Oh wow. This was published in the October 28 issue of NYMag.
Sometime tomorrow, a storm surge from Hurricane Sandy is expected to race through New York Harbor, flooding streets, low-lying areas, and likely the subway tunnels. One 2011 state report suggests that a coastal storm flooding large swathes of the subway system in less than an hour could cost up to $58 billion in economic damages (and lost revenue) and — more disturbingly for the general population — leave New York public transit system out of commission for up to a month. The man who wrote that section of the report is Dr. Klaus H. Jacob, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He told Daily Intel that such a scenario may be just around the corner. “If [Sandy] arrives at the high tide, then what we will have Monday late evening will come close to the scenario that is described in that report,” he said. (A full moon is expected at 7:49 p.m. tomorrow, meaning high high tides.) “If it is off by a few hours, then I think we will see some subway flooding but not the full scenario.”