Monday, May 7, 2007

Storm surge scenario

From yesterday's New York Times:

Nicholas K. Coch, a hurricane expert at Queens College, predicts that a Category 3 hurricane (the strength of Hurricane Katrina when it hit Louisiana) making landfall just west of the Hudson River Estuary would result in a greatly amplified storm surge, owing to the piling up of coastal waters in the almost right angle formed by the New Jersey and Long Island shores. Surge levels would rise to 20 feet at the Statue of Liberty and more than 26 feet in Jamaica Bay. This would cause extensive flooding of the New Jersey shore, Staten Island and Lower Manhattan, the Rockaways and Coney Island, southern Brooklyn, much of Queens, part of Long Island City and Astoria, and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and continue on to the Westchester shore.

Local Forecast: Bad

New York Press tackled this issue in 2005:

New York's second vulnerability is demographic. During the decades of calm between major hurricanes, the city grows and forgets. During the great hurricane of 1821, only 152,000 people lived in New York City. When the next major, direct hit came in 1893, the city's population was 2.5 million. At the time of the 1938 storm, Long Island wasn't a densely populated suburban sprawl; it was a rural home for oyster fishermen, potato farmers and wealthy industrialists. The same storm today would wreak incredible havoc. AIR Worldwide Corporation estimates $11.6 billion in New York losses alone.

THE BIG ONE

Photo from NY Press

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Storm surge is just one problem.

How many "in-the-rush-to-get-built".....poorly constructed high rise "curtain wall" type buildings can withstand the (up to) 130 mile per hour winds that, I believe, were clocked during the great 1938 hurricane?

In Tokyo, Japan, earthquake factors are calculated into the design of new buildings. In New York developers don't seem to include natural disaster scenarios in their design equations! They just build take.... their huge profits.....and hope for the best!

When that gracefully curved facade W.R. Grace building (on the north side of 42nd Street, between 5th & 6th Aves.) first went up.....there were dangers of some of the glass windows popping out due to wind surge.

I know because I worked two buildings adjacent and remembered how the street had to be closed during a storm (once or twice) to avoid danger to pedestrians below of razor sharp glass window shards showering the sidewalks until the design flaw was corrected!

The aging Javits Convention Center (which sinks into the land fill site....perhaps an 1/2 inch?? per year) slightly twisting and misaligning the fenestration....could eventually become a danger.

I was assigned there once....and this was confirmed to me by the regulars who have worked there for years! Maybe that's why the city discussed rebuilding it in the future!

The City Corp. Building (Manhattan) shortly after it was built, was about to face a major predicted hurricane. I believe, (according to a TV account...aired about 2 or 3 years back on NY skyscrapers) instead of welded joints in critical areas, bolts had been used and there was a rush to do some last minute shoring up to add strength.

The prediction (according to engineers) was that if hit.....the tower would fall down to the north and level about a 3 or 4 block swath in its wake!

The TV' program's commenting structural engineer had stated that he wondered how many other previously built skyscrapers in NYC had similar design deficiencies!

Then, of course, we have the World Trade Center example of elevator shafts that weren't fireproofed properly! Ah....those "master builders" of greed!

Note: Read Ibsen's "Master Builder".....a great metaphoric saga of extreme egotism!

Anonymous said...

Hello Gioia?

Hello Community Boards 1 & 2?

Hello Gazette and the whole pack of developer drooling weaklies?

Hello Bloomberg?

Anyone want to step up to the plate on this one, you know, level with the public for a refeshing change?

KG2V said...

No kidding - and you know what happens to that whole area by Shea that they want to rebuild? (the Iron Triangle) ...

I t goues under water in a strong cat 1

Anonymous said...

Yes ..."kg2v".....and all that "shit" that's buried far beneath the soil will boil up its ghastly contaminated brew!

The water table will rise and reveal
Shulman's lies! "It's a a great place for development"!

Water does seek its own level.

CORNHOLIO said...

BEAVIS: Hey Butt-Head check out that storm surge. Do you see what I see. heh-heh-heh-heh

BUTT-HEAD: I got a storm surge right here. heh-heh-heh-heh

georgetheatheist said...

Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep,
So beware! Beware!

Beavis & Butt-Head said...

BEAVIS: Hey Butt-Head what's with that guy george the atheist. Is he Cornholio? Haa-haa-haa

BUTT-HEAD: Beavis you dumb ass, you are Cornholio.

BEAVIS: haa-haa-haa . . . I AM CORNHOLIO! I need T.P. for my bunghole.