New York to get hotter, rainier and more flood-prone in coming decades

February 18th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 18 (ANI): A panel of scientists has predicted that New York will be hotter, rainier and more likely to flood in the coming decades, with sea levels possibly rising more than four feet.

All of the evidence from the science community is that the seas are going to rise, said New Yorks Mayor Bloomberg, as he unveiled the panels report.

Its pretty hard to not understand somethings going on, very worrisome and scary, on this planet, he added.

According to a report in Daily News, academic experts and insurance executives on the panel concluded that average temperatures could rise up to 7.5 degrees by 2080, rainfall could increase by 10 percent and sea levels will rise two feet.

Some studies predict that the polar ice caps will melt much more quickly, which could raise New Yorks sea level by 55 inches by the 2080s - more than 4-1/2 feet.

That likely means heavier and more frequent flooding from rainstorms and coastal flooding, the panel determined, as well as heavier demands on all city infrastructure from electric power to sewers.

Weather experts say New York is due for a hurricane, and the citys Office of Emergency Management has drawn up evacuation plans that assume huge swaths of lower Manhattan and low-lying areas of the outer boroughs will be underwater during a moderate hurricane.

The citys 14 wastewater treatment plants are particularly vulnerable, said Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Steve Lawitts. Seawalls will be elevated where possible to protect the plants from flooding, he added.

Bloomberg announced the scientific panels findings at a sewage treatment plant in Far Rockaway, Queens, that sits on the waters edge and is vulnerable to flooding.

Plan superintendent Frank Esposito showed the mayor and top city officials the plants eight pump motors at the bottom of a deep concrete pit, where they could be inundated in a heavy storm.

The agency plans to raise them 40 feet sometime in the coming years, at a cost of 30 million dollars.

Many of the agencys other long-term plans will take decades to plan, city officials said, with a cost still being tallied. (ANI)

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