NY subway system 'in danger of flooding'

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Underground system 'in danger of flooding'

New York's underground system is in danger of being flooded as a result of last week's terrorist attacks.

Engineers are drawing up emergency plans to prevent water from the Hudson River pouring into the basement of the World Trade Centre.

They fear the flood water will get into the subway system and fill train tunnels all over the city.

Dan Hahn, of Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, who are working on the disaster site with the New York Port Authority, said: "It could flood a lot of the underground system of New York."

The basement beneath the demolished twin towers housed seven floors of shops and parking, with a Port Authority Trans Hudson underground station at the bottom.

Two train tunnels from the station head west out of the basement, beneath the Hudson, where they join a network of other tunnels.

Two of these head back under the Hudson and terminate at 33rd Street in mid-town Manhattan.

With the basement floors now destroyed or damaged, engineers believe only debris is preventing the walls from collapsing in on themselves.

If that happened it would be like a dam breaking, allowing mud and water from the Hudson to pour in.

Aine Brazil, managing principal with structural engineers Thornton-Tomasetti Group which is also working on the site, said: "If the walls collapse and the bathtub fills with water, it'll go straight out of the tunnels at the bottom. That could send water right up to 33rd Street and into the subway."

Story filed: 15:19 Wednesday 19th September 2001


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 19, 2001

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