Sherrell Dorsey

Can Mayor Bloomberg’s Steel Panels Save New York From Flooding During the Next Super Storm?

by , 05/22/13

Wetlands, storm surge barriers, Catherine seavitt nordenson, governor Cuomo, mayor Bloomberg, rockaway, sandy hook, new york harbor, hurricane sandy, ny flooding, newton creek, staten island, ny waterfront, ny waterways

With only seven months before he makes his final departure from his post as mayor, there is speculation that Mayor Bloomberg wants to end his term by building barriers along they NYC waterfront to protect against future storms. A number of sources say that the mayor will propose the installation of several removable steel panels in key flood-prone areas, including a permanent barricade at Newtown Creek, a toxic waterway that sits between Brooklyn and Queens. The verdict is still out about whether the mayor’s possible plans will actually be effective and worth the price tag to prevent major damage to the city during hurricanes to come.

Wetlands, storm surge barriers, Catherine seavitt nordenson, governor Cuomo, mayor Bloomberg, rockaway, sandy hook, new york harbor, hurricane sandy, ny flooding, newton creek, staten island, ny waterfront, ny waterways

After Hurricane Sandy hit the city back in October, Governor Cuomo also proposed installing barriers, which would cost the city a hefty $10 billion to build. However, experts disagree that this is the only way to go. In an interview with Science Daily, Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, associate professor of landscape architecture in CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture, argued that these protective barriers run the risk of increasing impact in other areas where the water would eventually disperse.

Another solution on the table is a pilot program in Staten Island that would include manmade islands and wetlands. Installation of this kind of giant sponge offers a soft infrastructure concept that would use a natural ecology technique to absorb the water, reduce storm damage and disperse wave energy. This option would cost the city a few million to install—not the billions of dollars proposed by using barriers. NY1 also reports that the mayor’s team is still speaking with experts and no final decisions have been made.

“I think we have to do what Governor Cuomo has asked for, and that’s [sic] is an engineering analysis of storm surge barriers across the major entrances to New York Harbor, Rockaway to Sandy Hook, and then the East River,” said oceanographer Malcolm Bowman to NY1. “Because nothing less will protect the major airports, the shipping facilities, all the infrastructure that we saw devastated during Sandy.”

Via NY1

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1 Comment

  1. rahra June 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I’m a greenie, I was a big contributer to Greenpeace, before I got axed…. BUT…..
    Anyone who thinks a few acres of man made marshes and oyster beds 20 feet underwater will do anything is clearly not well traveled or experienced.
    Folks, NEW ORLEANS sits behind over 60 MILES of swamps, depleted by mankinds best efforts to destroy them, but still there, and at the least, they represent 60 MILES of sea level muck and greenery. That is without a doubt 59.9 more miles than ANYTHING a few million bucks will build in front of Staten Island, filling up NY Harbor, Jamaica Bay, and the narrows leading into the bay, oh and Long Island sound, where half the flooding came from. NY Harbors “sponge” was the Jersey Meadow lands, hundreds of square miles of at sea level marsh any flood water coming into the harbor could just wash into. Anyone want to call the gov of NJ and see if he’ll vacate the Meadowlands to save NY the cost of putting in any real protection? Better to hit him up for half the costs, since a harbor defense saves the low lying Meadowlands development. I applaud the mayors efforts, and am shocked that No 1 on the list wasn’t the Battery Tunnel! Ck out roughdesigns. com for quick easy fixes to protect NY until REAL protection is installed over the decades.