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  #21  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2012, 1:43 PM
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Not to mention, how long would this construction last?
My guess is it would take some time. But you weigh that against how long you expect the City to last, and time becomes a non-issue. Cost is another issue, but consider how much these storm surges cost in damage and expense (its already in the billions), and it has less relevance. There's just the matter of coming up with the money. It will have to be from combined sources, federal, state, city, even some private funding. But it's all just talk now.
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  #22  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2012, 8:14 PM
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My guess is it would take some time. But you weigh that against how long you expect the City to last, and time becomes a non-issue. Cost is another issue, but consider how much these storm surges cost in damage and expense (its already in the billions), and it has less relevance. There's just the matter of coming up with the money. It will have to be from combined sources, federal, state, city, even some private funding. But it's all just talk now.
Exactly. Something has to be done sooner or later, and now that we have seen what can happen with Hurricane Sandy, I think doing something sooner would be the wiser choice. The city simply cannot function if it is battered by storms like these over and over again.
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  #23  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2012, 10:42 PM
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http://therealdeal.com/blog/2012/11/...tists-say-yes/

NYC floodgates would cost billions. Some scientists insist they’re worth it




Floodgates in the Netherlands

November 09, 2012

Quote:
Malcolm Bowman, an oceanographer who has studied New York harbor for decades, and other hydrologists, says a multibillion-dollar barrier system — with floodgates at certain points such as along the East River and at the Verrazano Narrows — could reduce future storm damage by about 25 percent. However, such a system would cost about $17 billion to build, Bloomberg News reported.

That cost isn’t all that much more than the $15 billion the federal government had to spend to rebuild New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina.“Think about it this way,” said Bowman. “Including Hurricane Irene last year, we’ve had two 100-year storms in two years.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, on a radio program yesterday, said a barrier system should be considered, according to the report from Bloomberg News. “The construction of this city did not anticipate these kinds of situations,” said Cuomo. “We are only a few feet above sea level.”



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...rk-city-l.html

Billions on Flood Barriers Now Might Save New York City

By Ken Wells and Mark Drajem
Nov 9, 2012

Quote:
Bowman, an oceanographer who has spent much of a 40-year career warily watching the tidal flows in and around New York Harbor, recalls a few years back being down in the construction site of Manhattan’s South Ferry subway station.

“It was just a concrete box underground then,” he said in an interview. Bowman, at the time an observer in the middle of filming a documentary, looked up a long stairway leading to blue sky and asked a construction official, “Would you mind telling us how far above sea level is the entrance there at street level?”

The reply was 11 feet -- an elevation designed, the official said, to withstand possible floods from a storm that occurs once in 100 years.

“I said, ‘That sounds awfully low to me and, by the way, that storm could come next week,’” said Bowman, a professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center of State University of New York at Stony Brook, Long Island.

It took a little longer than that. The South Ferry station, a $530 million jewel in New York City’s subway system at the tip of Manhattan, opened in March 2009. Superstorm Sandy, slamming into the New York metropolitan area on the evening of Oct. 29, brought a record storm surge of 13.88 feet (4.2 meters) into Battery Park, which abuts South Ferry. The station flooded floor to ceiling with briny seawater, destroying equipment and turning escalator wells and tunnels into caverns deep enough to scuba dive in.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2012, 11:42 PM
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Exactly. Something has to be done sooner or later, and now that we have seen what can happen with Hurricane Sandy, I think doing something sooner would be the wiser choice. The city simply cannot function if it is battered by storms like these over and over again.
Agreed, but these storms don't come every year or even decades. Hurricane Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Still, the city needs to be prepared for anything and everything.
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Agreed, but these storms don't come every year or even decades. Hurricane Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Still, the city needs to be prepared for anything and everything.
That's the exact argument they are making for considering such actions - these once in a lifetime storms aren't happening at a once in a lifetime pace. As Governor Cuomo and others have said, we've had two "hundred year storms" in the last two years. The City of New York has had to issue evacuations now for two consecutive years - something the City doesn't do. We could very well see a "Sandy" next year, or the year after that. The time to start thinking about solutions is past time, but most definitely not in the future. No need to wait for a few more ravishing storms to get the wheels in motion.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2012, 6:14 AM
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Unfortunately, global climate change will eventually make these storms the rule, and not the exception. They will happen on a more frequent basis, and Gotham's infrastructure is simply too antiquated to handle the impacts of such a tremendous weather event. The ocean barrier is a good idea, but I question whether or not it's worth the investment if storm surges can bypass it and wreak havoc on Staten Island, the south shore of Queens/Brooklyn, and all of Long Island.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2012, 12:15 PM
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No, it should have been built back in the 30's and 40's when the great public works were being built. Maybe the money will be around this time for them to actually do something.
Not coincidentally, those great public works from the 30's were instrumental in providing jobs and keeping the great depression from getting even bigger. I agree, NYguy... it would be fantastic for the same thing to happen again. These storms will unfortunately keep happening, as NYguy and Matt have said.
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2012, 1:22 AM
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8A203G20121103

