bizgrrl's picture

Attempting to drive in high

Attempting to drive in high water is not unique to the South.

R. Neal's picture

I think the Mrs. was

I think the Mrs. was referring to some of the photos.

Amazing and frightening that the water could come up that fast. Glad she made it to safety. Bet it was a scary night.

Andy Axel's picture

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel taking on water.

Given that these tunnels go significantly below water, all this excess is going to have to be pumped out; it can't just drain. Even if the capacity to do just that was built into the system, I doubt that they've ever been operating at this sort of sustained volume. And these facilities are about a century old. Same sort of problem that New Orleans faced at some of their facilities.

...and here I found it on Gizmodo:

Most people may not realize it—or never have occasion to think about it—but NYC's subway system is susceptible to flooding. The possibility is quite real. We published this last year, and it still stands:

What most people don't know is that we depend on just 700 fragile water pumps to keep the tunnels dry—some a century old.

In fact, if someone powered down all these pumps tomorrow, the entire subway network would be inundated in just a few hours. To give you an idea of how complex and massive this system is, it pulls 13 million gallons of water out of the subway on any sunny day. No rain. Not even a single drop of water from the sky. If Sandy manages to kill the power or any of the fragile old pumps protecting the system, there may be some serious problems.

On a rainy day, the pump system is absolute chaos, to the point where the MTA—NYC's Metropolitan Transportation Authority—lives in permanent panic, fearing events like Sandy, the hurricane system that is approaching the little town right now. "At some point, it would be too much to handle," said the head of the hydraulics team back in 2006, Peter Velasquez Jr., "you've got rain plus wind. It basically would shut down the system. You hope not. You pray that it doesn't.

"To give you an idea about how bad this could be, some of the oldest pumps in the NYCTA system were bought second-hand from the builders of the Panama Canal. I worked for the TA many years ago and even then the pumps were considered a serious problem. The Panama Canal was finished in 1914."

This means that NYC's hydraulic team—less than two hundred people—are now on full alert, ready to intervene and install additional portable water pumps in whatever stations are needed. This is not an easy task.

CE Petro's picture


No good news from my family -- can't get in touch with my mom, who is in NY (north of the city). Talked to her yesterday, today when I call I get the "can't complete call as dialed" message and occasionally, "please try your call later" message. I checked her local power company for outages, outages nearby her, but none on her street. Kind of freaking out about now.

Other family members are without power, but okay.

Factchecker's picture

Really hope all's OK with

Really hope all's OK with your mom. Pls let us know, CE.

CE Petro's picture


Still not able to contact mom. Found out though, the road she lives on is without power and there doesn't seem to be any significant damage. Talked to the state police last night, they won't check on her unless I can't contact her for a few more days.


Sandy sucks.

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