Cuomo assesses damage of WTC site The vehicle security center's underground ramps literally funneled storm surge into the floode
Cuomo assesses damage of WTC site
The vehicle security center's underground ramps literally funneled storm surge into the flooded construction pit.
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By Daniel Geiger @dangeiger79
October 30, 2012 2:44 p.m.
Updated: October 30, 2012 3:50 p.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said the World Trade Center site had suffered extensive flooding as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
"What I saw last night in downtown Manhattan were some of the worst conditions I had ever seen," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference on Tuesday morning, providing the first official description of the impact of the storm at the WTC site. "The Hudson River was literally pouring into the Ground Zero site with such a force we were worried about the structure of the pit itself."
Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the bi-state agency's top New York official, said he doubted the storm surge had caused any structural damage at WTC site but that equipment and electrical systems being installed may have been damaged by the flood waters.
"There was a substantial incursion of water," Mr. Foye said. "I think it's fair to say that salt water and modern electrical equipment don't mix well. We don't expect structural damage but damage to equipment. That assessment is underway and is a high priority."
Mr. Foye said that West, Washington and Cedar streets, roadways that surround the WTC site, were all flooded during the storm. The storm surge swept into the WTC site, a construction pit largely open to the elements, primarily through the Vehicle Security Center on the southern end of the project. The security center will have ramps to allow traffic to pass underground via subterranean roads and parking areas. It appears those ramps served as a chute for the storm's oncoming water.
The WTC site is especially vulnerable to flooding because its located in low lying neighborhoods. Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Joseph Lhota said in a press conference Tuesday morning that the nearby South Street station at the southern tip of Manhattan had been completely flooded during the storm.
"A Boeing 747 that serves as an Air Force One backup and two F-16 fighters escorting it caused a brief panic among office workers at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan this morning, as large numbers evacuated the buildings. The incident was also spurred evacuations in Jersey City across the Hudson River from Manhattan."
Two F-16 fighters seems incorrect: the photos and the reports indicate only one. However, who ever thought this "photo op" was a good idea? I can't possibly imagine that the ensuing panic and bad press was unforeseeable. Is this just a cock-up? If it is, it's a real bad one.
Some pictures: (for the bottom one, ripped the link from the WSJ Flash slideshow for your convenience)
On October 15, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared together in Los Angeles at a press conference to endorse CA Prop 11. The slogan of the campaign was "Time to Hold Politicians Accountable." Stewart Howe and Jeremy Rothe-Kushel of WeAreChangeLA attended the press conference to give it a go at doing just that.
Very sad, and infuriating at the same time. Just today two more victims were discovered.
The families respond...
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