Wired Science: The dewatering of New York
UPDATE: Apparently, I missed the fact that the US Army Corps hasn’t received a request to help with subway tunnels. From the look of MTA’s web site, they appear to have things under control. I can only imagine how long it’s going to take to pump all that water out and then inspect the electrical equipment.
I ran across an interesting article in Wired Science about the process of removing flood water from New York’s tunnels. It’s a fascinating short read worth your time. A few highlights: The US Army Corps of Engineers has built up a specialized Task Force for such operations in the years after Katrina. Interestingly enough, they have the people but no equipment on standby. It’s going to take some time since they are waiting for pumps and the dewatering process needs to be done slowly to prevent damage to the tunnels. I also found it interesting that they are focusing on the Brooklyn Battery tunnel for cars first rather than Subway tunnels. MTA’s Subway Recovery Map shows that the Brooklyn Subway lines are all completely cut off from Manhattan. In New York of all places it seems like you’d want to focus on the rail system first, but perhaps there is other damage further up the line or the MTA has things in hand on their own.