Insight: Flooded New York plans to tame the sea, but who pays?

By Greg Roumeliotis
NEW YORK | Sat Nov 3, 2012 1:13am EDT

Quote:
To many New Yorkers, Sandy's destruction came as a shock. But to scientists, engineers, environmentalists and public officials, this was a tragedy waiting to happen. A 2007 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ranked greater New York second among the world's large port cities most exposed to coastal flooding based on the value of their property.

"People have said for many years - specifically since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans - that New York City was prone to such a super storm," New York City Comptroller John Liu said on Thursday.

Still it took Hurricane Irene in August last year for the city to seriously start exploring a flood plan, according to Aerts, who said the city asked him to develop a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for a flood strategy.

After Sandy, the momentum behind such a plan is set to build. Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York state, said this week that infrastructure will need to be re-examined and reinforced.

But it is not clear how New York will pay for it, and it may well take an act of Congress to prevent the next act of God from bringing the world's financial center to its knees again.

"We have to weigh our damages against the cost of building such a levee system," said Liu.

On paper, New York City has the capacity to borrow more to spend on infrastructure. The latest relevant report from Comptroller Liu's office projects the city to be $18.28 billion below its general debt limit by July 2013 and $18.74 billion by July 2014.


"I don't see tight debt capacity as a hurdle down the road," said George Friedlander, chief municipal strategist at Citigroup Inc.

Federal money may prove key to any major flood protection program. This would mean negotiating funds with Congress rather than relying on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which reimburses states and cities for recovery projects. And getting that kind of money is going to be increasingly difficult given the lack of consensus in Washington on how to handle the U.S. government's large budget deficit and soaring debt.

"We have to get a long-term commitment from the federal government to put money up, which can be contingent on the state and local governments producing a significant match," said former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Rendell, a major advocate of private sector involvement in infrastructure finance, argued that public-private partnerships could be part of the funding mix for such projects.

Even though something like levees would be not be revenue-generating, private ownership or management was still an option, said Raj Agrawal, head of infrastructure for North America at investment firm KKR & Co LP.

"If you get this under private ownership or private operation, you can certainly raise more capital than you could in the bond market by getting a capital infusion of funds from a private party," he said.
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2012, 12:46 PM
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http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/11...ll-oyster-beds
How will New York keep out a rising sea? Dikes, huge sea wall, oyster beds?
By Ron Scherer,
November 13, 2012

Quote:
But what if the storm surge had been stopped by a five-mile-long barrier outside the harbor? Or what might have happened if New York had built marshes and oyster beds at the tip of Manhattan that had absorbed some of a storm surge's energy?

In the wake of New York's worst natural disaster in modern times, city and state officials are beginning to consider longer-term solutions to prevent a recurrence of the flooding.

"Climate change is a reality," Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said during one of his post-Sandy briefings. "Given the frequency of these extreme weather situations we have had, for us to sit here today and say this is a once-in-a-generation [storm] and it's not going to happen again, I think would be shortsighted."

Even before Governor Cuomo's pronouncement, Halcrow Group, a British company that works on infrastructure projects worldwide, in 2009 proposed a five-mile fixed barrier stretching from Sandy Hook, N.J., to Breezy Point in the Big Apple borough of Queens.

Meanwhile, "Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront," presented by the city's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) two years ago, among other things asked architects to imagine new ways of using "soft" methods to cope with rising sea levels.

And New York City has had engineers examining ways to address the prospect of rising sea levels for a city with many low-lying areas.

The first step in deciding what to do should be the formation of a harbor protection commission, says Vishaan Chakrabarti, an architect and professor of real estate development at Columbia University here. "We need to include all levels of government," he says. "We need to get the right business and civic voices involved so we can get a broad consensus."

Initially, it appears that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is dubious about the idea of building dikes to hold back the sea.

