Monday, October 11, 2021

Drip, Drip, Drip ...

Yours truly has videotaped and walked NYC for years as seen by the numerous NYC blurbs posted in this blog but this piece is not about the wonders of Gotham bu rather about the persistent weather related problems that will not go away in the city that never sleeps. In It won't take much, tropical storm Elsa flooded many subway stations and made roadways a mess. The pix above shows what a weakened hurricane Ida could do but this kind of event is just a prelude because by 2080, NYC will have a climate akin to Jonesboro, AK and, due to global warming, the city will become a much wetter place without question.

New York City saw it coming. In May, in the kind of clarifying document that invariably gets noticed when it’s too late, the city mapped out the sort of devastation that Hurricane Ida would bring just a few months later.

Ida put an exclamation point on realities that New York was already grappling with. Like other parts of the world, the report notes, the city is confronting not just calamitous extreme events like the inundations of Ida. It’s the drip, drip of “the chronic worsening of average conditions.”

The message of the New York City Stormwater Resiliency Plan is that, weatherwise, the scale of everything has changed. The city’s current infrastructure — its roads, subway tunnels, sewer systems, storm drains — is not built to withstand the climate-related ravages to come. As a result, the report states, capital investments “provide diminishing returns, as it becomes more and more challenging to treat the large volumes of stormwater released in extreme events.”

According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, by the end of the 21st century, the city could experience as much as 25% more annual rainfall. The number of days marked by extreme rain would also markedly increase.

Remember ... Manhattan, situated between two rivers and all the power driving the city residing in the subways, gives one pause because ... with just a 6" water rise, NYC becomes toast as the pumps, which already run 24/7 to keep the East River and the Hudson under control, will not be able to keep essential systems dry in any way, shape or fashion. Something to think about don't you think?

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