Climate Change's Next Victim: NYC?

Critics say city isn't doing enough to prepare for rising oceans, bigger storms

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 11, 2012 2:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Rising oceans and increasingly violent storms are worrying officials in New York City, as scientists warn that if action isn't taken soon, flood waters could prompt thousands to lose their homes or paralyze the city's transportation system, reports the New York Times. The city is considering a number of potential environmental projects (to the tune of $2 billion over the next 18 years) but critics say that's not enough. Some argue that the city should be focusing on preventing flood (think sea gates), not simply employing methods to deal with flood waters when the big storm hits.

NYC has taken some steps to deal with the problem: Mayor Bloomberg's administration has installed rain-absorbent roofs and expanded wetlands to accommodate rising waters. Last year's Hurricane Irene was a wake-up call for the city. Though NYC was spared the brunt of the storm, it still prompted major evacuations, cut off power, and froze the transportation system for hours. If another major weather event were to hit the city, the results could be disastrous, particularly for people living in poorer industrial areas where toxic waste could mix with flood waters. Full story here.

In this Aug. 28, 2011, file photo, a biker makes his way around a taxi stranded in floodwaters of Hurricane Irene, downgraded to a tropical storm, in New York.   (AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)
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