"I don't think there's any practical way to build barriers in the oceans," he said on Nov. 1. "Even if you spent a fortune, it's not clear to me that you would get much value for it."

Others say New York – the financial capital of the world and home to at least 8 million people – is already very late in acting.

"The rest of the world has been doing it for about 50 years or so," says Robert Yaro, the influential head of the Regional Plan Association, an independent group that looks at ways to improve the quality of life in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Mr. Yaro points to the Dutch, who keep building higher and higher dikes to keep the North Sea at bay. "They have gone from preparing for the worst storm in 10,000 years to preparing for the worst storm in 100,000 years," he says. "They are also building so they have more redundancy and so they function better with natural systems."

One proponent of some form of sea wall is Malcolm Bowman of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, who heads the school's group that predicts and models storm surges for the New York area.

Professor Bowman uses as an example the Halcrow Group plan, which involves a long, tall causeway that would be built outside the harbor in water about 20 feet deep. Huge gates would allow ships in and out but would close during powerful storms to keep out the surge. Additional barriers would be built in western Long Island Sound and Arthur Kill, a waterway in Staten Island.

"The barrier could double as an interstate highway, a New York City bypass, and could also have a light-rail system to JFK [international airport]," says Bowman, who estimates the cost for the outer barrier alone could be $10 billion.


With the barrier, he says, the affected water would spread out to other areas, including Long Island and New Jersey, which would see sea levels rise by about an extra six inches during storms. Also, studies would need to determine the barrier's effect on migrating fish.
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2012, 4:23 PM
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Agreed, but these storms don't come every year or even decades. Hurricane Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Still, the city needs to be prepared for anything and everything.
No, that is absolutely false. Climate change is my area of expertise, and I can tell you that third standard deviation storms are happening once every few years all over the globe. It's very sad that misinformation campaigns run by the same "scientists" who said that smoking doesn't cause cancer have shaped an extraordinarily ignorant public discussion about climate change. The facts are that we know almost unequivocally that these storms are becoming MUCH more frequent. This claim is based on observational evidence, not projections. Sandy was merely foreshadowing. This USED to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. That will never be the case again in your lifetime, so get used to it. It's time for adaptation. The time for sitting around with our thumbs up our asses has passed.

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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
Not coincidentally, those great public works from the 30's were instrumental in providing jobs and keeping the great depression from getting even bigger.

That would be another benefit. Mayor Bloombucks on the other hand is downplaying any attempt to building anything for protection.


http://politicker.com/2012/11/storm-...torm/?show=all

Storm Barrier Blues: Can the Government Save Sea Gate From the Next Big Storm?
A Brooklyn neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Sandy has spent over two decades waiting for storm protection.



By Hunter Walker
11/13/12

Quote:
For at least two decades, there has been an effort to reinforce Sea Gate’s beach with a multimillion-dollar array of what is known in the parlance of coastal engineers as “heavy armoring”: walls, jetties and rock barriers known as “t-groins” built to stop and absorb energy from waves before they batter the shore. In April, after a long series of delays due to bureaucratic and political factors, more than $26 million in federal, city and state funds was finally secured to install a storm protection system in Sea Gate. Construction was slated to begin late this year, but it clearly wasn’t fast enough to fight the hurricane.

Even if the storm protection planned for Sea Gate had been in place before the waves crashed through the neighborhood last month, it probably wouldn’t have been sufficient to withstand a storm of Sandy’s magnitude. But with growing acknowledgment that climate change is leading to fiercer weather patterns, the decades-long saga to shore up Sea Gate is a dramatic illustration of how potentially lifesaving civil engineering measures are being outpaced by the forces of nature. Congressman Jerrold Nadler was elected in 1992 to represent a seat that includes parts of Manhattan as well as Sea Gate and Coney Island on the southwestern tip of Brooklyn. Less than two weeks after he arrived in Washington for Congress’s freshman orientation, Sea Gate was hit hard by a nor’easter, and Mr. Nadler received a call from an aide who said, “Congressman, I think you better get back, your district is being washed to sea.” Since then, Mr. Nadler has been heavily involved in the push to install t-groins and other storm armoring in the area. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he hopes construction will begin “without further delay” on the storm protection barriers for Sea Gate.

