Friday, November 18, 2011
We could be underwater soon
Within decades, New York subway tunnels could be flooded in under an hour during a major storm, according to a new report released yesterday.
Another storm like Tropical Storm Irene could cripple the subway system and flood JFK and LaGuardia airports, predicted researchers from Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Cornell University and the City University of New York in the report.
By 2020, the sea levels around Manhattan could rise by 10 inches. Researchers warned of a possible four-foot rise in sea levels by 2080, if the glaciers continue to melt at their current rate, the scientists said.
That would jeopardize the entire New York City subway system, they warned, putting it at risk of extreme flooding every 10 years. Right now the system is at risk of extreme flooding every 100 years.
New York City has long been reported as at risk for flooding, but yesterday’s report crystallized just how quickly low-lying areas of the city, such as nearly all of Lower Manhattan, could be underwater.