Sunday, November 3, 2013

PBS NewsHour on Hurricane Sandy one year later

As I promised in Rutgers on Sandy anniversary and other climate news and repeated in PBS NewsHour on preppers, here is more on the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy's landfall from PBS NewsHour.

First, here's the set-up from the day before the anniversary, New York uses Sandy lessons to build storm defenses.

One year after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, the Big Apple is still rebuilding. But city officials have taken lessons learned from the storm's surge into account to ensure power and transit systems can withstand future natural disasters. Miles O'Brien reports on high-tech infrastructure adjustments in New York City.
The next day, O'Brien expanded on the changes since Sandy to remediate the damage.

New York Plans for Resilience

The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy wiped out power and businesses in New York, some of which took weeks to come back online. Now power and telephone companies have bounced back and are taking precautions for the next big storm.
Follow over the jump for more, including four videos I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Eclipse, Sandy Anniversary, and Fall Back).

What the lowlands can teach about warding off high water

Superstorm Sandy showed U.S. coastal cities the damage water can do -- a threat the Dutch have lived with for centuries. Their system of dams and dikes, locks and levees is keeping the Netherlands safe in a world with rising seas. Miles O'Brien reports on what Americans can learn from the Dutch model of flood management.
There are two short videos that elaborate on two topics in the above clip, how windmills have shaped the Dutch countryside and how the Dutch are beginning to make accomodations to the rising waters.

Windmills Continue to Transform the Dutch Landscape

The Netherland's iconic windmills are now relics, but they were once the height of flood control technology. These quaint windmills transformed the low-lying region from a bog into a habitable place.
Dutch Homeowners Move to Make Room for the River

The Dutch have dealt with flooding for centuries by heightening dykes -- and that may not have been wise. Hans Brouwer, senior branch manager with the "Room for the River" project says it's time to the give land back to the river. This means farmers and homeowners have been asked to give up their land to make room for the rivers' natural floodplains, which has not been easy.
In my classes, I would call this an example of a "Nature Knows Best" solution.

PBS returns to New York as the show asks Will Beach Nourishment Save Coney Island?

Coney Island reopened after Hurricane Sandy wiped out the beach amusement park. Its new roller coaster Cyclone towers over a beach nourishment project, where dredges pull up sand from the ocean floor and pump it back onto the shore. This has been a Coney Island tradition since the 1920s, but is it enough to save the beach?
Contrast this with the Dutch attempt to employ a "Nature Knows Best" solution in The Sand Engine Churns to Bring Sand to the Beach.

As beaches around the world rapidly erode, Marcel Stive of the Delft University of Technology says we need to nourish the coasts by putting sand back on the shore. These beaches are vital to coastal cities, holding back the ocean during storms, he said. He has developed the Sand Engine, a means of restoring sand to the beach with minimal environmental impact.
Speaking of "Nature Knows Best," another one is being tried in NYC as Blue Mussels Clean and Protect New York Harbor.

After the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, New York City looks for ways to protect the metropolis from future floods. Civil engineers look to floodgates, but landscape architect Kate Orff is looking at tiny blue mussels for answers. Rebuilding the natural mussel beds and marshes around the city offers natural protection against waves, and they will clean the harbor's dirty waters, she said.
I'll have more about the anniversary of Sandy's landfall from Columbia University and other sources after Midnight.  Stay tuned.

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