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Earth News

Brainstorming Ways To Protect NYC From Real Storms 203

SternisheFan writes with this excerpt from NBC News: "The killer storm that hit the East Coast last month and left the nation's largest city with a crippled transit system, widespread power outages and severe flooding has resurfaced the debate about how best to protect a city like New York against rising storm surges. In a 2011 report called 'Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan,' NYC's Department of City Planning listed restoring degraded natural waterfront areas, protecting wetlands and building seawalls as some of the strategies to increase the city's resilience to climate change and sea level rise. 'Hurricane Sandy is a wake-up call to all of us in this city and on Long Island,' Malcolm Bowman, professor of physical oceanography at State University of New York at Stony Brook, told NBC News' Richard Engel. 'That means designing and building storm-surge barriers like many cities in Europe already have.' Some of the projects showcased at Rising Currents include: Ways to make the surfaces of the city more absorptive (through porous sidewalks) and more able to deal with water, whether coming from the sea or sky; Parks and freshwater and saltwater wetlands in Lower Manhattan; Artificial islands or reefs (including ones made of recycled glass) to make the shoreline more absorptive and break the waves."
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Brainstorming Ways To Protect NYC From Real Storms

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  • Re:my idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Saturday November 10, 2012 @05:51PM (#41945443)

    Every new construction area in the country must be daft then, because that's how it's done these days. You should get out more often.

    Road repair seldom penetrates more than 3 feet. Lines sre overlaid wit plastic warning webs that stops excavation workers in their tracks. Call before you dig is the norm everywhere in North America. There are already water, gas, telephone, and cable trenches everywhere.

    It's the norm. Its not any different than business as usual for the construction crews.

  • Re:Look to Tokyo (Score:4, Informative)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @06:31PM (#41945721) Homepage Journal

    Tokyo is sheltered from the sea in an inlet. NYC sticks right out into the Atlantic seaboard. What they do in Tokyo won't work in NYC.

    Oh, I dunno about that. I have two Google Maps windows on my screen right now, one of the New York area, the other of the Tokyo area, at the same scale. True, the details are different, but overall they don't seem to be very different in their exposure to the nearby oceans.

    If anything, it looks like New York is better protected, especially Manhattan Island. It's at the north end of the 8-mile-lond Upper Bay, which has a rather narrow (~1 mile) opening into the Lower Bay, which in turn has a couple of barrier islands and a lot of continental shelf between Manhattan and the deep ocean.

    Tokyo is on the much larger Tokyo Bay, which is rather serpentine, and connected to the Inland Sea by the Uraga channel, around 6 miles wide. But the city area is near the eastern end of the Inland Sea, with no significant continental shelf. So if anything, Tokyo is more exposed, by the closeness of the open ocean and deep water, with wider channels to the central city area.

    But overall, they don't look all that different. And Tokyo has the extra problem of being in an active volcanic zone, while New York's geological underpinnings are much older and stabler.

    I'd guess that, all things considered, New York's geological, hydrographic and meteorological environment is somewhat safer than Tokyo's, though probably not by much. The general cost of protecting them isn't really all that different.

    The difference is that the Japanese are well aware of the dangers inherent in their natural environment, while New Yorkers are either oblivious or arrogantly sure that God/Nature/whatever is on their side. The Japanese weren't all that surprised by the recent epic earthquake and tsunami. New Yorkers seem surprised and offended that the natural world could do something catastrophic to them.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Saturday November 10, 2012 @07:29PM (#41946149)

    Since the killer 1938 hurricane we haven't had a single strong storm

    Care to make a statement that isn't easily refuted [] by 20 seconds of searching on wikipedia? The 1938 storm may have been the strongest but it wasn't even close to the only strong storm to hit NYC.

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