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Old 04-02-2007, 06:54   #31
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New York City is the American city at second highest risk for potential total economic loss from nearly worst-case hurricane scenarios, preceded only by the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area of Florida. Contributing to this vulnerability are the area’s nearly 1500 miles (about 2400 kilometers) of coastline and that four out of five boroughs are islands, supported by a regional transportation infrastructure that includes approximately 2,200 bridges and tunnels.As Shean indicated, massive development and high population density would make evacuation most difficult.

A Category 3 hurricane, on a worst-case track, could create a surge of up to 25 feet at JFK Airport, 21 feet at the Lincoln Tunnel entrance, 24 feet at the Battery, and 16 feet at La Guardia Airport. These figures do not include the effects of tides nor the additional heights of waves on top of the surge.

Any sea level rise, due to global warming, would present an increased risk of hurricane storm surge, everywhere, including NYC.

The next major hurricane to strike the city is a question of when, not if.

Some of the worst hurricane-related effects in New York's history:

1821: The only hurricane in modern times known to pass directly over parts of New York City pushed the tide up 13 feet in one hour and inundated wharves, causing the East River and the Hudson River to merge across lower Manhattan as far north as Canal Street. Deaths were limited since few lived there at the time.

1893: A category 1 hurricane destroyed Hog Island, a resort island off the Rockaways in southern Queens.

1960: Hurricane Donna created an 11-foot storm tide in the New York Harbor that caused extensive pier damage. Forced 300 families to evacuate Long Island.

1999: Floyd, weakened to a tropical storm, brought sustained 60 mph winds and dumped 10-15 inches of rain on upstate New Jersey and New York State.

2004: The remains of Hurricane Frances in September flooded city subways, stranding some passengers aboard trains that had to be stopped by flooded tracks.

SOURCE: New York City Office of Emergency Management
NYC Hazards: Coastal Storms & Hurricanes

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Old 04-02-2007, 09:48   #32

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During the Northeaster of 1993, when the rivers did indeed come several blocks inland on the south tip of Manhattan and (shhh!) the subway system was "don't bet on it" close to flooding out completely, I suggested to someone that we start a consulting business out of the back of an armoured amphibian. First, so we could get in and out, second, because parking down there is a bitch and if the meter maids can't reach high enough to see your windshield wipers, you'd get fewer tickets.<G>

So yes, I'm aware of the flooding and as the FDR submerges from global will be interesting to see what has to be done to save "Venice on the Hudson". Not to worry, Arthur Imperiale and the alleged NJ Mob won't allow no stinkin' river to cover THEIR property.<G>

But, the Great Canary Island Tsunami....I don't know, I think that's more a boogeyman story. Possible? Yes. Probable? Not from what I've heard about it. More likely I'll be killed by a drunk driver, or a commercial flight that some cheap bastard didn't bother maintaining. (Like the explosive center fuel tanks that downed TWA800, and 24 other aircraft in the prior two years, and STILL have not been remedied in our airlines.)

Islands near Africa going boom? Very low down my list of worries. Not being allowed to shoot back at some bad man on a plane or train? Now, THAT'S a real problem.

NYC OEM is between a rock and a hard place. Ignoring the fact that they've moved from the "sky bunker" in WTC7 to a pier over the Hudson and a good flood would probably take them sailing away. This past summer NYC and several response agencies conducted hurricane drills, to culminate in a citywide drill. The citywide was cancelled on very short notice--because the new bosses have been made aware that the old plans simply wouldn't and couldn't work and it would be a waste of money.

The plans now are to establish some 528(?) shelters as needed. There are no personnel to staff and man that many or anything close to it, but that's another matter. NYC uses the NYC schools for this purpose. We're supposed to be using the NYS Militia Armories as well, but armories cost money, the guys in the few remaining think they are Regular Army (they're State Guard and National Guard, a dual role here), and the city has converted some to homeless shelters, others to auction houses, sold more to real estate developers. That's cheaper than spending money to maintain them, and besides, most of the schools are built pretty well actually.

Anyway...there are some real issues here, like evacuating the elderly and infirm from the high-rises in the Rockaways. The bottom line is that even with a 48-hour confirmed storm track, there are not enough medevac resources in the nation to get those people out to safety by any conventional means. A Cat3 or higher means there simply will be no choice except to abandon a large number of people in the low-lying areas, it is not physically possible to evacuate or shelter them.

Ain't a pretty picture. Ain't publicized much, because of that. But NYC-OEM is aware of it, and supposedly trying to figure out a better policy. Not an easy task.

It would probably have to center on abandoning the infirm and conducting a "Berlin airlift" out of JFK and LGA, and using AmTrak for caravans (a lesson FEMA admits to learning from Katrina) because our highways are running at literally 2x the maximum safe capacity even on weekend early mornings. (They can run at something like 6x-8x safe capacity if they slow down to a crawl, but as the evacs in Texas showed, that's not going anywhere.)

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Old 04-02-2007, 20:26   #33
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Only someone as nervous as me would know this link off the top of my head. This is a great flood projection map. I'm sure this guys been getting tons of hits off of that cnn story.

Flood Maps

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