New York is under a state of emergency after heavy overnight rains flooded the streets, subways, and airports on Friday. But this isn’t the first time that New York is witnessing such a situation. And the situation may turn worse under the rising impact of climate change, say experts The drainage system in New York City gets overwhelmed due to excessive rain in the city. It can handle a maximum of 1.75 inches of rainfall per hour, but the city received over 2 inches on Friday. The drainage capacity breach is believed be
Rohit Aggarwala, commissioner of New York City Department of Environmental Protection told The New York Times In over half of New York City, the drainage system combines the storm water with the sewage in the same pipes. When the flow in the pipes gets too much, the water enters the local waterways. As the sewer system is overwhelmed, untreated wastewater ends up in the basements of residents and businesses a mix of rain and untreated sewage
Underlining the causes of excessive rainfall, he said climate change warming up the planet and warmer oceans mean more moisture is in the atmosphere that can trigger rains and lead to floodingBut climate change is also altering the behaviour of the jet stream, and some of our work suggests that it is leading to a wavier, slower jet stream associated with stalled weather systems that remain stuck in place for days or even weeks on end that’s when you see the worst flooding events the scientist addedAll drainage systems
The limit on the capacity of the city’s network of drains, pipes and water-treatment plants is the main reason New Yorkers across all five boroughs suffered through flooding. And this probably will not be the city’s last bout with heavy flooding as it plays catch-up with the pace of climate change, experts saidThis changing weather pattern is the result of climate change, and the sad reality is our climate is changing faster than our infrastructure can respond
The rush-hour downpour on Friday overwhelmed the 7,400 miles of pipes that carry storm water and sewage under the city’s hard surfaces to treatment plants or into the nearest rivers and bays. The runoff backed up into the streets, causing flooding that swamped cars and seeped into basements and subway stations in Brooklyn and Queens The scenes of water rushing over roads and sidewalks were similar to those in 2021 when Hurricane Ida inundated the city and left 11 people dead in Queens.