CLICK to see the genesis of a storm surge

Building potentially affected

Possible 2100 storm-surge extent (blue area)

Sandy’s 2012 storm-surge extent (white line)

During Sandy, seawater gushed into the Ground Zero construction site. New federal maps include the site in a 100-year flood zone.


What would happen to New York if the storm surge hurled at it by a storm like Sandy were riding on a sea that had risen five feet higher? That’s the high end of the range in 2100 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now recommends planning for. Sandy’s surge flooded subway tunnels, knocked out the power grid in lower Manhattan for days, and damaged 218,000 cars in the region as a whole. If the city doesn’t protect itself, a future flood will surge farther and deeper into its cavernous streets.

Methodology This estimated footprint of a Sandy-like storm surge in 2100 assumes high tide and a sea-level rise of five feet. It was produced using a National Weather Service storm-surge model called SLOSH and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers procedure for translating the model’s coarse output into a detailed inundation map. It doesn’t consider future changes in coastal terrain that would affect a storm surge, such as erosion of beaches or sandbars.
Manhattan ModeL Provided by PictoMetry (2009, 2012)

ryan Morris, Matthew twoMbLy, and MaGGie sMith, nGM staff. art: ixtract GMbh, berLin. sources: noaa; u.s. arMy corPs of enGineers; new york city dePartMent of city PLanninG; new york city office of eMerGency ManaGeMent; usGs; nationaL hurricane center; nationaL weather service; stevens institute of technoLoGy (diGitaL eLevation ModeL); renaissance coMPutinG institute, university of north caroLina at chaPeL hiLL; feMa (2012 storM-surGe extent)