A group that is proposing a $40 billion system of sea gates to protect New York and New Jersey from deadly storm surges toured the shores ravaged by Hurricane Sandy aboard a 100-ft-long luxury yacht.
Engineers, scientists and city planners with the New York New Jersey Storm Surge Working Group met on the ninth anniversary of Sandy to discuss how to best protect the area from floods like the one caused by the deadly storm in 2012.
The hurricane killed 60 people in New York and New Jersey, flooding homes and businesses and causing New York City alone an estimated $19 billion in damage, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
As a result, the Working Group has proposed three sea walls at the East River, Jones Inlet and East Rockway, plus a bigger one in the Outer New York Harbor connecting New York and New Jersey.
Members of the group discussed the $40 billion plans aboard the Manhattan II, a mahogany-finished, air-conditioned vessel with panel windows that rents for up to $2,400 an hour, according to Classic Harbor Line.
Scientists, engineers, architects and city planners met aboard the Manhattan II yacht to discuss ways to protect the New York and New Jersey region from storm surges last week
The New York New Jersey Storm Surge Working Group has proposed four sea barriers, with the largest one, stretching from Sandy Hook, NJ to Breezy Point, NY, estimated at $36.4 billion
The group traveled along the bottom tip of Manhattan, according to a Bloomberg report
The barriers could prevent floods from storms like Hurricane Sandy, which caused about $19 billion in damage in New York City alone. Above, the Plaza Shops on October 30, 2012
'Don’t underestimate the destruction, dislocation, and human misery that climate change and rising seas will bring in the decades ahead,' said Stony Brook oceanography professor and chair of the Working Group Malcolm Bowman, according to Bloomberg.
One person aboard the yacht pointed out that a low-tide mark he saw when he first moved to New York is now completely covered, even when the water is at its lowest.
The Working Group says their four proposed barriers would cost about $30 billion to $40 billion to build.
Flooding continues to be a major problem for New York City.
Over the summer, Tropical Storm Elsa left residents trawling through flooded subway stops, with photos and videos of stations bursting with water going viral.
One shocking video circulating on social media showed a woman plunging into the squalid, trash-filled water to catch a train as it arrived in the station, holding shopping bags high above her head to keep them dry.
Video from Tropical Storm Elsa in July showed a woman plunging into the squalid, trash-filled water to catch a train as it arrived in the station
Storm surge or flood barriers work by closing shut when extreme water levels are forecast, preventing water from coming into the coast. Above, an illustration from the USACE
The NY/NJ Working Group met last week aboard the mahogany-paneled Manhattan II yacht
The Army Corps of Engineers, which would need to approve the project, said in a 2019 report that the largest barrier - running