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Bloomberg On Storm Barrier Idea: ‘Not In Your Lifetime’

New York Harbor is seen from Chopper 880 (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

New York Harbor is seen from Chopper 880 (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - New York City’s chief executive is skeptical of an idea from overseas on how to protect the city from future storms in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan has signed an agreement with the Netherlands to share information on how to rebuild the northeast to better protect it against tidal surges, specifically including the possibility of storm barriers on the coastline.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Donovan is a smart guy.

“He’s out there trying to get as much information as he can,” Bloomberg said.

But the mayor made it clear he’s not buying the barrier idea.

“You could block off the harbor. I think the environmental issues and the expense would be enormous and not in your lifetime would you see it and I’m not even sure that it makes any sense,” Bloomberg said Monday. “But that, in theory, you could do.”

“Keep in mind, most of the damage we had was not in a harbor where you could put up barriers. It was out along the ocean. Unless you’re prepared to build a barrier from the Florida Keys to Newfoundland, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he added.

His Honor added that another mystery would be where you could find the votes in Congress to initiate such a project.