So it might be a while before New York’s subways regain full strength, but considering that both Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Christie have implied that we could see another Sandy-strength storm soon, public transit is already preparing for the next crisis. Maybe they should look at this giant balloon–fine, “plug”–that was developed by the Department of Homeland Security. The main problem during the Sandy outage was subway tunnels flooding: you can stick one of these 16-foot plugs in the tunnel, fill it with 35,000 gallons of water, and presto, no more unfettered access for liquids. Sure, there are a lot of tunnels to plug up, but a few well-placed ones of these could’ve made the problem a lot less severe.
The only problem is that there’s only one in the world at the moment, and it’s a prototype.