Feds storm in with tips

August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

The city and other coastal communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy must rebuild with the assumption that climate change will send more killer storms their way, a presidential task force concluded Monday.

The panel made 69 recommendations, including upgrading the power grid and cell phone networks to better protect the communities from rising sea levels, more frequent flooding and increasingly fierce weather.

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Sea water flooded the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in 2012.

John Minchillo/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sea water flooded the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in 2012.

“Our climate is changing, and . . . we have to build differently,” said federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was named by President Obama to head the task force.

“We also know it’s more cost-effective. For every dollar that we spend on smart mitigation today, we save for the next time a storm hits.”

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“We’ve always lived on the coast,” Bloomberg said. “We’re always going to have people, I think, that want to live in areas that are problematic from an environmental point of view. And the question is finding a balance.”

Mike Groll/AP

“We’ve always lived on the coast,” Bloomberg said. “We’re always going to have people, I think, that want to live in areas that are problematic from an environmental point of view. And the question is finding a balance.”

Donovan released the plan with Mayor Bloomberg on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, overlooking the Newtown Creek sewage treatment plant, which kept running during Sandy because of protective measures.

The feds’ strategy calls for storm-proofing the electric grid by elevating power plants and power lines to make them less vulnerable to flooding, and creating alternate sources of energy, such as solar power generation.

PHOTOS: HURRICANE SANDY: BEFORE AFTER

Bloomberg previously released a $20 billion plan for the city, from building flood walls to creating a storm-resistant “Seaport City” neighborhood.

Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

Bloomberg previously released a $20 billion plan for the city, from building flood walls to creating a storm-resistant “Seaport City” neighborhood.

The recommendations include upgrading wireless and landline phone networks so they can keep operating during storms, and better protecting fuel lines.

“As we saw tragically after Sandy, the breakdown of our infrastructure is not only deadly to families, but it crippled the entire region and its economy,” Donovan said.

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Shaun Donovan, who was named to head the task force by President Obama.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Shaun Donovan, who was named to head the task force by President Obama.

“Over 9 million people . . . lost power, and we all remember the gas lines and the generators sitting idle due to a lack of fuel, bringing the region and the economy to a standstill.”

The recommendations were mostly presented in general terms, leaving detailed plans up to cities and states. Bloomberg previously released a $20 billion plan for the city, from building flood walls to creating a storm-resistant “Seaport City” neighborhood.

Some of the recommendations are already being implemented, including creating new flood-protection standards for major infrastructure projects built with federal money.

The panel opposes simply rebuilding structures as they were before October’s historic storm.

“We’ve always lived on the coast,” Bloomberg said. “We’re always going to have people, I think, that want to live in areas that are problematic from an environmental point of view. And the question is finding a balance.”

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