Developed as a private beach community in the late 19th century, Sea Gate sits on the western tip of Coney Island behind gates patrolled by the community’s private police force. Residents divide the world into two parts, “in the gate” and “out of the gate.” Inside, there are quiet streets and beachfront homes with ornate balconies and living rooms that open onto the beach. Outside, the boardwalk and amusement park rides became surrounded by housing projects as Coney Island slipped into decline in the latter half of the last century. The push to protect both areas from storms began as far back as 1969, when the government became aware of the beach erosion that was eating away at the Coney Island shoreline. Three years later, the Army Corps of Engineers unveiled a $27.5 million plan to secure the area, a project that included a 15-foot seawall that would have extended from Manhattan Beach to Sea Gate, causing an uproar among locals who did not want their cherished beach views obstructed.

Local leadership instead backed a plan to extend the beach 250 feet beyond its original boundaries. This created another obstacle to the storm protection plan; at the time, federal guidelines mandated that any project to extend beaches must be funded locally rather than with federal money. Sea Gate residents turned to the feds. In 1986, Congress authorized extending the Coney Island beaches under something called the Water Resources Development Act, with the project’s approval hinging on the increased recreational use that wider beaches would afford. But that same year, in an instance of could-not-be-worse timing, President Ronald Reagan began an effort to cut the Army Corps of Engineers’ budgets and increase the amount of local funds used on projects relative to federal monies. This push deprioritized projects approved for their recreational benefits, and the Coney Island plan was scrapped.

By 2010, Congressman Nadler had secured $18.9 million in federal funds for heavy storm armoring in Sea Gate. In April of this year, the city and state allocated another $7.3 million for the project. As all of the money fell into place, the Army Corps of Engineers began seeking contractors for the project in the hope that they would be able to begin construction late this year. Then Hurricane Sandy arrived, ahead of the project’s schedule. Though the hurricane has led to federal emergency designations and increased awareness of the neighborhood’s plight, which might help expedite construction, it has also brought raised awareness that the New York area is in for increasingly powerful storms, for which the planned t-groins are no match.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 3:12 AM
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Bloombucks. LOL
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 1:06 PM
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...549500542.html
Quinn Calls for Sea Wall to Shield City
MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL
November 13, 2012


Quote:
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the front-runner in the 2013 race for mayor, outlined Tuesday a series of flood-prevention measures—including the possibility of building a storm surge barrier—that could cost upwards of $20 billion.

Speaking before a civic group two weeks after superstorm Sandy devastated the region, Ms. Quinn described flood protection as the "single most important infrastructure challenge of our time." Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration agreed at the council's request, Ms. Quinn said, to accelerate two studies to identify risks faced by different sections of the city and develop the best strategies for protecting those areas.

Ms. Quinn pointed to the steel gates that protect London from the powerful tides on the River Thames and the barriers that helped protect Stamford, Conn., from the wrath of Sandy last month. For years, Ms. Quinn said, there have been discussions, largely in academic circles, about whether these types of barriers would work in New York City.

"Well, the time for casual debate is over," Ms. Quinn said. "It's now crystal clear that we need to build protective structures. This will include both hard infrastructure, like sea walls, bulkheads or flood gates, and natural defenses, like sand dunes, wetlands and embankments."


Ms. Quinn's comments are a departure from one of her biggest supporters, Mr. Bloomberg, who has raised questions about the cost and effectiveness of storm-surge barriers. "You can't build a wall up to the sky," Mr. Bloomberg, who steps down next year after 12 years at City Hall, said on Friday.

Mr. Bloomberg reiterated those remarks on Tuesday, saying "building a barrier along the whole Atlantic coast is not something that even science can handle, much less the finances of our government."

As the race to succeed Mr. Bloomberg gets under way, his administration's response to the storm and proposals surrounding protecting the city from future storms will, no doubt, be a major issue on the campaign trail. On Monday, mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson, a former city comptroller, lambasted the Bloomberg administration's response to the storm, saying thousands of people in public-housing developments that still don't have power are "being ignored."

"Many seniors, families and city workers are trapped in the cold and dark," Mr. Thompson said. "This is not indicative of a world-class response to a crisis."

Ms. Quinn is the first of the candidates eyeing the mayoralty to deliver a major policy speech on the issue, speaking Tuesday morning before the Association for a Better New York. In the audience were some members of the mayor's administration and Joseph Lhota, the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, who Ms. Quinn lauded for his efforts to restore transit service quickly.

In her speech, the speaker said a storm surge barrier could cost $16 billion; the other measures she discussed could cost an additional $4 billion. The lion's share of these costs should be paid by the federal government, she said.


