Thursday, September 2, 2010

Can New York handle a hurricane?

Remy Melina and Robert Roy Britt in Live Science: The National Hurricane Center warns that Hurricane Earl may swing by dangerously close to the U.S. East Coast before curving back out to sea. While the odds are it won't strike New York City directly, such an event is not unprecedented, and the city has plans in place to evacuate — and to hunker down — if need be.

Problem is, there would be precious little time to prepare. And while the forecast suggests it is very unlikely Hurricane Earl will strike Manhattan with more than a glancing blow, a direct hit by a hurricane is ultimately inevitable, scientists say. Because hurricanes move more quickly and become very difficult to predict once they head north of the Carolinas, experts say there might be just hours to issue evacuation warnings before a storm hits.

Compounding this, the Big Apple has one of highest population densities in the nation – more than 8 million people live in New York City. Based on studies by the Army Corps of Engineers, officials have determined that vulnerable, low-lying areas in and around New York City and metropolitan New Jersey would need to start heading out sooner than what is typically ordered in Florida and other hurricane-prone states.

Frankly put: There would not be enough time to get everyone out. Disaster plans for New York City focus therefore on getting people out of low-lying areas that might be inundated by storm surges, and having others stay put or move to safe locations within the city….

Track map of all landfalling New York hurricanes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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