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See how the MTA responded to Hurricane Sandy at this Transit Museum exhibit

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“Bring Back the City” highlights the unseen efforts from transit workers during Hurricane Sandy

Ameena Walker.

It’s been five years since Hurricane Sandy struck New York City and recovery efforts are still underway on the areas hit the hardest, including neighborhoods like Sea Gate in Brooklyn and Breezy Point in Queens. Some of lower Manhattan’s train stations like the Whitehall and Canal Street stations were also devastated during the superstorm and the MTA is still working on making low-lying subway stations more resilient against future disasters. While recovery and resiliency efforts are ongoing, the New York Transit Museum is debuting an exhibit that gives a look at the behind-the-scenes work done by transit employees in the wake of disasters.

The exhibition, entitled Bringing Back the City: Mass Transit Responds to Crisis, relies on data visualizations to illustrate the scale of flooding in subway tunnels and the damage that resulted, including corrosion to track relays and transformers. The exhibit also focuses on how MTA engineers are planning for the future and the new equipment that is being tested out, from vent covers to inflatable coffer dams.

Courtesy of Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin, 2012
Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin, 2012.
Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum Collection / Photo by Leonard Wiggins, 2012.

A temporary wall stands ready to hold back Sandy’s flood waters at the Lenox Subway Terminal at 148th Street.

Bringing Back the City focuses not only on Hurricane Sandy-related recovery efforts, but also from other natural disasters like the blizzard of 2010 and Hurricane Irene to manmade disasters like the 9/11 attacks and the blackout of 2003.

On Sunday, October 29, the Transit Museum is offering an exclusive guided tour of Bringing Back the City, accompanied by a gallery talk that will highlight images and artifacts from Hurricane Sandy.

The exhibition is on view from now through September 2019 and also offers a digital version.