Jan. 15, 2013. The claw of a demolition vehicle brings down a house, which was irreparably damaged by flood waters during Hurricane Sandy, in the Ocean Breeze neighborhood of Staten Island, New York. Picture: Justin Lane/EPA
A sign stands outside a home devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Breezy Point section of Queens, on January 15, 2013. Picture: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
A crane pulls the roof off of a house severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the Staten Island borough of New York, on January 14, 2013. Several Staten Island homes damaged beyond repair by Sandy are being demolished. Picture: Seth Wenig/AP Photo
Homes severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy bear warnings on Staten Island in New York, on January 10, 2013. The November storm damaged or destroyed 305,000 housing units in New York and more than 265,000 businesses were disrupted in the state. Picture: Seth Wenig/AP Photo
Some of the thousands of storm-damaged vehicles, stored on runways and taxiways at Calverton Executive Airpark in New York, on January 9, 2013. The town of Riverhead is charging $3,200 a month per acre, and estimates it will earn $2.7 million by the time the auctions are complete. Picture: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
New York considers massive floodgates to protect against storms.
by Alex Ulam. Dec 3, 2012
Hurricane Sandy has made it abundantly clear that addressing New York’s vulnerability to storm surges and rising sea levels is of paramount importance. Through the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, the Bloomberg Administration has commissioned a study of major flood barrier infrastructure, with a draft report due in February.
“This hurricane has put everything upside down,” said Jeroen Aerts. Aerts, a professor of environmental studies at the Free University of Amsterdam, spoke in a phone interview from Holland, where he has been working for the past few years on the draft report.
Aerts said that his instructions from the city were to do a cost-benefit analysis of two strategies. “One is looking at upgrading the current regulations—focusing more on building codes, zoning regulations, and flood insurance—as compared to developing levees and surge barriers,” he said.
Currently, Aerts and his team are analyzing two gate options. One, which would cost about $10 billion, involves a set of gates running between Sandy Hook and Breezy Point, and another in the East River in the area of Throgs Neck and the Whitestone Bridge. The second option, estimated to cost about $17 billion, involves three to four barriers that would cut off the Arthur Kill tidal strait between New Jersey and Staten Island, the Verrazano Narrows, the East River, and perhaps Jamaica Bay.”
A house in the Osprey Park section of Mastic Beach is covered by an American flag. FEMA is now on the ground accessing damage. Osprey Park’s frontage along the Moriches Bay left the area very exposed to Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge. Besides the houses right along the bay which suffered wind and water damage, houses inland experienced extensive flooding.