For just the second time in over 100 years, Battery Park City and Lower Manhattan are serving as the trenches for a hurricane and or tropical storm. In 2011, Irene crashed over Lower Manhattan bringing gusts of wind and water. Today, Lower Manhattan is starting to feel the madness of Sandy.
2012 has been a year of great progress for Lower Manhattan and its residents. Developer Larry Silverstein placed the final beam on Four World Trade center. One World Trade Center became the tallest building in Manhattan and the partial opening of the Fulton Street Station gave preview to the strides being made by New York City in mass transit.
However, 2012 has also become the second data point in a premature but dreaded trend line of tropical storms. The water and wind damage done to Lower Manhattan structures could be historic.
Storm in Lower Manhattan so far
As of noon today, water levels by the Battery Park promenade were 10 feet below the side walk of the promenade. By 9:00 pm this evening, water levels by the promenade were at 2 feet high at ground level, meaning water levels had risen at about two feet per hour. In fact, three feet of water have been reported to be on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor.
Across the river in Hoboken, New Jersey, the water of the Hudson River has already breached the city limits to the north and south of the city. Sandy is here and she’s not playing.
So as the water levels continue to rise and the city strategically shuts off electricity in high risk neighborhoods, New Yorkers cross their fingers. Last year, Irene has been deemed a dud and was scoffed at. Today, New Yorkers are beginning to shed much of their sacrilege indifference to this storm and are giving it the attention it has begun to demand.