November 29, 2023

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In New York, heavy rains have overwhelmed infrastructure

In New York, heavy rains have overwhelmed infrastructure

We knew it was going to rain: A French high school sports trip was canceled Tuesday. But not to this extent. It was a deluge, ferocious, not commonly experienced in New York. Five centimeters of water fell on Manhattan on Friday, September 29, while JFK Airport was submerged by twenty centimeters, a record since 1948.

For the first time, we heard shrill warnings on all phones: “FLASH FLOOD WARNING. This is a dangerous and life-threatening condition. Do not attempt to travel if you are out of a flooded area or under an evacuation order. » On our ground floor brownstone, These brown houses are from the beginning of the 20th centurye century, the water cannot drain and the pressure rises through the pipes through the water shut-off valves, flooding the mattresses in the living room. More fear than harm, as in New York, where Mayor Eric Adams listed no victims. There were three basement rescues and fifteen car rescues.

However, in this time of climate change, New York is not well-equipped to receive heavy rainfall. It’s not Indian summer in September, with its usual sunshine and temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius, but a humid atmosphere, the tails of tropical cyclones crossing the ocean, making it the wettest September in more than a century.

On September 29, 2023 in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York.

New York’s sewer system is not calibrated to absorb such rainfall. “All drainage systems have their limits and New York City’s drainage system cannot absorb 1.7 inches of rain per hour. Unfortunately for many New Yorkers, the storm that flooded the area on Friday brought 2 inches of rain between 8 and 9 a.m.In short The New York Times. 12,000 km of drainage system has been blocked. “If it floods that much, the water flows backsaid Dave Falcon, manager of the Queens Sewer Company. This is when people start leaking sewage from their drains or basement toilets. »

Nothing to do but wait if necessary. The draining water flooded streets, submerged cars, blocked expressways and paralyzed the metro. A sea lion escaped from its tank after the Central Park Zoo drowned. Flights at the city’s airports were delayed for several hours and one of the terminals at LaGuardia Airport had to be temporarily closed. High tides worsened the flooding when it rained. Spectacular pictures went around the planet.

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