On the show last night, we talked about the ongoing misery of the Rockaways, a peninsula of New York City that was wrecked by Sandy. But there is one part of the Rockaways where the homes were not inundated and the power is back earlier. The New York Times reports that a relatively new development, Arverne by the Sea, partly from luck and partly because it built to handle a storm surge:
The system — which features underground chambers, wide street mains and storm drains on each house property — connects to large sewer mains that the developer installed in public streets that they rebuilt around the project site, as part of an agreement with the city, Mr. Romski said. Also helpful was a natural buffer of sand and beach grass that was maintained near the boardwalk. It also helped that much of the boardwalk in front of the project stayed intact to break the roaring surf, unlike the long stretch west of 88th Street that was obliterated.
"Even back in the planning phases, there was talk of global warming and rising sea levels and all that," Mr. Romski said. "We knew we'd have to engineer it specifically, and go above and beyond the building requirements, to make it hurricane-proof."
Instead of overhead power lines, the developer put in underground utility lines, and installed submersible transformers, Mr. Romski said. Homes in the development got power back sooner than much of the rest of the Rockaways, parts of which still remain in the dark. Water never rose to the electrical meters, and the developer hired electricians to inspect the homes, to make sure they were able to receive power.
You can see Arverne by the Sea in the developer's file photos above (the low buildings surrounded by vacant land) and below. People have made fun of the project over the years for tinker-toy design and construction, as the Times points out, but when the water rose, homes in Arverne mostly stayed dry.