Albany, NY (October 28, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed the Port Authority to make all necessary preparations to prevent flooding at the World Trade Center site during Hurricane Sandy. In preparation for the storm, the Port Authority halted all major construction work at the site at 4 p.m. Saturday, and efforts to secure the site are ongoing.
“I’ve directed the Port Authority to ensure that the World Trade Center site and the Memorial are protected from flooding and high winds due to Hurricane Sandy,” said Governor Cuomo. “The World Trade Center is being built well above and beyond normal flood protection standards; however we must take every precaution to ensure the site is protected from a potentially historic storm.”
All construction materials have been tied down and nailed to concrete floors, or secured with heavy chains. Additionally, all cranes have been secured, including the ones located on Towers 1 and 4. Additionally, aerial lifts are set to their lowest positions.
For floors above 88 at One World Trade Center -- which are currently surrounded only by netting -- crews have removed or tied down any and all debris that could become airborne during the storm. Throughout the storm, there will be construction staff and maintenance crews will be on site around the clock to deal with issues that may arise.
The Port Authority is taking all precautions to prevent flooding from potential storm surges. The entire site is equipped with pumps to drain and remove storm water that may enter the site. Operational, security and construction staff has been assigned to closely monitor vulnerable areas and keep all necessary drains clear and equipment operational to minimize water infiltration. The World Trade Center site slopes in elevation with the lowest levels being at West Street and the highest levels at Church Street. These elevations vary from approximately 5 feet above mean high tide to 13 feet at memorial plaza, and 24 feet at Church Street.
In total, more than one-thousand sandbags have been placed around low lying areas adjacent to Battery Park City and the Hudson River. Extra pumps and sandbags are being delivered to the site as a precaution.
Crews have tested all pumping equipment and confirmed electric generators are working correctly, with backup plans in place. The site is equipped with redundant power, and additional backup generators are on site. Workers secured all cables and conduits with inflatable bladders to ensure that no water infiltration occurs. Furthermore, the main feeders and cables are surrounded by concrete walls, and drainage and alarm systems are in place to alert maintenance and construction staff the moment moisture seeps into electrical areas.