Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Emergency planning geniuses

The city’s plan to get people out of the path of a hurricane might make anyone uncomfortable who remembers Aug. 8, 2007.

That’s when three inches of rain came down in one hour and flooding shut down the subway.

City’s hurricane plan: Flood-prone subway

“We would use our mass-transit system to evacuate the majority of people,” said Amy Schultz of the Office of Emergency Management at a City Council hearing yesterday.

An OEM brochure offers the same advice: “If the city issues an evacuation order ... use public transportation if possible.”

Photo from Gothamist


KG2V said...

I was invited to the Hurricane Planning sessions a few years back. That was the same plan. The BIG problem is we are talking a string Cat III or a Cat IV, even with the subways working, they have to start evacuating about 60 hours before landfall, and the typical "it might hit" is say 20% at that point. Picture the OEM saying 'we are only running evacuation trains' starting 2 days before it starts raining! And actually getting people to leave. They figure they have to have the evacuation DONE 6 hours before landfall. Hahahahahahah - NYers won't leave until it's too late. I know that once sustained winds hit some speed (I think it's 40 or 50) - all the bridges will be closed, and I think it's at 60 MPH, that's it - NO emergency response until after the storm - you are on your own.

It's a joke. We KNOW, and they know, it can't be done. Heck, the "probable" hit zone 72 hours ahead will probably cover eastern Suffolk to Central NJ - so THEY will be busy evacuating too

who don't like pizza said...

One also must remember that in the North Atlantic, hurricanes travel at a much faster rate of speed as they travel north due in part to the Gulf Stream. This is why the Great 1938 Hurricane -- dubbed the "Long Island Express" -- hit with little advance warning. So any kind of warning may be too little, too late.

Anonymous said...


If that wall of water
reaches the 3rd rail
and forms a direct line
of conductivity to anybody,
then they're toast!

No problem. Cut the power.
Then everybody can scramble around
in the dark.

Sounds like a "great" municipal plan for creating a disaster!

Cap'n Transit said...

Yes, the subway should be improved, but at least we have trains! One of the reasons the Katrina evacuations were such a disaster was because the evacuation plans relied entirely on everyone in the area having their own cars working and available in time for the evacuation - and somehow all managing to fit on the small number of highways leading inland.

The evacuation plans should make much better use of commuter railroad stations that can be reached without relying on third rails or tunnels. We could evacuate a ton of people using diesel engines to take passenger trains across the Hell Gate Bridge and the Park Avenue Bridge to points north.