New York City prepares for future big storms
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.