"We need the federal government to invest in New York's citizens, to help us build New York safer than before," said Ms. Quinn, eliciting a round of applause.
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2012, 7:55 PM
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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...r-8326939.html
Billions spent on flood barriers now might save New York later

Ken Wells and Mark Drajem , Bloomberg News
New York
Sunday 18 November 2012

Quote:
Could a surge-protection barrier have saved New York City from much of the flood ravages of superstorm Sandy?

Malcolm Bowman and other hydrologists are convinced it could have.


Bowman, an oceanographer who has spent much of a 40-year career warily watching the tidal flows in and around New York Harbor, recalls being on the construction site of Manhattan's South Ferry subway station a few years ago.

"It was just a concrete box underground then," said Bowman,, then an observer filming a documentary. He looked up a long stairway leading to blue sky and asked a construction official, "Would you mind telling us how far above sea level is the entrance there at street level?"

Eleven feet, the official said — an elevation designed withstand possible floods from a storm that occurs once in 100 years.

"I said, 'That sounds awfully low to me and, by the way, that storm could come next week,' " said Bowman, a professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center of State University of New York at Stony Brook, Long Island.

The South Ferry station, a $530 million jewel in New York's subway system, opened in March 2009. On Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New York metropolitan area, bringing a record storm surge of 13.88 feet into Battery Park, which abuts South Ferry. The station flooded floor to ceiling, destroying equipment and turning escalator wells and tunnels into caverns deep enough to scuba dive in.

Sandy's relentless, wind-driven tides inundated seven subway tunnels under the East River, immersed electrical substations, and shut down the financial district and power south of 35th Street. It flooded parts of all five boroughs in the city of 8 million and killed more than 100 people in the United States, 42 in New York City.

Bowman says a storm surge barrier to slow and disperse Sandy's floodwaters could have mitigated much of Manhattan's flooding. He's not alone.


A 2009 engineering study by Mahwah, N.J.- based HydroQual estimated that a barrier system involving massive floodgates at key points such as the East River and the Verrazano Narrows would reduce the flooded area of the New York metropolitan region by 25 percent, the population affected by 20 percent, submerged property 35 percent, and cut storm damage to sewage plants and other hazardous waste facilities by half.
Conceptual designs of several such systems were floated at a 2009 conference at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2012, 4:19 PM
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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2012, 10:35 AM
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http://www.registercitizen.com/artic...f705951970.txt
Keeping the oceans back from the shorelines
Sunday, December 02, 2012

Quote:
On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said that the response to Hurricane Sandy will cost $42 billion. On Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) claimed that his state needs nearly as much.

On the same day, a group of climate researchers released calculations that indicate the world’s oceans are rising 60 percent faster than the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change anticipated five years ago. Projecting how Greenland’s ice will behave in a warming world or what will happen to the polar ice caps decades from now is difficult. But sea levels appear to be on track to rise by several feet over the next century, with every inch putting more Americans at risk.

Sea-level researchers Robert Kopp and Benjamin Strauss estimate that a five-foot rise would produce Sandy-like floods in New York every 15 years, on average.

Protecting New York City, America’s skyscraping metropolis, from the advancing ocean is likely to be one of this century’s great infrastructure investments. Some work, such as constructing sea walls and retrofitting subway entrances, is already happening. Part of Cuomo’s $42 billion request includes money to prepare for the next storm — funding for waterproofing electrical infrastructure, retrofitting sewage treatment plants or floodproofing subway tunnels.
The last is especially important; damage to the subway system was the biggest-ticket item in the state’s cost estimates, topping out at $5 billion.


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0c083...44feabdc0.html
Climate: Storm warning
November 29, 2012
By Ed Crooks and Robert Wright







Quote:
City and state authorities have been worrying for years about what would happen if a great storm hit, without doing very much about it. Now they do not have to wonder any longer. The question of how to protect New York and the surrounding area from future storms has become urgent.

“It’s common sense,” said Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York state, this week. “Rather than sustain another $30bn of damage, why don’t you spend some money now to save money in the future?”

Christine Quinn, the speaker of New York City council who is expected to run for mayor next year, has gone further, calling for up to $20bn to be spent on flood defences.


Sandy’s impact has been a dramatic demonstration of a much wider problem: the weakness of vital parts of US infrastructure.

