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Building flooded by Hurricane Sandy constructs nitrogen-fueled gate to protect against the next storm

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Gallery Photo: Hurricane Sandy photos
Gallery Photo: Hurricane Sandy photos

At a tower apartment complex in lower Manhattan, a 13-foot tall, $250,000 aluminum gate has been installed across the basement entrance to protect against — of all things — water. Hurricane Sandy flooded the basement of Two Gold apartments, destroying machinery and vehicles in the basement and filling its lobby with three feet of water, the New York Daily News reports. As part of its repairs, the building's management has installed the massive gate, which uses nitrogen-fueled gaskets to make a water-tight seal between the basement and the street. Similar flood barriers are installed at buildings in areas of the world that are more prone to hurricanes, but Two Gold's gate is among the first in a lower Manhattan residential complex.

Two Gold's management told the New York Daily News that preparations like the flood gate will allow them to "not be surprised again" — but with Sandy filling Manhattan with nearly 14 feet of water at its southern tip, the apartment complex's 13-foot tall barrier may not be enough in the future. A study published last month reported that global warming and melting Arctic ice contributed to the record-high flood, and a sharp rise in the Earth's temperatures means that the climate is only changing faster. October's flood led Two Gold's management to spend $15 million on repairs and future preparations, and the quarter-million dollar flood gate is the centerpiece of that plan.