• Corporate HQ, NY
  • Melville, NY
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Ossining, NY
  • Mount Laurel, NJ

LIRR Storage Yards Flooding Investigation


New York City/Long Island City, NY<br style='line-height:2px'>Long Island Rail Road

Superstorm Sandy caused significant flooding for the LIRR’s West Side Storage Yard at 12th Avenue on Manhattan’s West Side, and the Long Island City Storage (LIC) Yard in Queens. The flooding, which damaged railroad systems and infrastructure in the storage yards, is believed to have been caused by the storm surge from the Hudson River, which came across 12th Avenue and flooded the West Side Yard to approximately 4 feet of water, and the East River, which flooded the LIC yard.

HAKS assisted with the investigation of the storm surge and subsequent flooding at both LIRR yards to determine the necessary infrastructure improvements to prevent future yard flooding. We obtained information from government agencies such as FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the New York State Office of Emergency Management that was used to define and map the extent of the storm surge in the area of the yards. HAKS reviewed both yards’ storm drainage system drawings and the operations of the 100-year storm pumps to determine the sequence of events that resulted in the yards’ flooding and the inability of the pumps to contain the flooding.

The project focused on the following tasks:

  • Hydraulic analyses of the yards relative to the Hudson River and East River flood plains to recommend perimeter protection to prevent river water from storm surges from entering the yards
  • Modifications to storm drainage systems to mitigate flooding
  • Analyses of pumping capacities, existing drainage systems’ configuration and location of all inverts for storm water collection to document recommendations
  • Modifications to sanitary drainage systems to prevent storm water from backing up through sanitary drain lines
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of both yards’ aqua dams to prevent the migration of flood water, and recommendation of refinements to the aqua dam concept or recommendation of alternative concepts to contain flood waters
  • Evaluation of the effect of an overbuild platform to be constructed at both yards

HAKS’ findings and recommendations are being included in a comprehensive report that documents the events and conditions experienced during Superstorm Sandy and the steps to be taken to improve the infrastructure of the West Side and LIC Storage Yards to prevent a flood recurrence.