New York to spend $500 million for Manhattan flood protection

Among the projects is a permanent protective wall south of Battery Park City, few blocks from Wall Street


Afp March 15, 2019
A street in the New York borough of Staten Island after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 killed about 40 people in the city. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK: New York will invest $500 million to protect part of the US business and cultural capital Manhattan from climate change, the municipality said on Thursday.

It is allocating the funds to four projects aimed at protecting areas at risk on the southern tip of Manhattan. Among the projects is a permanent protective wall south of Battery Park City, which is a few blocks from Wall Street.

The funding is just a fraction of the estimated $10 billion which New York's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday said would be needed to protect southern Manhattan. A substantial portion of this budget is yet to be funded, and will likely require the support of the federal government.

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Republican President Donald Trump has rejected his own government's National Climate Assessment warning of massive economic losses if carbon emissions continue to feed climate change unchecked.

He also pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, under which nations agreed to limit global temperature rises this century to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), and under 1.5C if possible.

The south Manhattan area was one of the hardest-hit by Hurricane Sandy, which killed about 40 people in the city in October 2012. It cost the state $42 billion after unleashing nine-foot (three-meter) floods across coastal New York and New Jersey.

By 2050, 37 per cent of buildings in Manhattan's southern tip would be at risk of flooding, the New York City Economic Development Corp said in a study published on Thursday.

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