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Port Authority Approves $59-Million in Hurricane Funds

The Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted Wednesday to approve $59 million in spending to prepare its facilities for the upcoming hurricane season and more extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy.

Hoboken PATH station during Superstorm Sandy (Image courtesy of Port Authority of NY and NJ)

The money would go toward efforts including the instillation of pumps and flood barriers in the PATH train system and more pumps and generators at the World Trade Center site, the agency said. The spending approved Wednesday brings the agency’s overall spending in Sandy-related actions including recovery, cleanup and mitigation, to $450 million.

“We’ve developed a series of short-term protective measures that will be completed in the weeks ahead, while ongoing repairs and longer-term mitigation projects continue,” executive director Pat Foye told the board.

Foye said the agency has learned lessons about its preparation needs because of Sandy. That includes the need to protect low-lying electrical infrastructure, as well as maintaining larger stockpiles of emergency equipment and replacement parts, especially spare parts that are difficult to find or no longer manufactured.

He said the agency’s plan to protect its facilities from flood waters includes using metal panels, concrete and other barriers to keep water away from its buildings and stations. There will also be more temporary and permanent pumps in place to deal with water that does get in.

Other plans include putting important electrical infrastructure on higher levels to keep it from getting destroyed by water, as happened in Sandy.

The hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30. Foye said the agency had been given guidance by weather experts that the greatest threat to the Northeast region runs from September through November.


(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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