Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Mayor and governor differ over barrier

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has ruled out the construction of a flood barrier to protect the city from future storms like Hurricane Sandy.

Bloomberg said he was not convinced that a barrier would deliver value for money. Instead he urged building owners to focus on flood resilience such as removing backup generators from basements.

“In terms of [what can be done to better protect] infrastructure - some of it is practical reality,” said Bloomberg. “We live on an island; we are very concentrated; there are economics involved. There are risks when you have those factors,” he said, adding that the energy and transport infrastructure knocked out by Sandy was too widespread to be defended by engineered structures.

“We should learn from this disaster”

Andrew Cuomo

“Even if you spend a fortune I am not sure you would get value for it,” he said.

“What we have to do is learn,” he said. “It would help if you didn’t put generators in the basement, and it would help if you tested them more. There is work do on those kinds of things,” he said.

However New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo did not rule out some form of engineered solution, and said “a lot of money” would need to be spent looking at options.

“We should learn from this disaster,” said Cuomo highlighting that climate change meant the city might have to plan for such floods every four or five years,” he said.

“This city grew up because of its harbour; its location. We have to now protect ourself from it. How to make sure that next time there is a 14 foot (4m) surge that Manhattan is not flooded.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.