New York City pre­pares for fu­ture big storms

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - Byjennifer Peltz DE­VEL­OP­MENTS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

NEW YORK — The city will work on up­grad­ing build­ing codes and evac­u­a­tion-zone maps, hard­en­ing power and trans­porta­tion net­works and mak­ing sure hos­pi­tals are bet­ter pre­pared for ex­treme weather af­ter Su­per­storm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thurs­day.

As a start, util­ity Con­sol­i­dated Edi­son has agreed to spend $250 mil­lion to­ward get­ting its elec­tri­cal, steam and gas sys­tems in shape to with­stand a Cat­e­gory 2 hur­ri­cane, Bloomberg said.

City of­fi­cials will work on more com­pre­hen­sive plans to help Sandy- rav­aged ar­eas re­cover and pre­pare the city for fu­ture weather dis­as­ters. That will in­clude ex­am­in­ing the pros and cons of build­ing berms, dunes, lev­ees and other coast­pro­tec­tion struc­tures, Bloomberg said, though he re­mains cool to the idea of mas­sive sea walls.

“Let me be clear: We are not go­ing to aban­don the waterfront,” the mayor said Thurs­day at a meet­ing spon­sored by the Re­gional Plan As­so­ci­a­tion and the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers. But “we have to build smarter and stronger and more sus­tain­able.”

Of­fi­cials are think­ing about lessons to draw from the Oct. 29 storm in pre­par­ing for fu­ture disas- ters. Con­sid­er­a­tions are over­laid with the prospect of more ex­treme weather and higher seas be­cause of global warm­ing, Bloomberg said. He has long been out­spo­ken on per­ils of a chang­ing cli­mate, team­ing up on en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives with former Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore, who praised Bloomberg’s ef­forts Thurs­day. New Jersey Repub­li­can Gov. Chris Christie made an unan­nounced visit Thurs­day to the White House, where he met with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to press for $83 bil­lion in ex­tra dis­as­ter aid for his state, New York and Con­necti­cut. Christie made a sim­i­lar pitch to a fel­low Repub­li­can, House Speak­erJohn Boehner, at the Capi­tol.

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