Sandy came, ravaged New York City, and then left us with the following question: How can we better prepare the city for future storms? Science tells us to expect more extreme weather with climate change, so investing in infrastructure is a reasonable suggestion. The good news is that, beyond sandbagging (see above), there are technologies out there to better hurricane proof the city for the long term. But, of course, it's more complicated than that. This is an expensive proposition, as Slate's Matt Yglesias noted yesterday, pulling out a $15 billion figure for just one plan of action. It's a lot of money, but he bets that when it comes to protecting some of the most valuable real estate in the world, the money will come. "The New York Harbor region is almost uniquely lucky in being a place that can feasibly contemplate these kind of costly defenses," wrote Yglesias. But what about the rest of New York? Like Staten Island or less densely populated beach communities?
Before we divvy up who gets what in this future hurricane-ready version of the city, let's see what it would technically take, how much that might cost, and the possible priority of such a project.
Storm Surge Barriers
How This Would Help: The Netherlands built these along its coast to protect its vulnerable coastline from flooding, one of which you can see in the photo to the right.* The country has a system of them called the Delta Works, which protect the ports, as Ygelsias explains. These aren't just dams, but are moving parts that ensure protection without totally ruining the ecosystem or closing off the port to commerce altogether. One engineering company already proposed a plan for something like this, north of the Verrazano bridge, as you can see in these slides obtained by Business Insider's Henry Blodget and Rob Wile.