Engineers have put forward plenty of ideas to reduce the damage done by future storms, from a five-mile barrier across the lower bay of New York, to putting back-up generators high up in buildings rather than in basements. There is much that could be done. The question is: will it?

Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado-Boulder, who studies the damage done by hurricanes, argues that although much of the talk since Sandy has been about the possible influence of climate change on the storm, the level of uncertainty in projections of hurricane activity makes it hard to use them as a guide to decision-making.

“The next storm could hit next year or in 20 years,” he says. “The real question for New Yorkers is, given that there will be another storm, what do they want it to look like? And if they don’t want it to look like Sandy, they are going to have to spend some money.”

Not every precaution is expensive. The most important factor in limiting the death toll and damage done by Sandy was effective disaster planning, helped by the early warning of the storm’s approach given by highly accurate weather forecasting using satellite data.

Knowledge that the storm was coming several days in advance enabled governments, businesses and individuals to take precautions ranging from evacuating some areas to moving televisions and stereos out of basements.

“The cost of Sandy was very high but it would have been very much higher without good forecasts,” says Stephane Hallegatte, an economist at the World Bank.

Early warnings made it possible for the MTA to avoid some damage, according to Richard Barone, director of transportation programmes for the Regional Plan Association.

Learning lessons from recent severe weather, the MTA shut services down well before the storm hit, to ensure equipment was kept safe and dry for a quick resumption of service.

Other measures to improve resilience are more expensive. Mr Cuomo has put a price tag of $9bn on what he calls “common sense” actions, such as flood protection for the World Trade Center site and back-up power for the fuel supply system, which suffered disruption for over a week.

Storm gates can be fitted to subway stations, and other defences strengthened. Lower Manhattan suffered a blackout caused by flooding at the electricity substation on the East River at 14th Street, which had a flood wall to protect against a 12-foot storm surge but was overwhelmed by the 14-foot surge caused by Sandy. That flood wall is likely to be raised.


However, many of the changes needed to safeguard New York’s infrastructure would be very expensive. Electricity substations and back-up generators in Manhattan are often located in basements, leaving them vulnerable to flooding. (Goldman Sachs, for example, had the foresight to place its generators on the roof of its headquarters, enabling the firm to keep its lights on when most of the buildings around it went dark.) But moving every piece of electrical infrastructure to a higher elevation would be difficult.

Jeroen Aerts of the Free University of Amsterdam, who is preparing a report on flood defence options for New York City, believes a comprehensive package of reinforcements, including protection for subway stations, airports and Wall Street, could cost about $20bn.

Mr Aerts argues that for about the same price, New York could have a system of flood barriers similar to those that protect London or Rotterdam.

Taking estimates from various engineering companies, he suggests a system of two barriers – the larger spanning five miles from New Jersey to Long Island across the lower bay of New York, with associated reinforcements to beaches at the end of the barriers – would cost $15bn. A more complex system with four barriers would cost $22bn.


With Sandy having cost New York City an estimated $19bn, that might seem like money worth spending, even if the lack of understanding of hurricane activity makes the cost-benefit analysis uncertain.

“If you look only five or 10 years into the future, then it’s probably not worth it,” says Malcolm Bowman, a professor of oceanography at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “But if you look 50 or 100 years ahead, then maybe it is.”


The problem, though, is that even if politicians decide investment in barriers makes sense, financing that scale of infrastructure investment in the US is extremely difficult. For all New York’s wealth and economic importance, there are many cities in Europe, and some in emerging economies such as St Petersburg and Shanghai, with stronger flood defences. The same unflattering comparisons can be applied to rail systems, airports and highways.
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2012, 2:41 AM
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Basically my idea.
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  #38  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 8:03 PM
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http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/3...iers-1204.html
3 Questions: Engineering hurricane barriers of the future
Oceans at MIT interviews MIT's Chiang C. Mei about the possibility of protecting East Coast cities from future storms.

Genevieve Wanucha

Quote:
Q. Hurricane Sandy's devastating blow has left citizens and government officials wondering how the area will fare in future storms. Climate scientists predict that a warming planet will bring fewer but more intense hurricanes with enough power to occasionally hit cities along the entire Eastern seaboard. Given the predictions, do you think we can protect East Coast cities? What would this technology look like and how much would it cost?

A. From an engineering point of view, protecting New York and New Jersey from storm surges is possible. It's also desirable because damage to New York will affect the whole country.

