Video Of The MTA In Action: How Whitehall Station Went From Flooded To Dry In 4 Days

Tyler Durden's picture

On October 30, the day after the worst natural disaster in New York history struck and flooded virtually all of downtown, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted the following dramatic picture of Whitehall station, which was then completely submerged underwater.

A few days later, Whitehall station is almost dry. Watch this MTA video to see how they did it in 3 short days.

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SafelyGraze's picture


if they can do that to the water in a station in 3 days using a pump truck, just imagine what they can do to the money in a pension fund in a year using a piece of legislation!


HD's picture

You younger ZHers may have never heard this - it's a song about the consequences of taxes increases...and the MTA

SWRichmond's picture

I hope they don't forget you can only "lift" water about 32 feet, and then it boils, doesn't matter how big your pump is.  Once you draw a complete vacuum on it, it turns to vapor and pumping stops.  Sooner or later you have to take the pumps down to the water.

Stackers's picture

Yeah, and 4 short months for them to gut and completely rebuild the station

walküre's picture

Pumping liquid is not the issue. My 3000 gallon septic tanks get pumped in minutes, liquids and solids. Sorry if that ruined your lunch. Once the water level dropped they had a fighting chance. Now the inspectors have to establish that there is no structural damage. Escalators and ticket machines need to be repaired or exchanged. Not a big deal. Ceilings, walls, tracks etc is a whole different story.

What about high rise buildings that had their foundations flooded in the Financial District? Are they safe to be occupied without major upgrades?

AldousHuxley's picture

They had Chris Christy and Rosey O'Donnell drink it all up.



merizobeach's picture

For some reason, those workers operating the pump remind me of Joseph Heller's nurses changing the jars for the soldier in white.

Zero Govt's picture

pity they couldn't build a sea wall in 4 days

...'only' 60 years since New Yorks last drenching and these political arseholes haven't laid a brick

i'm guessing the amount of damage to NY States public property is 10x the cost of a sea wall, that's without estimating private sector damage ...tubes and trains dipped in salt will be entirely worthless and need complete replacing

while State focuses on micro-managing the amount of liquid and salt New Yorkers take aboard they left a fucking big hole around the city ...a salt and liquidity drenching that's off the scale for NY States marxist meddlers

New York regulators/meddlers need wholesale replacing, they're clearly total crap at spotting where a systemic crisis will come from, in banking, property, the enviroment and public transport. Sack the lot!!!

Govt, the dumbest institution on Earth

bingo was his name's picture

Building a sea wall will make it worse next time.  Image the storm in NYC that breaks the levee ala Katrina in New Orleans but on steriods.  It would also mean the false sense of security a sea wall provides would make preperations and evacuations even worse the time. 




Zero Govt's picture

Bingo  "..a false sense of security a sea wall provides.."

a sea defence does actually provide security, how can it be a "false" sense? Fantastic oxymoron of a sentance though, one of the best i've heard.

and this false sense of security, "would make preperations and evacuations even worse the time."

what worse than this time? that possible???

New York has a pitiful sea wall, which in itself shows close to zero preperation, so where's the extra sense of insecurity and urgency that should provide in other preperations?

Far as I'm aware New York was left both wide open to this tragedy occuring and un-prepared. Was it in the 'preperations' that all mass transit be knocked-out in the 1st round?

Again far as I'm aware New York had next to zero plans in place and Joe Public had to make their own way, thank heavens they don't rely on NY State transport because that was unprepared too, both trains and tubes collapsed (in lack of preperation).

And 74 deaths don't show preperation either, they show people taken by surprise ....because you don't prepare for getting hurt you prepare to avoid it

But there was one beackon of hope. The shiney tower of Goldman Sucks who had their own generators. Were they prepared for NY States lack of preperation as the power systems also went down (as the power also wasn't prepared).

So Goldmans building was s hining light of self-reliance in a sea of State darkness (incompetence). Only problem was the lights were on but nobody was home. Nobody could get anywhere because the trains, tubes and roads were flooded ....because New York was totally unprepared. The State morons strike again 

Raymond K Hessel's picture

74 divided by 22,085,649 per US Census... sounds pretty good to me.  Breezy Point burned all the way down but because of evacuations no one died from the fires.


This was a natural disaster.  There is no way humanity will ever be 100% protected from hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.




Zero Govt's picture

Yes the death toll is very low Raymond, would have been even better, neglible, if they had anything but a piss poor sea wall

shall we credit people taking their own action with the low death toll or pure luck the storm wasn't worse given New York State was wide open to the risk with next to zero defence to the danger?

I agree it was a natural storm, I disagree with both you and Mayor Bloomberg the "danger" of natural storms cannot be prepared for professionally. New Yorks preperations weren't professional, they were pitiful, amateur and left New York and New Yorkers wide open to the risk (danger) of nature

the sea wall was close to no defence, namely it was no reduction of risk to New York while the State have had 60 years to do somethinbg pro-active since the last drenching. They haven't lifted a finger so it's frankly BS this is a "natural" disaster, it's a man-made zero attention to risk 

who should be blamed for the massive damage and clean up costs mate? The storm or New York States next to complete lack of defence to prevent the damage

isn't that what NY States marxist meddlers are doing regulating the size of holes in salt shakers and the size of cups of soda.. preventing us from harming ourselvs? We're forced to pay for seatbelts and airbags and crumple zones to prevent risk and damage should it occur. If Mayor Bloomberg thinks these meddlers are right to reduce risk in our lives then presumably he feels he has done a very crap job of preventing environmental dangers to our property and person.

