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When Manhattan's Underground Rivers Flow Through Buildings

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[Photo by Nick Carr/Scouting NY]

Hurricane Sandy turned most of lower Manhattan into one giant waterway, but even without a record storm surge, rivers flow beneath our buildings. It's a well-known fact that small waterways, like the Minetta Brook in the Village, were forced underground as New York was developed, but rarely does one encounter these streams today. Nick Carr of Scouting NY recently stumbled across one in the basement of a building. The flow of water had poked its way through the foundation, carving little canals in the concrete floor.

Carr's guide said not much could be done to stop the water, because if one hole was patched, another would simply form. This building, which Carr doesn't name, is just one of many that sits atop a river and can suffer from bad flooding. Needless to say, things probably aren't too pretty here post-Sandy. Because these waterways are still active today, developers and engineers often consult this Viele map from 1874 that shows all of the streams and rivers now beneath Manhattan.
· Stumbling Upon An Underground River In Manhattan [Scouting NY]