This October will mark the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the “superstorm” that slammed into the East Coast and wreaked record-setting havoc on parts of New York and New Jersey. Six years later, city planners in New York are still struggling with an uncomfortable truth: many climate models point to rising sea levels and more intense, more frequent storms in the region. How long will it really be before another “storm of the century” hits New York?
Robert Laga, a program manager at New York City Transit, isn’t waiting to find out what another storm like Sandy does to the city. He remembers the first vividly enough.
“A day or two after the storm, I went down to the Rockaways, because we were doing some work down there,” he said in a recent interview with The Verge. “And I saw boats in the middle of the street. Then I knew how bad this storm was.”
Laga and his team have the daunting task of keeping New York City’s massive subway system dry in the event of another cataclysmic storm. In June, The Verge sent a video team to follow Laga as he showed off some of the MTA’s most impressive pieces of anti-hurricane hardware. The gear makes subway stations look as though they’re prepared for battle and, in a way, they are: in some places the MTA is bracing for 14-foot storm surges.
Watch the video above to see how New York is preparing for the next superstorm — and whether the city will be ready.