Earlier today, we ran a post about how Bill Rudin rather pragmatically welcomed the flooding of the Brooklyn Batter Tunnel, for it provided a modicum of protection to some of his buildings downtown that might otherwise have been flooded. This afternoon, we found a statement in our inbox from Mr. Rudin that seemed to indicate—as we had in the original piece—that floodable tunnels and other innovative flood control measures might not actually be the worst idea. The Observer asked a Rudin spokesperson for more context on the statement, but this is all we’ve got.
Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc across the city, including Lower Manhattan, where flooding into tunnels shut down both subway and vehicular traffic for weeks. In a story looking at flooding in the Hugh Carey Brooklyn-Battery tunnel, Dana Rubinstein reveals that none other than developer, macher and civic bigwig Bill Rudin actually welcomed the flooding because it protected some of his harborside buildings.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Last night, the MTA posted a video of the cleanup effort going on inside the Hugh Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which had reopened just the day before after a monstrous flood.
It is a burgeoning genre, after the MTA gave the L train tubes the same treatment—not every effort got a star turn, just the slow ones, as though to say, “Look, we’re workin’ on it.” That and the jaw-dropping ones, like flooding inside the (still-closed) South Ferry subway station (and the cleanup).
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Governor Cuomo came to the mouth of the Hugh Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel less than an hour ago with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and MTA chief Joe Lhota to announce that one tube of the formerly flooded tunnel would be opening to traffic at 4 o’clock today. Within minutes of his entourage departing, the cars did indeed begin flowing in. Town cars, Range Rovers, some foreign and domestic sedans, at least two Cadillacs and, of course, numerous cabs.
It was a regular stream of New York City wheels. And as so often happens when such vehicles tend to cluster, there was a back-up. Yes, traffic. Perhaps life is getting back to normal.
“In many ways, for me, this site a metaphor for the entire storm,” Governor Cuomo said, from the awesome power of Mother Nature that first hit the city during Hurricane Sandy to the awesome rebuilding effort the MTA and others undertook.
The Great Flood
Standing at the mouth of the Hugh L. Carey/Brooklyn Batter Tunnel in Lower Manhattan earlier this afternoon, following a tour of the flooding within, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave yet another one of his rousing speeches on the trials of New York under pressures, particularly how it is that the physical infrastructure that makes this city tick can also bring it to its knees if a disaster occurs.
But before we get to that, what exactly is the status of the tunnel, one of the city’s busiest, with a daily traffic of some 50,000 vehicles? MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota began by relating of the story he told earlier this week, of meeting the governor at the mouth of the tunnel by happenstance on Monday night, where they took in the hellish scene.
According to Senator Chuck Schumer, the federal government will soon begin the arduous task of returning floodwaters back to the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Sandy’s surge flooded key transportation arteries earlier this week.
“In the past hour, I have received an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the federal de-watering efforts happening in New York City,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement this afternoon.
Governor Cuomo just announced that the Holland Tunnel and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will be closed at 2 p.m. today because they would be the most prone to flooding. There was no mention of the Lincoln Tunnel, which presumably will remain open and could be the one life-line for Manhattan as the bridges will also close should wind speeds surpass 60 miles per hour. Earlier today, a wind speed of 51 miles per hour.