After Sandy, New York politicians taking hurricane barriers seriously

November 26, 2012 Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand recently called for a hurricane protection plan for New York’s coastline, asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study a series of projects meant to protect cities from future storm surges.

City Council Speaker (and mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn has also put forward a plan for installing storm surge barriers to protect against climate change and rising tides.

As reported in City and State her ideas include sea walls or floodgates along with natural defenses like sand dunes, with a price tag of up to $20 billion — – paid for by the federal government.

City Comptroller John Liu, another likely mayoral candidate, said the cost would be “astronomical” but the price of the damage incurred by another storm like Sandy could be devastating.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has already requested $30 billion in Federal aid for New York State after Sandy.

Other potential candidates, however, are throwing cold water on the idea of federal funding. “In the long run, given what’s happening in Washington nowadays and discussions about cutting budgets, I don’t know that we’re going to get that much help,” said former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

“I don’t know where the money would come from,” Mayor Bloomberg told WNYC — but he added that if someone could find the money to do it would be great.

The Villager reports that Quinn has been working with Senator Schumer, who will lead the effort in Congress to win support for the Army Corps of Engineers study.

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