Comments on: How to protect New York from disaster http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/09/11/how-to-protect-new-york-from-disaster/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: bryanX http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/09/11/how-to-protect-new-york-from-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-43093 Thu, 13 Sep 2012 21:07:04 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17467#comment-43093 When Irene came shooting up the Harbor, just such a scenario was possible.
Had the storm slowed down or altered course in such a way to intensify/prolong the surge, far more damage would have occurred. “Missed it by THAT much.”
That was the shot across the bow. No one seems to have taken notice.
Haven taken 6 inches of flooding in my apartment due to underground storm surge (that’s water surging through the ground from the nearby harbor), I am not likely to forget any time soon. At least we didn’t get sewage or 3-foot-deep flooding like some of our neighbors did.
If you really want to scare the hell out of yourself, look into earthquake scenarios. Thousands of unreinforced masonry buildings throughout the city. Brooklyn sitting on a “glacial moraine”, essentially a loose jangly pile of rocks left over from the last ice age. It only takes a shaker of about 5 to 6 on the Richter scale to trigger the worst disaster this country has ever seen: liquefaction, collapsed buildings, extreme catastrophe.
Luckily the frequency of such an event around here is every 300-600 years.
It could happen tomorrow or not for a few hundred years. No one knows, we won’t see it coming, and there’s no way to properly prepare for it.
Do you feel lucky?

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By: GRRR http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/09/11/how-to-protect-new-york-from-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-43046 Wed, 12 Sep 2012 01:30:48 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17467#comment-43046 Felix, with a rising ocean level, it won’t matter if you added a trillion square feet of green roofs and bioswales (by the way, for an example of sidewalk bioswales, see: http://goo.gl/ks7cL).

Green roofs and bioswales mitigate the need to expand sewer capacity and storm overflow, first and foremost. Because they divert storm water into natural filtration and slow the process of rain water flow, they buffer a lot of storm-induced river flooding.

But in a hurricane or as a result of global warming, a rising ocean with salt water would end up killing most of the plants in these bioswales. And the sheer amount of water would simply overwhelm the bioswales. You saw what happened when the tsunami hit Japan; it’s almost the same thing — a higher, localized ocean level (whether from a storm surge or a tsunami) cannot be mitigated, even if you had a million acres of farmland. The tsunami sea wall was their best hope, but it was too short.

If NYC is like most other cities in the US, then combined sewer overflow goes directly into a major body of water. Bioswales and green roofs help stop storm water from entering and overloading the sewer system which in turn prevents untreated sewage from being dumped. But what happens when the water table is so high (from either a storm surge or global warming), as to push that sewer water backwards? You’ve seen it occasionally but you might expect to see it with greater frequency in the future: crap flows backwards and up into homes.

A sea wall is only just the beginning.

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By: GRRR http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/09/11/how-to-protect-new-york-from-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-43045 Wed, 12 Sep 2012 01:25:22 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17467#comment-43045 Felix, with a rising ocean level, it won’t matter if you added a trillion square feet of green roofs and bioswales (by the way, for an example of sidewalk bioswales, see: http://goo.gl/ks7cL).

Green roofs and bioswales mitigate the need to expand sewer capacity and storm overflow, first and foremost. Because they divert storm water into natural filtration and slow the process of rain water flow, they buffer a lot of storm-induced river flooding.

But in a hurricane or as a result of global warming, a rising ocean with salt water would end up killing most of the plants in these bioswales. And the sheer amount of water would simply overwhelm the bioswales. You saw what happened when the tsunami hit Japan; it’s almost the same thing — a higher, localized ocean level (whether from a storm surge or a tsunami) cannot be mitigated, even if you had a million acres of farmland. The tsunami sea wall was their best hope, but it was too short.

If NYC is like most other cities in the US, then combined sewer overflow goes directly into a major body of water. Bioswales and green roofs help stop storm water from entering and overloading the sewer system which in turn prevents untreated sewage from being dumped. But what happens when the water table is so high (from either a storm surge or global warming), as to push that sewer water backwards? You’ve seen it occasionally but you might expect to see it with greater frequency in the future: crap flows backwards and up into homes.

A sea wall is only just the beginning.

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By: Curmudgeon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/09/11/how-to-protect-new-york-from-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-43031 Tue, 11 Sep 2012 20:55:23 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=17467#comment-43031 >>I’m a little bit unclear myself on exactly what those are, but they sound very green.

Ah, you’re being very tongue-in-cheek here, right? If not, my respect for you just went down several notches.

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