NYC floodgates would cost billions. Some scientists insist they’re worth it

November 09, 2012 10:30AM

Malcolm Bowman, an oceanographer who has studied New York harbor for decades, and other hydrologists, says a multibillion-dollar barrier system — with  floodgates at certain points such as along the East River and at the Verrazano Narrows — could reduce future storm damage by about 25 percent. However, such a system would cost about $17 billion to build, Bloomberg News reported.

That cost isn’t all that much more than the $15 billion the federal government had to spend to rebuild New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina.“Think about it this way,” said Bowman. “Including Hurricane Irene last year, we’ve had two 100-year storms in two years.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, on a radio program yesterday, said a barrier system should be considered, according to the report from Bloomberg News. “The construction of this city did not anticipate these kinds of situations,” said Cuomo. “We are only a few feet above sea level.” [Bloomberg News] –Guelda Voien