"16-Foot Storm Surges, 500 Miles Of Coastline Flooded" Here's What A Category 5 Hurricane Would Do To NYC

Luckily for residents of New Jersey, New York and New England, Hurricane Jose isn’t expected to pass close enough to the northeastern US coast during its journey north through the Atlantic to cause any real damage.  While the National Hurricane Center has warned that the category one storm is expected to cause “dangerous surf and rip currents” along the east coast for a few more days, the region will thankfully be spared the devastation of Sandy, which battered areas with comparatively tame 80 mph winds. By comparison, Irma battered Puerto Rico with gusts of up to 135 mph.

However, the narrow miss – particularly given the sheer destruction wrought by Hurricanes so early in the season – has prompted some to wonder: What would happen if New York City had to face the worst possible scenario: A category 5 storm making landfall in the city.

According to Bloomberg, it’s unlikely that a hurricane would be able to maintain category 5 status while traveling that far north, given sea temperatures and weather patterns. But as the boundaries of what’s scientifically possible are constantly in flux, this reality is not out of the question.

Indeed, rising sea waters are forcing meteorologists and emergency managers to consider scenarios they once believed were improbable. The water level around New York is 1.1 feet higher today than in 1900 and could increase as much as 2 feet more by 2050.

“With global warming and sea-level rise, what we’re seeing is the effects of these storms amplified,” Ernest Moniz, energy secretary for President Barack Obama, told Bloomberg TV.

According to Bloomberg, a category 5 storm could pummel New York City with as much as 50 inches of rain. Winds of just 100 mph could create a 16-foot tall storm surge that would deluge 500 miles of NYC coastline.

“Winds of 100 mph and 12 inches of rain at high tide push a 16-foot storm surge through the funnel-like entrance of New York Harbor. It wouldn’t take Irma’s killer gusts or Houston’s torrential 50 inches of rain to create a wall of water swamping 500 miles of New York City coastline. The Hudson and East rivers would cascade into Manhattan, overwhelming subways, sewers and roads. Corrosive seawater would fill the aging Lincoln and Holland tunnels to New Jersey, as well as the vulnerable railway tubes beneath the Hudson.”

The potentially unprecedented devastation that could be brought by the storm makes the risks of such a scenario occurring worth reviewing, however unlikely scientists believe it to be.


Such a storm could force almost half a million people from their homes and possibly change the face of New York City forever.

“The potential risks, however remote for now, are enormous for the New York metro area. Sandy, which hit New Jersey as a “post-tropical” storm, flooded almost 90,000 buildings, with 443,000 New Yorkers living in inundated areas. In one part of Staten Island, floodwaters reached 14 feet.


Bridges reopened quickly, but close to 2 million people lost power, and cell service for more than 1 million people was reduced or lost. Rebuilding is still going on five years later.”

Though the number of victims forced from homes could well be higher. More than 3 million New Yorkers now live in one of the city’s evacuation zones after the city revised them following Sandy. Megan Pribram, assistant commissioner for planning and preparedness at the city’s Office of Emergency Management, told Bloomberg that for a storm on the scale of Harvey, the city would evacuate some low-lying coastal areas.

Rainfall on par with the record 51 inches that Harvey dropped on Texas would be unprecedented for the Northeast. The most serious flooding in recent memory occurred during 2011, when Hurricane Irene pummeled the state with 15 inches of pain, leaving parts of Vermont under water.  

Harvey-sized rains would be unprecedented in the US. Northeast, according to Allan Frei, chairman of the geography department at Hunter College in Manhattan. The most serious flooding in the region was Hurricane Irene in 2011, when 15 or so inches of rain left parts of Vermont underwater.

Among the last two “major” hurricanes to hit New York City (remember, Superstorm Sandy was classified as a post-tropical depression) was a category 3 storm with winds up to 129 mph that struck in 1938. The “Long Island Express” caused 18-foot storm surges in parts of the city. Another category 3 storm, Hurricane Hazel, produced 113 mph gusts in Battery Park in 1954.

Combining a storm surge with unprecedented rainfall would quickly overwhelm the city’s sewer system, according to Bloomberg.

“If a storm causes a big storm surge at the same time as it’s raining, and if it hits during high tide, that would be - I can’t even imagine,” Frei said. The sewer system would probably be blocked with debris, diminishing its capacity to drain the city, he said.

Fortunately, the city is updating preparedness plans to incorporate the lessons of Harvey, said Daniel Zarrilli, senior director of climate policy and chief resilience officer for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

And tens of billions of dollars in Hurricane Sandy relief spending were used to improve the city’s infrastructure.

Hospitals and public-housing complexes have been refitted to offer more flood protection at a U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency expense of more than $10 billion. Utility Consolidated Edison Inc. has spent $1 billion for upgrades to its underground steam, electric and gas infrastructure. A $340 million boardwalk in the Rockaways has been redesigned as a sea wall protecting beaches and homes. The city has planted trees and other vegetation in flood-prone neighborhoods to soak up runoff and ease the burden on the city’s sewer system.”

Meanwhile, the NY-NJ Metropolitan Storm Surge Working Group is pushing the Army Corps of Engineers to approve a $30 billion system of retractable sea barriers at the mouth of New York Harbor and in the Throgs Neck narrows north of the East River. Similar engineering projects now protect cities including New Orleans; Rotterdam, Holland, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

But even with those reinforcements, the city would remain vulnerable.

