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Flood Walls for Subways: N.Y. Commission Urges Safeguards Against Future Storms

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A commission was formed by governor cuomo officially in January 11th which released the report that recommends short term and long term protections in transportation and with building codes. This report suggests that improvements in insurance coverage should be made, and ways to finance those improvements.

In cuomos statement he stated “I thank the Rockefeller foundation and the extraordinary member of the commission for their hard work in developing these preliminary recommendations on a short timeline, and applaud their comprehensiveness and the vision they lay out for the future of New York State.”

The commission, in the report, calls for two more tunnels in manhattan, another Long Island rail road track and a rapid bus system.

$60 billion has been spent in federal relief funds to cover the damage done by hurricane sandy. The storm knocked out electricity to more than 2 million customers in the east. There were at least 120 deaths due to Sandy.

The measures in this latest report include:

• Raising some rail lines and signals above projected flood levels.

• Waterproofing subways and electronics sensitive to saltwater.

• Greater attention to the drinking water supply. The state’s 30- and 40-year-old wastewater systems statewide were overwhelmed by storms the last two years, the report said.

• Burying key energy lines underground to reduce damage from downed wires.

• A rapid bus transit network in dedicated lanes to reduce dependence on subways in lower Manhattan and allow exits to outer boroughs.

• Well-stocked and disaster-protected safe havens with generators in schools, hospitals and government buildings as well as big-box stores and shopping malls willing to be sanctuaries in exchange for incentives and support.

• Adding water pumps at airports with emergency generators that, along with other measures, would have kept airports open during Sandy. The report notes airports are a critical piece in long-term relief efforts.

• Allowing the growth of new grasses in wetland such as the Fire Island Wilderness breach. This would be part of more natural and man-made barriers that could also increase public access to the shore and reduce “urban heat island effects.”

• Installing barriers and gates to prevent flooding of docks and ports.

• A state fuel depot.

• Coordination of skilled residents such as electricians to respond to disaster and training for all residents to respond to disaster.


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