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Doomsday scenario for Manhattan when a Catagory 5 hurricane

  1. Oct 13, 2005 #1
    What about the doomsday scenario for Manhattan when a Catagory 5 hurricane forces its storm surge up the Hudson?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2005 #2
    The usual - incalculable tragedy, hundreds of billions in insured losses. What else do you expect? How is this an interesting or worthwile discussion?
     
  4. Oct 13, 2005 #3
    For New York to be prepared, at least more so than the New Orleans region was.
     
  5. Oct 13, 2005 #4
    Has NYC ever had a serious hurricane? I don't think I ever remember a serious hurricane even above virginia.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2005 #5
    There's not much to be prepared for. In the North Atlantic, tropical storms move very fast (50+ km/h), and it is of course not possible to evacuate NYC in a day. So the sensible evacuation plan for the city would have hundreds of shelters throught the metropolitan area, in well-constructed buildings resistant to wind damage (read: no glass skyskrapers). Naturally, in the aftermath of Katrina, the city officials scrambled to appear to the public as having a plan, described vaguely in the Washington Post there. They'll rely on trains to move people around. Of course it will still be catastrophic. With any luck, a weak category 1 will make a direct hit on Manhattan first, making people aware of the danger and highlighting which parts of their hurricane response fail - very useful for when the big one comes.

    mattmns - the New England Hurricane of 1938 was a Category 3 hurricane that hit Long Island.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2005 #6
    The reason I asked is because it appears we're again overemphasizing the most obvious & exotic threats, and falling into the trap of ignoring the real stuff. For the same reason everyone's so excited about the radioisotope bombs CNN keeps talking about, while things like AIDS, genoicdes, underfunding of the sciences, &c. are 'tame' topics that can't seem to hold peoples' attention spans.

    Also, as we're on a physics forum, I'm sure anyone here could list a thousand more worrysome disaster scenarios. Today I'm worrying about nationalism, and the increase in poverty (unrelated worries). But yesterday, it was earthquakes.
     
  8. Oct 14, 2005 #7
    Your idea of establishing emergency shelters, not unlike those of the 1950s (but for crises in general), seems well founded and would at least save many lives in the long run. Does the budget have room for it?
     
  9. Oct 14, 2005 #8
    London built the thames barrier to stop a storm surge bursting the banks of the thames. Could New York/manhattan do something similiar?
     
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