Like what's NY State been doing for 60 years since the last environmental accident?

what's the bigger risk to New Yorkers, an XXL soda cup or 4ft of water coming down Main Street?

they won't let you eat food or drink liquid on trains and tubes for risk you'll mess-up the upholstry. But they leave themselves wide open to the sea and trashing the entire public transport system. These meddlers sure get their priorities right!

so Bloomberg like his predessessors of the past 60 years has done next to nothing and invested nothing to reduce the danger of a storm, he can't blame a storm for being a storm, he can only blame his Statist self for not lifting a finger to reduce the danger.

CPL's picture

We are talking about the same city that's been given 40-50 billion dollars to only build a light cannon and hasn't built another anything in the World trade.  Watch how fucked up and corrupted this how shit show turns out.


BTW anyone that has gas to sell get it done this weekend.  There is a big stink about people matching market demand for fuel, there are guys on 4chan that went to go pick up their free fuel and promptly sold it a block away.  Money and oil is in big trouble once main street gets a taste of the blood money it can get.  It's going to take a lot of effort to get the tooth paste back into the tube once someone passes laws forbidding it.

Sparkey's picture

It is a false sense of security because you can never know the magnitude od the threat you are seeking security from! No one knows what the future holds! (Wear a Crucifix, it is cheaper and provides, `peace of mind`, to those who believe!

PLira's picture

Here is one way MTA is clearing subways, by using "Pump Trains".

(sorry it's on BI)

SWRichmond's picture

If tht guy's dad saw him sticking a good carpenter's ruler in the water like that he'd get his butt kicked.

CPL's picture

Well the Canadian crews showed up and now the Unions in NJ and NYC are calling the crews scabs for people coming down to make less work with more hands.


They are packing up and going home tomorrow. 


Oh and if anyone has an online business in NJ in one of the 400 data centres about to run out of fuel on their generators, you might want to migrate in the next 14 hours.  Well some DC's are already dark because the generators are empty.  5 tonnes eat a lot of fuel, they are efficient, but not infinite three days of fuel is done in most places because DC's simple expand without infrastructure reviews and scrape by on minimums by rejiggin processes to "cheat" ISO standards. 


Remember if you didn't pay for DR, there is no back up plan for you until a steady source of fuel and electricity is built again.  The refineries are fucked so closest working refinery with production to match is Montreal.


Which means we should all expect "new" prices soon.  The cost of oil on a regional level has everything to do with local refineries, not a hole in a ground thousands of miles away.  It's how fast to market it gets there...oh yeah, so everyone will also want to review their service agreement.


You are probably getting a communal charge by the hour for fuel usage right now that is not covered by any business insurance I've ever seen.  When black market is 25 bucks and the military is used the other 99% of the fuel, 25 bucks is what you are going to get charged.  Jesus Monday is going to be a mess.  Cover your ass people, make sure your back ups are handy and not stuck in a foot ball length jukebox of tape backup.  You'll never find the tape without the backup catalogue because of a lack of power.  The term needle in a haystack is understating it and the people in charge of tape backup are usually the junior kick abouts or the guys on the way out.  More likely the first than the second. 

Taint Boil's picture



you can only "lift" water about 32 feet……..


Hey stop ruining things with the laws of physics and stuff. If you got 100 hours worth of work just put 100 guys / gals on it and it should only take about an hour. We need bigger pumps …. Give me a big enough cheater bar and I can move the earth. I wonder how many here know what a cheater bar is……..

Urban Redneck's picture







The volume water in evacuated from the ticketing area is a pittance (or a drop in a bucket) compared to volume that would be remaining on the platforms (much less in the tunnels).  They can't even see the platforms, much less the tracks yet.  That fucker ain't coming back online anytime soon if that is really their rate of progress after 72 hrs of effort.


LongSoupLine's picture

I'm sure the water was tested in stages for toxins prior to releasing it to the sanitary storm drain system. Otherwise this was yet another illegal NYC operation.

CvlDobd's picture

When I see stuff like this or 9/11 footage I am happy to not live in a metropolis. Interesting video.

q99x2's picture

I felt like 3 days had passed by the time I got to the end of the video.

Zero Govt's picture

watch it again with the Benny Hill music behind, time flies a little faster with the public sector set to its theme tune

recommend you use Benny Hill music whenever watching a political press conference, especially your beloved auto-cue Presidential addresses, our beloved EC, EU and ECB Q&A sessions over here in Europe, any Fed meet-the-hand-selected-press-core events and it was truly epic music when Jon Corzine gave testimony (pre-scripted contempt) to the Senate (notice the turkey/Chariman asking/reading scripted questions with zero follow-up interrogation) after the MFG scandal

Here try:

in all seriousness it is in fact our Era's theme tune, since 2000 and the Pump & Dump dot.con bubble bursting of Goldman and JP Morgan... it's been playing in the background for 12 years and has another 5 years to run until will blow up

Benny Hill was a deep thinking scholar compared to our lot

RacerX's picture

I hope they are all Union. Triple time bishes!

