NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Port Authority executive director Chris Ward says the new World Trade Center dodged a bullet in Hurricane Irene.

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The topic arose on Tuesday with a question about the Port Authority storm plan.

“Well, I think the best part of the plan that we executed is that Irene didn’t come over the sea wall in Battery Park City. I was down here at 2 o’clock in the morning just staring at the water as it was slowly lapping over the edge of the battery here,” he said.

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Ward said the original forecast of 7 to 10 feet would’ve seen salt water flowing through Battery Park City across West Street and filling the World Trade Center site.

He said that would’ve been enormously devastating.

“The site has a huge excavation south of Liberty Street, which is where the vehicle screening center would go and there’s a tunnel punched through that connects the memorial to that vehicle screening center and under the worst case scenario, ten feet of water could have flooded the vehicle screening center and then sent gallons and gallons of seawater down into the memorial,” said Ward.

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As of right now, the 9/11 memorial is still set to open on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.