On Monday, the Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force released a document that the federal government hopes will serve as a prototype for communities nationwide facing major extreme weather events, while also specifically addressing how to continue rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, which hit in October 2012. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan chairs the task force, on which U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx serves as a member.
While focusing on the damage done to communities as a whole, the report highlighted the severe damage caused to multiple transportation systems and modes in the New York City area.
"More than half of the nation's total daily trips on public transportation systems occur within the Sandy-affected region," according to the report. "The day after the storm, nearly all of the region's systems were shut down due to flooding, wind damage, or loss of power, further complicating the rebuilding effort."
In order to help ensure safer communities and less catastrophic outcomes, the task force makes several recommendations. Some of the recommendations made regarding transportation (and therefore directed to USDOT as the lead on those recommendations) are:
USDOT was also directed to take a supporting role in the following recommendations:
"President Obama was clear that his Administration is committed to staying in the Sandy-impacted region until the work was done, and today marks a crucial step in that journey," Donovan said in a statement. "This Rebuilding Strategy will protect families, small businesses and communities across the region, and the taxpayers' investment in them, from the risks posed by sea level rise and more extreme weather events – risks that are made worse by the reality of a changing climate."
The 200-page report is available here.
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