NYC offers storm challenges above ground and below

Associated Press Modified: October 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm •  Published: October 28, 2012
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—STEAM, WATER AND GAS: Those lines are nestled in the 30 feet of ground below the power and telecommunications lines. Because cool water and hot steam pipes is a bad combination, Con Ed is considering shutting down the service — used for hot water, heat and air conditioning.

—SEWERS: Unlike more modern wastewater systems, New York's carries sewage and storm runoff in the same pipes to treatment plants. Even moderate storms often overwhelm the system and force officials to release untreated sewage into the city's waterways.

—TALL BUILDINGS: Gusts from the superstorm are expected to hit 70 to 80 mph in New York City and could be 10 to 15 mph higher on the high floors of tall buildings. Most New York buildings are designed to handle the winds forecast from the coming storm, but there's always the possibility of loose debris breaking windows, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. High-rise residents can also face the loss of elevator service and water if power goes out.

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