Hurricane Sandy May Flood NY Subway

During the 1990s, storm flooded NY subway stations (Image source: World Weather Post)

The arrival of Hurricane Sandy in the United States has greatly worried the population. Now, to make matters worse, some people believe that New York City's tunnels and subway stations can be completely flooded if the storm is too strong. For this reason, the subway has been disrupted since yesterday afternoon (28) and will only run again on Tuesday, when the strongest effects of the hurricane must have passed through the city.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) chairman Joseph Lhota said today (29) and tomorrow (30) will be tough days, but the service is expected to return in New York. Wednesday (31).

Despite Lhota's apparent tranquility, several photos recently posted on the internet show flooded spots of the city, which may be an indication that the situation will get even worse. In 2006, then-head of the MTA hydraulics team, Peter Velasquez Jr., stated in an interview with The Cleveland Leader that the NY subway is very vulnerable to flooding.

Bombs a century ago

According to the newspaper, the transport system has “only” 700 water pumps that leave both tunnels and stations quite dry, some of which are over a century old. These pumps work even when the day is sunny and on these occasions remove almost 50 million liters of water. When it rains, the whole company panics over the overwork and stress it generates.

Brooklin photo taken a few hours ago (Image source: Nick Cope / Twitter)

As if that weren't enough, the MTA's drainage system can remove about 38 inches of water per hour, which is very little compared to the storm Hurricane Sandy may be bringing.

NY subway has been flooded before

If all of this really happens, reestablishing the subway service can be a lot of work. In 1990, a security breach in one of the bombs caused the 125th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue station to be completely flooded. As early as 2004, the city's subway had to be shut down because of the Franches Hurricane, which caused a rain of 2 inches of water per hour.

East River, New York, is about to reach the street (Image source: Arturas Rosenbarcher / Twitter)

After that, the situation was repeated again in 2007, when the subway stopped with a rain that hit the city, delivering 3 centimeters of water per hour. According to the international press, Hurricane Sandy has taken on unique proportions, and this time it may be that the New York subway security system is actually in check.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Cleveland Leader