“We in New York are far behind, and among the cities on Earth we have the most to lose,” Yaro said.

New Yorkers should keep this in mind before buying property in the city – particularly if it’s located inside one of the city’s evacuation zones. Just because it hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.


Slack Jack BabaLooey Tue, 09/19/2017 - 19:34 Permalink

When the temperatures are higher, hurricanes are (potentially) more powerful. Since hurricanes are formed by the evaporation of sea-water. The warmer the water, the more evaporation and the stronger the hurricane. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that global warming will add to the average strength of hurricanes. The occurrence of hurricanes depends on many factors, in particular the wind shear. So it is not clear that global warming will necessarily increase the number of Hurricanes, although it might.

Record-Setting Hurricanes; Record temperatures; Record-Setting Wildfires; ya think it might be global warming?


So, why is the global rise in temperatures so worrisome?

For one thing, as temperatures rise good farmland will become desert (e.g., dust-bowl conditions will probably return to the American Midwest).

Another major problem is sea-level rise.

Have a look at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

The U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

The Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),
the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),
the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),
and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of about 80 meters (263 feet).

So, what does an 80 meter (263 feet) rise in sea-level mean. Have a look at the following map of the world after an 80 meter rise. It means that over one billion people will have to be resettled to higher ground and that much of the most productive agricultural land will be under water. Fortunately, at current rates, the Greenland ice sheet will take over a thousand years to melt and the Antarctica ice sheet, much longer. However, the greater the temperature rise the faster the ice sheets will melt, bringing the problem much closer. Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.

The ice sheets have been continuously melting for thousands of years. What is left of them today, is still melting, and will continue to melt. Human caused global warning will cause this remnant to melt significantly faster. This is a big, big, problem.

For HUGE detailed maps of the "World after the Melt" go to:


Global temperatures are increasing. And by quite a lot each year.

2016 is the hottest year on record for global temperatures.

This is 0.0380 degrees centigrade hotter than the previous record year which was 2015.

0.0380 is a large increase in just one year.

2015 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.1601 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2014.

0.1601 is an absolutely huge increase in just one year (at this rate temperatures would increase by 16 degrees in a century).

2014 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.0402 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2010.


The conspiracy to hide global warming data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is given tax money to make global temperature records available to the public. However, certain people at NOAA continually sabotage this aspect of NOAA's mandate. For example, these people have (deliberately) sabotaged the web-page that delivers the temperature records.

Look for yourself:

Go to the page: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/anomalies.php scroll down to the The Global Anomalies and Index Data section and click the download button and see what happens. Well, you get the message:

"Not Found. The requested URL /monitoring-references/faq/anomalies-download was not found on this server."

I guess that the 2017 data must be truly horrible if they have to hide it away.

It turns out that this seems to be the case; NASA reports that:

July 2017 had the hottest average land temperatures on record.

The new July 2017 record was +1.20 degrees centigrade above the 20th century average (of the July data). The previous record average land temperature for July was just last year. It was +1.10 degrees above the 20th century average.

Did the media bother to tell you about this? No!


They are apparently too frightened to tell you about the August 2017 data. How many months does it take to figure out the averages for August? I guess the August data must be truly truly horrible.

In reply to by BabaLooey

Manthong Shemp 4 Victory Wed, 09/20/2017 - 00:10 Permalink

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  As long as the The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) documents don’t get flooded like they did with hurricane Sandy. Are they still in the basement at (irony) 55 Water Street? ..and Fvck You Slacker Jack for being such a waste of electrons and carbon.

In reply to by Shemp 4 Victory

Big Creek Rising Antifaschistische Tue, 09/19/2017 - 19:44 Permalink

Yeah, like the Corps of Engineers has ever delivered anything on time/on budget. Those $30 billion flood gates will make California's new rail project look efficient. The Corps couldn't deliver a pizza on time. Just the EIS would take 10 years, by which time the revised chicken little estimates will have added 20 more feet to sea level rise--, causing design changes, revised EIS, new models on forever. That's why the big engineering companies get multi billion dollar "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contracts from the Corps- the gravy train never runs dry.Pretty amazing when you think about how much wealth we squander on government boondoggles. 

In reply to by Antifaschistische

Cheka_Mate Tue, 09/19/2017 - 17:41 Permalink

The areas in red near the bottom right corner of Brooklyn are total slums.  This would change NYC for the better as far as anyone is concerned.

shimmy Tue, 09/19/2017 - 17:43 Permalink

Is this like how NYC and Miami and New Orleans would be under water by now? Or that the arctic would be ice free? Or every single other thing the global warming idiots say?Why does ANYONE listen to these cult freaks.I like the person saying these storms are getting worse when the worst storms are from the first half of the 20th century.I wish all these global warmism zealots would just go kill themselves. 

Zorba's idea JRobby Tue, 09/19/2017 - 20:37 Permalink

I'm certain this is the prefered repository the elites intend. BOHICA MC Americans...your carbon foot print is going to be shoved up your ass. The Corporate supreme Citizens will buy all the loopholes and the Freesters will get offsetting credits. This is our MC future...your invited to Thanksgiving dinner and we're the main course. SOSO (no sarc)

In reply to by JRobby