In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, scientists and officials are trying to protect the largest U.S. city from future floods By Jeff Tollefson and Nature magazine
Image: MICHAEL BOCCHIERI/GETTY
Joe Leader’s heart sank as he descended into the South Ferry subway station at the southern tip of Manhattan in New York. It was 8 p.m. on 29 October, and Hurricane Sandy had just made landfall some 150 kilometers south in New Jersey. As chief maintenance officer for the New York City subway system, Leader was out on patrol. He had hoped that the South Ferry station would be a refuge from the storm. Instead, he was greeted by wailing smoke alarms and the roar of gushing water. Three-quarters of the way down the final set of stairs, he pointed his flashlight into the darkness: seawater had already submerged the train platform and was rising a step every minute or two.
“Up until that moment,” Leader recalls, standing on the very same steps, “I thought we were going to be fine.” (more).
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