There have been proposals for storm surge barriers in New York City before. In 2009, engineers from Arcadis, a Dutch company, suggested building a barrier half a mile north of Verrazano Narrows Bridge at a cost of $6.5 billion.
Inspired by their experience in Holland, they suggested gates that could swing open and closed; however, the bottom of the New York Harbor is not flat and wide enough for this idea to work.

Specifically, I think it's worth considering having a large gate going from Sandy Hook, N.J. to Rockaway, N.Y., like that proposed in 2009 by Dennis Padron and Graeme Forsythe of the Halcrow Group. Placing it there would be very effective for flood protection for the inner and outer Harbor. It would have prevented a lot of the damage to Hoboken. It is also possible to build sea walls on the land along the coast of Rockaway like they do for tsunami protection in Japan.

For some perspective on cost, consider that when the 2-kilometer long storm barrier for Venice Lagoon, Italy, was started in 1984, it was estimated to cost 2 billion US dollars and now it's costing 4 billion Euro, probably even more by the time it's finished. Because of the greater depth, the longer barrier in New York and New Jersey would cost much more and take ten years or longer.

Q. If we commit to building, e.g., barriers or sea walls, do engineers already have plans ready to implement? Or will the effort require extensive research and time?

A. If you build a gate, you have to consider the consequences to the land, environment, fishing and navigation. So, I think coming up with the design will require a great deal of study beforehand.

Any future designs must fit New York harbor's geographical conditions. This task requires comprehensive numerical modeling of the flow accounting for the bathymetry and the climate conditions, such as that being done at Stony Brook University's Storm Surge Research Group.
We also need to model how the barrier would change sediment transport and coastal morphology over the long-term. I think New York has to have some sort of commission to gather experts from different fields to confer. And, a new design needs to come from a competition.
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  #39  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 8:55 PM
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UPDATED 3:15 PM
Bloomberg Launches Study To Make City Better Prepared For Extreme Weather
By: NY1 News

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stori...xtreme-weather

Quote:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in Downtown Manhattan this morning that he is launching a comprehensive, long-term initiative to help the city fully recover from Hurricane Sandy and protect the five boroughs from eventual climate change.

In a speech to the Regional Plan Association this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stressed that New York City should not avoid developing its waterfront following the devastation of Sandy, but said that future development should take account of rising sea levels and potential storms.

"We're not going to abandon the waterfront," the mayor said, "We're not going to abandon the Rockaways or Coney Island or Staten Island's South Shore.

But we can't just rebuild what was there and hope for the best. We have to build smarter and stronger and more sustainably."

The city's initiative, led by New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky, will make sure building codes and evacuation zone maps are updated and city agencies can provide services in extreme periods of weather like hurricanes, snow storms and heat waves.

Power and transportation networks will also be strengthened so they can withstand a Category 2 hurricane.

Bloomberg also noted that noted that flood maps are in desperate need of updating, as nearly two-thirds of houses affected by Sandy were located outside FEMA's current 100-year flood zone. Surges from Sandy also expanded far beyond the current borders of low-lying Zone A.

"Sea levels are expected to rise by another two-and-a-half feet by the time a child born today reaches 40 years old, and that's going to make surges even more powerful and dangerous," said Bloomberg.

Nevertheless, the mayor downplayed the need for a sea barrier akin to the Thames Barrier in London, claiming the oceans' storm surge tides cannot be contained.

Deputy Mayor of Operations Cas Holloway and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs will prepare a full report on necessary changes, which will be made public by the end of February.

Bloomberg praised other organizations' self-improvements following Sandy, such Consolidated Edison pledging $250 million to improve infrastructure.

Leading environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore introduced Bloomberg at today's event and called the mayor a leader in climate change.

The mayor's speech comes a day after published reports said that President Barack Obama is going to request between $45 billion to $50 billion from Congress for multiple states that were affected by Sandy.

Local lawmakers have expressed concern, as Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated that $42 billion would be needed for New York State alone, including more than $9 billion for infrastructure improvements.

Cuomo, however, refused to speculate on how much Washington will offer the state, saying he is waiting for an official proposal.


© 1999-2012 NY1 News and Time Warner Cable Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2012, 11:04 PM
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Rising sea levels are probably the biggest threat to US and global real estate (and economy by default), as trillions of coastal real estate are discounted to slum prices or rendered worthless. My advice is to rent if you decide to live by the coasts, let it be the landlords problem. Don't throw your life's earnings into the ocean.
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