Floods Paralyze New York
New York is paralyzed. High rainfall due to rainstorms triggers flash floods. The city's drainage system is unable to withstand the high water discharge.
About AI Translated Article
Please note that this article was automatically translated using Microsoft Azure AI, Open AI, and Google Translation AI. We cannot ensure that the entire content is translated accurately. If you spot any errors or inconsistencies, contact us at email@example.com, and we'll make every effort to address them. Thank you for your understanding.
The following article was translated using both Microsoft Azure Open AI and Google Translation AI. The original article can be found in Banjir Lumpuhkan New York
NEW YORK, SATURDAY - New York City in the United States is in a state of emergency. Floods inundated the roads, underground train tracks, and airport. Heavy rain since Thursday night until early Saturday (30/9/2023) morning was the cause.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in New York City and surrounding areas on Friday. As of Saturday, the status has not been lifted because heavy rain continues to pour down on the largest city in the United States. "This storm is dangerous and life-threatening. I am announcing a state of emergency throughout New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley due to extreme rainfall in the entire region," she wrote on social media.
Rainfall up to 20 centimeters drenched parts of the city. The State Government of New York and the City Government of New York warned that heavy rain will continue to batter the city at least until Saturday.
New York Mayor Eric Adams is urging citizens to remain vigilant and cautious. Rescue teams have been deployed and have already carried out 15 rescues of people trapped in cars and three attempts to rescue those living in basement apartments. "I'm worried that people may see the rain has subsided and then leave their homes in their vehicles," he told CNN.
With a rainfall of 36 centimeters, September 2023 became the wettest month in New York since 1882. Meanwhile, Hochul stated that New York has not experienced such heavy rain since 1955 over the weekend.
Flash floods have crippled New York's subway and the Metro North commuter rail service. The rushing waters have inundated stations' ceilings and walls.
Therefore, all underground train routes were halted and train stations were closed. The area most severely affected by the flood was the shipyard district of Brooklyn.
Culverts are full
Changes in weather patterns resulting from climate change have been blamed for the recent weather conditions. Adding to that, the infrastructure conditions, in particular the drainage and culverts, in New York and New York City are inadequate for rain like this past weekend's.
New York City Environmental Protection Commissioner, Rohit Anggarwala, explained that the city's waste disposal system is only designed to handle rainfall of up to 4.5 centimeters per hour. However, now, rainfall in just one hour is more than 6.3 centimeters.
"Global warming is accelerating, faster than urban mitigation efforts. This change in weather patterns is a consequence of climate change. The sad fact is that our climate is changing faster than our infrastructure can respond," he said.
Some of the gutters are filled with trash. On a stretch of road in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, workers are struggling to clear blockages in the drainage system, with lots of boxes and other items floating around them.
Meteorology expert from the National Weather Service, Ross Dickman, explains that high rainfall in New York occurred due to a combination storm that lasted for 12 hours. This combination storm is a combination of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean and winds from the west.
Atmospheric scientists explain that when the Earth warms up, storms form in a warmer atmosphere and extreme precipitation occurs more frequently.
Climate scientist from Columbia University, Adam Sobel, stated that when storms hit New York, the sea temperature around it is below normal and the air temperature is not too hot. "But this is due to the high rainfall. This is the third time in two years that it has rained at a rate of 5 centimeters per hour. This is unusual," he said.
This storm is dangerous and a threat to life. I declare a state of emergency throughout New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley due to extreme rainfall across the entire region.
A flash flood in New York occurred less than three months after a storm caused deadly floods in the Hudson Valley, New York, and led to the capital of Vermont, Montpelier, being submerged. Around two years ago, the remnants of Hurricane Ida also dropped record-breaking rain in the Northeastern region and killed at least 13 people in New York City. The majority of the victims lived in basement apartments that were flooded.
The New York Times reported that all exhaust systems have limitations. The rain overwhelmed New York's sewer network. Limited capacity of the water channel network, pipes and water treatment plants is the main reason why New Yorkers in the five boroughs were hit by flooding. Experts worry that these floods will become routine in New York.
Heavy rain inundated the 12,000-kilometer pipeline system that carries rainwater and waste to treatment plants or nearby rivers and bays. Excess water overflowed onto the streets causing floods and seeped into the underground space and subway stations in Brooklyn and Queens.
Daniel Zarilli from Columbia University considers the storm a warning for society. "Rainfall with such high intensity is new for us. After the drainage capacity is exceeded, the pipes cannot hold up," said Zarilli, who has previously been a climate policy advisor for the New York City Mayor's Office.
Around 60 percent of New York City's area has a drainage system that combines stormwater runoff with wastewater in the same pipes. If the flow in these pipes exceeds their capacity, the excess water is discharged into local waterways. The New York City sewer system is connected to the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, the East River, and Jamaica Bay.
The problem is, when the flow into the pipes is at normal capacity, some waste does not immediately flow into the water connected to the drainage system. Instead, the waste remains underground, within the drainage network. "Solving the increasing rainfall problem in this city will require a lot of investment in infrastructure and a lot of creativity," said Zarilli.
In the 2021 report, it was mentioned that reorganizing New York's drainage system to face storms such as Ida would take decades. The estimated cost is $100 billion USD.
Former Director of the New York City Climate Office, Ben Furnas, stated that the city government has collaborated with the federal government to create several locations to dispose of excess water. "There are numerous strategies for creating flow and storage locations for water to avoid it flowing into rivers or canals," Furnas said.
Translation: Until now, there has been massive investment in large storage tanks and parks built on sidewalks that can absorb some rainwater. The approach taken by the Copenhagen government can be emulated, which is to redesign roads to accommodate temporary water storage.
At certain intersections, a concave shape is made to divert rainwater from the surrounding environment and allow it to pool at a safe depth for cars to pass through. Ultimately, the water will flow into parks and other green spaces.
Upmanu Lall, an engineer and director of Columbia Water Center, suggests that more pumps need to be installed in the city's drainage system to dispose of excess water and prevent flooding. The limited capacity to flow water is the issue that hinders the ability to handle floods. Not to mention the problem of accumulation of debris and other waste that obstructs rainwater from entering the drainage system. (REUTERS/AFP/AP)