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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his MTA chief, Joe Lhota, say the danger of flooding of the East River subway tunnels is quite real. “Our subway system and salt water do not mix,” Lhota said in a briefing with the Governor this morning. “Salt water can corrode switches quite easily.” Lhota added that would put the general ability for the system to function “in jeopardy.”
During Tropical Storm Irene, as WNYC reported a year ago, the city came within a foot of seeing the subway tunnels flood. Officials just predicted Sandy will peak at 11.7 feet above flood stage, versus 9.5 feet for Sandy.
In a best-case scenario, Jacob calculated that it would take 29 days to get the subway working again. But in the meantime, a halted subway would almost halt the city’s economy, which, he says produces $4 billion a day in economic activity.