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Hurricane Sandy Leaves W.T.C. Largely Unscathed

Hurricane Sandy Leaves W.T.C. Largely Unscathed

Nov 02, 2012
By By: Aline Reynolds | Downtown Express | Downtown Express

Though the World Trade Center didn’t incur significant damage, the complex had sizeable water accumulation in its basements that workers were still pumping out at press time on Friday.

Some 200 million gallons of water from New York Harbor poured into the 16-acre site during the storm, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As a result, the complex’s sub-grade levels were flooded by up to 30 feet of water that might have damaged equipment and electrical systems. The W.T.C. Transportation Hub is under 25 feet of water, while the chiller plant that ventilates the site is submerged by seven feet.

By Friday, 30,000 gallons of water were eliminated from the sub-basements of the W.T.C. by the minute, according to spokesperson Steve Coleman. Ironically, the infrastructure of the underground Vehicle Security Center facilitated the flooding. “They’re pumping significant amounts of water out of the site,” he said. “Approximately 20 percent has been pumped out — they’re making good progress.”

Drying out the towers’ sub-grade areas will take another few days, he noted.

Meanwhile, representatives of developer Larry Silverstein’s construction team and the devleoper’s contractors conducted a full inspection of the eastern portion of the World Trade Center site earlier this week. Following the inspection, the developer reported that all cranes are in working order and that the towers — including 4 W.T.C., which remains on schedule for completion next year — escaped damage.

Seven W.T.C., which also survived the storm, will reopen once Consolidated Edison is able to restore power to Lower Manhattan, according to Bud Perrone, a spokesperson for Silverstein Properties.

“No harm was detected to Silverstein’s major mechanical systems, including a major electrical room beneath the 2 W.T.C. construction site, which supplies power to each of Silverstein’s towers,” he said. “The only major services at present are water and restoration of electrical service. Neither problem is expected to significantly impact the overall construction schedule.” The National Sept. 11 Memorial Plaza also made it through okay. In preparation for Sandy, Memorial officials took several preventative steps, such as draining its pools and harvest tanks, according to president Joe Daniels. “The museum’s collection is largely stored offsite,” he said, “and we are reviewing the condition of these items to assess any impacts and ensure their care.”

The massive flooding, however, took a toll on the museum’s visitor center. “We will have a clearer picture of the extent of the damages as our dedicated response teams continue their assessments,” said Daniels. “We are working closely with the state, city and the Port Authority to reopen the memorial as soon as possible, as well as make any necessary repairs.”


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