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MTA reveals new storm protection gear for vulnerable subway stations

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The custom marine doors can withstand up to 14 feet of water


On Friday, the MTA revealed new equipment that can be deployed within 24-hour notice to protect underground subway stations from future storms like Hurricane Sandy. The new set of equipment includes custom doors and curtains that can withstand 14 feet of water above street level, reports the Wall Street Journal.

There are 24 custom-made marine doors, weighing 3,000 pounds each, that can be bolted in at the bottom of subway stations staircases in Lower Manhattan and feature an inflatable gasket that functions as a seal to keep water out. Each closure cost roughly $35,000 and the MTA received funding from the Federal Transit Administration to cover the cost.

The custom doors replace sandbags and plywood that were formerly used as protection barriers during Hurricane Sandy, but weren’t effective enough to protect the lowest lying areas against the superstorm.

The Whitehall station, which was one of the hardest hit stations during the storm and was so damaged that it was completely out of commission, is now equipped with metal hatch doors that cost about $50,000 each and have been installed below subway grates. Meanwhile, the South Ferry station has also received new metal doors while the Canal Street station is the recipient of new fabric curtains that prevent water from flowing into the station, costing $400,000 a piece.

Other flood protection measures include interlocking metal “stop logs” that create entrance barriers for the stations where they are installed along with 45,000-pound metal doors installed at the entry points for the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the Queens Midtown tunnel.