrances would help. Bangkok, another low-lying city susceptible to rising tides, has built precisely these kinds of subway entrances. They’re raised a meter off the ground and include built-in floodgates.