Storm offers a host of challenges above ground and below - New York News

Storm offers a host of challenges above ground and below

Posted: Updated:

Hurricane Sandy's powerful rain and winds present a slew of problems from the trains underground to the skyscrapers overhead. 

New York City has a bunch of features that threaten to make hurricanes an urban disaster: 

SUBWAY:

The NYC subway system carries 5 million riders on an average weekday and sits anywhere from one story to 180 feet underground. Pumps can clear 13 million to 15 million gallons of water out of the subway on an average day but there is a strong possibility they could be overwhelmed if a storm surge sent water pouring down subway entrances and sidewalk grates. For example, a 1992 winter storm that packed an 8-foot storm surge knocked out a commuter train line for 10 days. The city has sent workers to cover subway grates with plywood in Lower Manhattan to prevent flooding.   

Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the subway system to shut down at 7 p.m. Sunday; the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's buses and commuter rails also will be halted. The MTA was shut down 14 months ago during Hurricane Irene, for the first time for weather-related reasons.  

UNDERGROUND POWER:

Manhattan alone has some 21,000 miles of power lines beneath its streets. Con Edison has said most of the belowground equipment is sealed to protect it from flooding, but the utility said it was considering cutting power to 17,000 customers in Lower Manhattan if the surge is so severe it threatens underground lines since saltwater is more damaging to equipment if power is on.  

STEAM, WATER AND GAS:

Those lines are nestled in the 30 feet of ground below the power and telecommunications lines. However, cool water and hot steam pipes are a bad combination and Con Ed is considering shutting down the service -- used for hot water, heat and air conditioning. 

SEWER:

New York City carries sewage and storm runoff in the same pipes to treatment plants which is different from more modern wastewater systems. Even moderate storms often overwhelm the system and force officials to release untreated sewage into the city's waterways.

TALL BUILDINGS:

Most New York buildings are designed to handle the winds forecast from the coming storm, but there's always the possibility of loose debris breaking windows, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. High-rise residents can also face the loss of elevator service and water if power goes out.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Federal authorities to monitor Newark police

    Federal authorities to monitor Newark police

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:37:12 GMT
    Newark police engaged in the excessive use of force, routinely stopped people on the street for no legitimate reason and regularly stole property from civilians, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded in a report released Tuesday that set the stage for federal monitoring of the police department that serves New Jersey's largest city. The report is the culmination of a three-year investigation begun months after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint.
    Newark police engaged in the excessive use of force, routinely stopped people on the street for no legitimate reason and regularly stole property from civilians, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded in a report released Tuesday that set the stage for federal monitoring of the police department that serves New Jersey's largest city. The report is the culmination of a three-year investigation begun months after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint.
  • White flags raised at Brooklyn Bridge

    White flags raised at Brooklyn Bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:22:00 GMT
    The NYPD is investigating a major security breach at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City. Two white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The flags had a faint appearance of the stars and stripes. The American flags that are normally up at the bridge appeared to have been removed.
    The NYPD is investigating a major security breach at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City. Two white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The flags had a faint appearance of the stars and stripes. The American flags that are normally up at the bridge appeared to have been removed.
  • FAA bans all flights to Tel Aviv airport

    FAA bans all flights to Tel Aviv airport

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:52:42 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices