Hurricane Sandy whacked New York so hard, in many quarters it’s still reeling. That superstorm surge of water, roaring over Staten Island and the Rockaways, into New York Harbor, over Lower Manhattan, over Wall Street, into subways and power stations. Into the heart of the biggest city in America. It’s already cost billions.

Is it wise to protect New York with a a storm surge barrier?

Radio reporter Tom Ashbrook of NPR news station posed this question to three specialists and his listeners on November 8.

The reactions were very different.

The radio debate made clear that coastal cities as London, St. Petersburg and Rotterdam, have already chosen for a storm surge barrier, but for New York the choice is not so obvious yet.

The experts that participated in the radio debate were:

Radley Horton, research scientist at the Center for Climate Systems Research, Earth Institute at Columbia University

Malcolm Bowman, head of the Storm Surge Research Group at SUNY Stony Brook.

Piet Dircke, director, Global Water Management at Arcadis, a consulting firm focused on infrastructure, water and the environment.

Listen to the full radio broadcast (46 minutes):

Other news items on superstorm Sandy on this website:
● Adoption Dutch-based flood protection would require radical change US safety approach, 18 November 2012
● More new New Amsterdam: innovative flood protection for New York after superstorm Sandy, November 18, 2012
● Aftermath superstorm Sandy: How to reduce flood risk on US and Dutch barrier islands? - November 7, 2012
● Flood experts discuss need for storm surge barriers for coastal cities in aftermath of superstorm Sandy - November 2, 2012 
● Dutch based flood protection plan for New York to revive in aftermath of superstorm Sandy - November 1, 2012
● Netherlands, US intensify cooperation on water management, climate resilience and flood preparedness, 5 March 2013

More information
Ministry of Infrastructure and environment
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 456 00 00

Royal Netherlands Embassy
Washington, USA
+1 202-362-3430