If a Rainstorm Causes Flooding in New York, What Would a Hurricane Bring?

Climate scientists warn that as Earth heats, the region can expect more frequent heavy rainstorms, 100-degree temperatures, high-tide flooding and intense storms, which could inundate Lower Manhattan, wipe out coastal neighborhoods and overwhelm infrastructure.

“Every data point suggests that climate change is moving a lot quicker than city government,” Scott M. Stringer, the city’s comptroller, said in an interview. “We did not have a superstorm last night. We had rainfall, and people were literally swimming on Carroll Street,” he added, referring to flooding in Brooklyn. “If that is not a clarion call for focus, then I don’t know what is.”

After Hurricane Sandy, which devastated swaths of New York City and coastal New Jersey in 2012, the federal government allocated $14.7 billion to help the city rebuild and make its infrastructure more resilient — measures that included building sea barriers, hardening subway stations and flood-proofing boilers and wiring in homes. But only 54 percent of the allocated money has been spent, Mr. Stringer’s office reported last May.

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