Speaking Of Subway Floods

Within the last hour, I just wrote an entry about an amendment that the MTA drafted which would include projects aimed at stopping floods in & around subway stations. One of my complaints was not seeing any mention of this work being done along the Queens Boulevard corridor. Maybe they have work planned for the corridor but to not have it in the list of stations mentioned in the article is alarming to me.

Anyhow the point of this entry is to commend the New York Post which had an article talking about the “caveman” (Geico anyone?) like actions executed so far. Here is the story from Angela Montefinise:

The subway system is fighting a battle against flooding – using tarps and buckets.

Almost a year after massive floods crippled the subway system and left millions of riders stranded, New York City Transit is employing a low-rent solution to keep water off the tracks in Queens. Whenever the forecast calls for rain, workers rush to flood-prone areas and roll blue tarp over sidewalk subway grates.

Six cement-filled buckets keep each tarp in place. Short poles protruding from each bucket allow yellow “construction area” tape to be wound around the whole set-up.

Some elected officials from Queens were hoping for something a little more sophisticated.

“Stopping floods with tarps and rocks is something a caveman would do,” groused City Councilman Eric Gioia.

“The only thing that could be worse is when we get the bill from the engineers who came up with this.”

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is also concerned.

“What if there’s a fire on the line, where does the smoke go?” said her spokesman, Dan Andrews.

“If the gratings can be arbitrarily covered up, then why are they there in the first place?”

NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said the temporary solution was “low-tech” but “effective” while more permanent solutions are in the works.

“But those take time to design,” he added.

Since the Aug. 8 flooding, NYC Transit has installed Doppler radar in its control center for more accurate forecasts and cleaned its drains and grates more often.

I can’t believe they are using tarps held down by cement filled pails. While Eric Gioia can sometimes be a little out there with his quotes, he is spot on with this one. While I understand that the MTA is working on a more professional plan to address the issue, is this the best idea they could come up with? Queens Borough President Helen Marshall also brought up an excellent point in wondering what would happen during the case of a fire. Lets hope that we never have to find out!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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