NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York City will work on upgrading building codes and evacuation-zone maps, hardening power and transportation networks and making sure hospitals are better prepared for storms.
Bloomberg discussed responding to both Superstorm Sandy and global warming in a speech Thursday at a Regional Plan Association meeting.
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“We cannot solve the problems associated with climate change on our own here in New York City, but I think it’s fair to say we can lead the way,” Bloomberg said.
He said the city is still focused on recovering from the Oct. 29 storm. But officials have also started thinking about preparations.
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“We don’t know whether the next emergency will be a storm, a drought, a tornado or a blizzard, but we do know we need to be better prepared for all of them,” he said.
Bloomberg said that as a start, Con Edison has agreed to spend $250 million.
“Con Edison has been examining for some time ways to protect our infrastructure and maintain reliable service for our customers during storms such as Sandy,” the utility said in a statement.
The goal is to get its electrical, steam and gas systems in shape to withstand a Category 2 hurricane.
To protect critical equipment from flood damage the utility is hoping to raise electrical relay houses in substations and install stronger barriers and flood pumps.
Con Ed said it is also considering putting major overhead power lines underground.
“While our commitment today would represent an initial infusion of preventive measures, we expect that even greater investments will be needed as regional discussions evolve over the coming months and years,” Con Ed said.
Bloomberg said officials will also revisit construction laws. That especially applies to height restrictions that could discourage people from elevating their homes.
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