And I'm also wondering where all the rats went. You know that they were at least smart enough to GTFO.

Cursive's picture


I was part of the local utility's storm restoration after Hurricane Rita in 2005 (it followed shortly after Katrina and was a vastly more powerful storm that fortunately hit a less populated area).  Anyway, the PEPCO guys that came down to help were all union and one of the guys was complaining about his back hurting because he slept in his truck cab.  I told him that I could get his crew a hotel room to sleep (these can be hard to get when TSHTF), but he told me that, as a union guy, he gets paid triple time for being on the rig.  He wasn't working and nobody requested that he be on call, but he was damn sure that he was going to be living on that rig as long as he thought he was earning triple time.

blunderdog's picture

The rats go where the food is.  If there are no riders, and thus no trash, there's not much for 'em there.

Pool Shark's picture



So it took them 3 days to pump some water out.

Big deal.

The Japanese completely demolished and rebuilt a freeway in only 6 days:

[and I'm guessing the workers weren't unionized...]

Tyler Durden's picture

And China built a full 30 story hotel in 15 days...

It probably collapsed in another 15 days, but that was not caught on tape. Still, double the GDP impact so everyone is happy.

Jason T's picture

Empire State building 82 years ago.. 9 months.  

malikai's picture

Wow that is some seriously dramatic music for a construction project.

Motorhead's picture

Bastiat is spinning in his grave.

SafelyGraze's picture

"9 magnitude earthquake resistant"


ignite a thousand gallons of jet fuel in an upper floor and the whole thing will vaporize in a couple of hours

note that the structure was built by a crew of only a dozen (from an episode of Extreme Makeover People's Edition)


dark pools of soros's picture

I think IKEA sells these now..  a bitch to load in the car

Shelby Moore III's picture

So you noticed they copied the WTC's basic structural design with the center structural support and the outer lattice to hold up the floors.

Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied. Copied.

HD's picture

Constructing a 30 story building in 15 days. Sounds like a Dongting task...

(groans, eye rolls, forced uncomfortable laughter) 

Goodnight everybody - drive safe.


are we there yet's picture

Good for China, but I noticed no other buildings anywhere near in the video. It appears to be a residential skyscraper all by itself in a country setting. China's central planning has built entire cities and freeways absent of people. Confusing.

bunnyswanson's picture

Multiple generations live together in China in order to save money.  They are very distrustful of their govt due to past failures resulting in devastating consequences, namely famine, so the Chinese people save their money rather than move into more expensive digs.  Younger generation may change it somewhat but not enough to fill the vacancies.  This is what I was told by a young woman from China when I questioned her about the ghost cities.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"and I'm guessing the workers weren't unionized..."

You clearly know nothing about how Japanese workers are compensated relative to their American counterparts.  If you're interested.

LetThemEatRand's picture

What a shock -- you completely changed the subject, ignored the fact that your comment was factually misleading or simply ignorant, and then went for red meat anti-union talking points.

adr's picture

I'm still waiting for a five mile stretch of I77 to be completed after six years. I think they did finish at one point, but it took so long that there are now orange cones set up to fix the cracked pavement.

There's your union work for you.

It has also been six months to fix the concrete barrier on one half mile of raised interstate.

Don't get me started on the two mile exit ramp because some engineer goofed. They realized that the exit ramp they built came off in front of the toll plaza for the turnpike when they finished the booth. People would have needed to go through the toll plaza to get off the freeway. Perhaps that wasn't actually a mistake. So they merged the ramp into a local road which takes you on a two mile loop to get to the street you used to be able to get right off at.

LetThemEatRand's picture

So true.  Funny how so many here talk about escaping the Matrix while they eat their steak.

lakecity55's picture

Japanese worker persons are more labor-intensive and highly organized.

I have observed this with most Oriental personages.

They are generally highly motivated, so USA persons could learn much from them.

zebrasquid's picture

So are bees..  Wouldn't want to bee one...

patb's picture

it's a surface level road with no lights, minimal strucutres,  jeez, i could get that fixed in a week.

2 dozers, a big backhoe, one road grader, a n asphalt spreader, 2 dump trucks , a materials conveyor, and a paint truck.


have the dozers scrape up all the road bed back a hundred feet of the damage, carry off the debris,  have the trucks bringing in pea gravel, fill the broken holes,  have the backhoes break up the big chunks of road,   regrade to your new site line.






add rails

dark pools of soros's picture

and slaves built the great wall of china..  what's your point?

Zola's picture

It was probably John Galt clearing the water working the pump, while the Jim Taggarts of GS were preparing to get back to work

Jason T's picture

Total Public Construction Spending ..under Obama?