Federal Report Foresees More Frequent Flooding for Lower Manhattan
Flooding at the Battery (seen here during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy) may become a once-every-three-days event in decades ahead, according to a new federal report.
A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal scientific agency responsible for study of oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere, predicts that Lower Manhattan will in the next 12 months experience between double and triple the number of flooding days that it did in 2000.
The same report warns that ten years from now, the number of flood events will total between five and eight times the benchmark set at the turn of the century, and that by the year 2050, there will be local flooding events as often as every three days.
The report, an annual study compiled by NOAA, is titled, “2019 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2020 Outlook,” and was released last week. It paints a grim picture of what climate change (especially rising sea level) is likely to do to coastal communities throughout the United States, noting that, “NOAA tide gauges are measuring rapid changes in coastal flooding along U.S. coastlines due to [relative sea level, or RSL] rise. The most noticeable impact of RSL rise is the increasing frequency of [high tide flooding], whose cumulative impacts are damaging to infrastructure and cause other economic impacts (transportation delays, businesses closed, tourism impacts, etc.) in coastal communities.”
High-tide flooding, often referred to as “nuisance” or “sunny day” flooding, occurs when tides reach anywhere from 1.75 to 2.0 feet above the daily average high tide and start spilling onto streets or bubbling up from storm drains. “As sea level rise continues, damaging floods that decades ago happened only during a storm now happen more regularly, such as during a full-moon tide or with a change in prevailing winds or currents,” the report notes.
But particularly dire predictions are reserved for the corner of the country in which New York is located: “the Northeast Atlantic outlook is six to 11 days” of nuisance flooding in the coming 12 months the report notes—the highest for any area in the United States.
For Lower Manhattan, NOAA’s analysis and predictions are driven by a tide gauge located at the Battery. This gauge registered high-tide flooding—defined as water reaching 21 inches above a benchmark known as “mean higher high water” or the average height of the highest tide recorded at a station each day during a recording period—for a total of five days in 2000. For 2019, that figure was ten days. Before 2020 is out, NOAA predicts that the new total will be a minimum of nine and maximum of 14 days.
Looking farther into the future, NOAA scientists calculate that by the year 2030, high-tide flooding at the Battery will likely occur at least 20 days per year (or more than once a month) and no more than 40 times each year (or approximately once each ten days).
By 2050, NOAA projects, high-tide flooding at the Battery will take place no less than 50 times per year (about one per week) and up to 135 days per year (meaning approximately once every three days). These calculations are especially sobering because they exclude extreme-weather events, such as hurricanes, and focus instead on routine tidal action.
Bill Would Impede Easing Restrictions on Use of Health Facilities
A bill recently ratified by the State Assembly aims to make less likely any future reprise of the controversial 2014 sale of Rivington House, which served for decades as an HIV/AIDS care facility. The Lower East Side building was acquired by real estate speculators, who paid $28 million—a fraction of its market value—because of a deed restriction that committed the building to use as a clinic.
One Month Later, Election Results Are Official (Sort Of…)
Slightly more than a month after the contested primary between Grace Lee ( left) and Yuh-Line Niou (right) for the Democratic Party nomination to represent Lower Manhattan in the State Assembly, something resembling a final result is available.
In the hours before dawn on Wednesday morning, NYPD officers in riot gear swept through the pedestrian plaza at the corner of Centre and Chambers Streets (between City Hall and the Municipal Building) and forcibly removed more than 100 protestors who had been camped there since early June, under the rallying cry of “Occupy City Hall,” to demonstrate their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Later that morning, the Broadsheet spoke to a group from the encampment, who (using first names or pseudonyms) reflected on their time within the improvised commune they had come to call “Abolition Park.”
Thursday Meeting Reviewed Resiliency Plans for Northern Battery Park City
On Thursday, July 23, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) and Community Board 1 (CB1) co-hosted an online public meeting focused on the North Battery Park City Resiliency Project.
The meeting was a follow-on to a public discussion held last February, at which preliminary options and design concepts were reviewed by the BPCA, along with the team of engineers and architects who will be conceiving the measures intended to make the northern edge of the community resistant to sea-level rise, climate change, and future extreme-weather events.
Need a safe and breezy break from your apartment? Several cruise operators have reopened in North Cove and are offering opportunities to get out on the water, including Tribeca Sailing, Ventura, and Classic Harbor Line. All cruise operators are adhering to social distancing guidelines; check individual websites for details.
Who Got What: Battery Park City
Federal Loan Program Bails Out Local Small (and Not-So-Small) Businesses
The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has disbursed more than $600 billion in roughly 4.9 million loans to business around the nation, in response to the economic slowdown triggered by the pandemic coronavirus. In Battery Park City’s three zip codes, 285 businesses and non-profit organizations received loans totaling more than $10 million, based on the possibility of saving more than 2,900 jobs, according to data recently released by the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA).
Finalists Announced in Design Competition to Improve Pedestrian Access to Brooklyn Bridge
The City Council and the Van Alen Institute (a New York nonprofit architectural organization, dedicated to improving design in the public realm) have named the shortlist of contenders in a contest that aims incubate fresh ideas for better pedestrian access to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
781 – The oldest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji.
1492 – The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.
1498 – On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
1715 – Seven days after a Spanish treasure fleet of 12 ships left Havana, Cuba for Spain, 11 of them sink in a storm off the coast of Florida. A few centuries later, treasure is salvaged from these wrecks.
1790 – The first U.S. patent is issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.
1948 – At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
1964 – Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.
1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
1991 – The United States and Soviet Union both sign the START I Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the first to reduce both countries’ stockpiles.
2006 – Fidel Castro hands over power to his brother, Raul.
1527 – Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1576)
1803 – John Ericsson, Swedish-American engineer, co-designed the USS Princeton and the Novelty Locomotive (d. 1889)
1867 – S. S. Kresge, American businessman, founded Kmart (d. 1966)
1875 – Jacques Villon, French painter (d. 1963)
1901 – Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (d. 1985)
1912 – Milton Friedman, economist, academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2006)
1919 – Primo Levi, Italian chemist and author (d. 1987)
1864 – Louis Christophe Francois Hachette, French publisher (b. 1800)
1875 – Andrew Johnson, American general and politician, 17th President of the United States (b. 1808)
1886 – Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1811)
1981 – Omar Torrijos, Panamanian general and politician, Military Leader of Panama (b. 1929)
2012 – Gore Vidal, American novelist, screenwriter, and critic (b. 1925)
2019 – Harold Prince, noted Broadway producer and director, who received more Tony awards than anyone else in history (b. 1928)
Edited from various sources including Wikipedia,and other media outlets