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Explore the BBC News News Sport Weather Shop Earth Travel Capital iPlayer Culture Autos Future TV Radio CBBC CBeebies Food iWonder Bitesize Travel Music Earth Arts Make It Digital Taster Nature Local Terms of Use About the BBC Privacy Policy Cookies Accessibility Help Parental Guidance Contact the BBC Advertise with us Ad choices Copyright © 2016 BBC. One year after Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York, the city subway system's ability to withstand a major storm has improved in small ways, but the prospect of long-term solutions are still years away. The MTA's pumps, degraded by the heavy work of clearing out millions of gallons of water in Sandy's aftermath, have nearly all been repaired, Lisberg said. If a major storm hit New York now, the MTA would still have to resort to the sandbags and plywood that failed to keep water out of stations and tunnels last year.
But there is reason to believe that method would be more effective now than it was last year.
But that gave the MTA a good look at how the system floods: where its vulnerable points are, and how quickly water can move through small openings.
The important thing, Lisberg said, is not the sandbags themselves, but how they are deployed. MTA via FlickrHurricane Sandy wiped out tracks on the A train in the Rockaways.The long-term plan is to have specially built covers that can be locked into place, but that will take time. The MTA did an excellent job getting the subway system back in service after Sandy flooded nine underground tunnels: Within five days, 80% of service was back.
Funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should cover the $5 billion worth of damage to MTA systems caused by Sandy.
Right now, there's the wall in the Rockaways, some new pumps, tunnels that are slowly being waterproofed, and plans to replace the plywood and sandbags with actual metal and plastic.
In May, the FTA allocated nearly $898 million to resilience projects that will make the system better prepared.
In 2008, the Authority published a report on the challenges climate change posed to its public transit systems. Some of those are found under "Continuing Needs" in the MTA's latest Twenty-Year Capital Needs Assessment report.
The capital needs report notes that some resilience projects will be paid for with federal funds.

The MTA has put a lot of time, work, and money into getting the city's subway back to where it was before Sandy hit, a monumental task. Luckily some very smart people have been thinking about the problems of rebuilding and protecting for a while now. He pointed out there are 540 vulnerable openings in just six subway stations in Lower Manhattan. In May, the MTAa€™s Sandy Recovery and Resiliency Division issued 16 task orders to six architectural and engineering design firms.
In contrast, it took a month to restore partial service for the PATH train, which connects New York and New Jersey and is operated by the Port Authority. Some of that work has required painful service cuts, most notably the ongoing 14-month closure of the tunnel that carries the R train from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The peninsula in Queens was devastated by the storm, and a 1,500 feet of above-ground tracks were wiped out. As the changing climate makes the likelihood of megastorms like Sandy more common, New York's transit system needs that money desperately. But even if it does get the money, the MTA is not good at completing large projects on time or on schedule. Only one question really remains at this point: will New York City be prepared for the next Hurricane Sandy?
Every single one needs to be covered a€” and will be, he added, if another major storms heads this way. They are developing plans to increase pump capacity and design ways to mitigate flooding in low-lying areas.
The duct banks under the walkways along the sides of the tunnel collapsed in areas, and must be removed and totally rebuilt. They have been replaced, and the MTA built a three-mile sea wall between the tracks and the water to protect it from future damage. The East Side Access project, to connect Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal, is a decade behind schedule.

But they're still ideas on paper, and it will take a lot of funding a€” and careful proper use of those funds a€” to put them in place.
Initial reports are not necessarily good, especially with the current state of affairs in New York City. The fires alone cause $25 million in damage, or more than $600 million when adjusted for inflation.
Unfortunately, ideas like these require leadership and lots of money, neither of which promises to come from Washington any time soon.
So far, there are 85 dead and counting, over $60 billion in damages, a subway system that is still not fully operational a week after it shut down, and raging fires in Queens.
After both of these major events New York picked itself back up, and may have even been better for it. To top it all off, a substation belonging to Con Ed vital to keeping the lights on blew up in the East Village during the first few hours of the storm. Despite this, the Bloomberg administration has been doing all it can to promote massive new developments in every single neighborhood that was hit hard last week: the West side of Manhattan, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, the Queens Riverfront, Red Hook, and the Rockaways.
Special taxes on luxury items, or stock transactions, or the highest incomes, might be the most viable options. While the firemen, police officers, and emergency workers deserve enormous amounts of respect for their service, all of this still begs the question, will New York be ready for the next Hurricane Sandy? But the usual arguments against these taxes are likely to spring up despite the urgent and worthy purpose.
If New York City and the Tri-State area can find the leadership to push these innovations through, maybe New York City can get ahead of the next Hurricane Sandy.

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