As the earth changes from climate change, it creates many threats or risks to different regions. Some people experience drought for example, while others experience heat waves. New York City, the region that I am from, is built on three islands, and because of rising sea levels and poor drainage systems, flooding is its biggest threat. Floods are dangerous as they can damage roadways, hinder transportation, cause the loss of human lives, and destroy property. Adding to the intensity of floods is sea level rise due to melting glaciers, another climate change impact. Floods can be deadly. Damp or wet environments for example, can attract molds, and detours on roads can cause great inconveniences including the loss of productivity and jobs. In rural areas, the impacts are usually worse. Flooding is very apparent in low areas such as Coney Island and the Belt Parkway because of inefficient drainage systems. Even so, New York City experienced the devastation that floods can bring during Superstorm Sandy.
During Superstorm Sandy significant damages occurred mostly around bodies of the water; levels around the coast rose to 9 feet. Many homes were flooded or completely destroyed predominantly around the Far Rockaway area, and inland flooding destroyed streets. Lower Manhattan had its power completely shut off because water flooded out a transformer short, circuiting the power. Impacts such as these can be very detrimental. Without electricity, hospitals are unable to function optimally which can result in deaths. Traffic lights are also unable to function without electricity, which leads to accidents.
The New York subway system was impacted the most. Some stations were deemed unusable, and various tunnels were corroded by water. The newly created South Ferry station needed to be completely redone, so the old inefficient terminal station had to be utilized until its renovation. The A train could no longer cross the bridge to travel to Far Rockaway, Queens, so MTA officials needed to bring subway cars via trucks to Far Rockaway and create a temporary new line.. Tunnels that were damaged are still being repaired to this day and the night service decreased to accommodate construction, The damages cost the MTA millions of dollars, and the process of renovation is still ongoing.
Since I live in the middle of New York City, I am not affected by flooding. Flooding however, is still rampant. Obstacles over rains cause a buildup of water, so heavy rains cause massive flooding. This causes traffic to move slowly and floods subway stations. Until climate change is slowed and the sea level rise is diminished, we will have to work reducing the impacts of flooding by implementing a complete overhaul of the drainage system. If we can redesign the drainage system to be more efficient, it can reduce the amount of flooding in New York City and save the city millions of dollars in damages.
- Neuhauser, Alan. “MTA Resurrects H Train to Aid Sandy-Stricken Rockaways.” DNAinfo New York, DNAinfo New York, 19 Nov. 2012, https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121119/rockaways/mta-resurrects-h-train-aid-sandy-stricken-rockaways.
- Barone, Vincent. “MTA Continues to Rebuild 4 Years after Sandy.” Am New York, Am New York, 29 Oct. 2016, https://www.amny.com/transit/superstorm-sandy-nyc-mta-continues-to-rebuild-four-years-later-1.12516779.
- Brown, Nicole. “Sandy’s Impact on the City, by the Numbers.” Am New York, Am New York, 29 Oct. 2018, https://www.amny.com/news/sandy-nyc-damage-1.14555186.