Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Is New York Ready for a Hurricane?
The 2007 hurricane season is in full swing and many experts predicted an above average storm activity this year. Scientists and meteorologists predict that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30, has a 75% chance of being above normal in activity. "NOAA scientists predict 13 to 17 named storms, with seven to ten becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher," said a NOAA official. An average season sees 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.
As Hurricane Dean steam rolled into the coast of Mexico today as a mammoth Category 5 hurricane, (the most intense Atlantic storm to make landfall in two decades) it makes New Yorkers wonder how ready the city is to handle such a storm. According to the Office of Emergency Management coastal storms, including nor'easters, tropical storms and hurricanes, can and do affect New York City. In fact, New York's densely populated and highly developed coastline makes the city among the most vulnerable to hurricane-related damage.
Due to regional geography, hurricanes in New York City — though infrequent — can do far more damage than hurricanes of similar strength in the southern United States. With sustained winds of 74 mph or greater, hurricanes can flatten buildings, topple trees and turn loose objects into deadly projectiles. Along with torrential rains, storm surge is among a hurricane's most hazardous features. A major hurricane could push more than 30 feet of storm surge into some parts of New York City.
On August 8th the city was hit with heavy rains (not a hurricane) which caused massive flooding, sewer back-ups, severe property damaged and crippled the transportation system. What would have happened if a category 3 hurricane made landfall? The city needs to start taking measures to ensure that we are prepared to handle such a storm. The Department of Environmental Protection needs to formulate a comprehensive plan on how to improve the sewer infrastructure so that it can effectively drain water to protect homes and residents. In addition the MTA must make major capital improvements to protect the transit system from severe weather conditions so that it operates effectively, efficient and safely.
New Yorkers deserve to be protected!
Hurricane Safety Tips
Posted by Patrick Henry at 10:30 AM