PATH stations see many improvements since Sandy, but more can be done, officials say

Superstorm Sandy destroyed many New Jersey homes a decade ago, but it also badly impacted the state’s transportation hubs. This includes the Hoboken PATH Station.

News 12 Staff

Oct 25, 2022, 2:30 AM

Updated 627 days ago

Share:

Superstorm Sandy destroyed many New Jersey homes a decade ago, but it also badly impacted the state’s transportation hubs. This includes the Hoboken PATH Station.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has done a lot over the last 10 years to keep the system running smoothly in the event of future storms.
“The entire station was flooded up to the ceiling, all our infrastructure and tunnels flooded,” says Damian McShane, assistant director of capitol programs for PATH. “It was a complete disaster.”
The lower levels of the station were completely flooded and at least 5 feet of water filled the ground floor.
“Problem during Sandy wasn’t so much that it damaged the stations, but it made its way into the tubes,” says Josh DeFlorio, chief of Port Authority Resilience & Sustainability.
It took 119 days to get the service fully restored. Over the decade, officials implemented a $2.5 billion federal resiliency program to make sure nothing like this happens again. That work will continue indefinitely.
“Our challenge is to look at risks that are residual from Sandy and risks emerging due to climate change and make sure we are making investments in flood-hardening measures,” DeFlorio says.
One such measure is stainless steel flood doors that would seal the PATH station off from flood waters. They have also installed aquarium glass to protect the elevator. This is where a lot of the water came from during the storm.
They are also doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work across the PATH system.
“We also saw extensive flooding along our tracks heading out to Newark, so we build seawalls there, again, to protect those assets and ensure we can provide reliable service during storms and after,” says McShane.
Officials say they know they will likely need these new systems in place for additional storms.
“It is our assumption that climate change will make these stressors worse. Sandy was an unprecedented event, but we can expect stronger storms more frequently in the future,” DeFlorio says.
The Port Authority is also making resiliency updates at other facilities, including airports, ports and bridges and tunnels.


More from News 12