Vulnerability of Infrastructure Revealed During Hurricane Sandy

The storm that crippled the New York City region has revealed the extreme vulnerability of its transportation and electricity infrastructure and highlights the need to better protect subways, tunnels, low-lying roads, and power substations as sea levels rise

New York City flooding Sandy

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Flooding in New York City’s Financial District
and storms produce higher seawater surges in the future. New York City and the surrounding area experienced unprecedented damage to its transportation infrastructure, with the subway system knocked out for an estimated four to five days, several major tunnels flooded, regional rail lines crippled, and highways and roads underwater. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday morning that the city and the state may have to consider building a levee to protect lower Manhattan, where waters rose 10 feet above flood stage. Other experts suggested that other significant steps will have to be taken to protect New York City, including building sea gates that would keep surging storm waters out of New York Harbor. Climate scientists said that the impact of hurricanes can be expected to become more severe as temperatures increase and sea levels rise by an estimated three to six feet this century.