Could hurricane Irene surge flood lower Manhattan, Midtown East, Upper East Side, Battery Park, the shipyard, and Ground Zero (World Trade Center) areas? (map, kmz)

CARIBBEAN SEA - AUGUST 24: In this handout GOE...
Irene, August 23, 2011 Image by Getty Images via @daylife

UPDATE: NYC Evacuation and Hurricane Irene Possible Landfall Map

NOAA predicts that even if it remains an intensity 1 or 2, hurricane Irene might flood a good part of lower Manhattan, including Battery Park and Ground Zero (World Trade Center). The later, which is at this point a virtual hole in the ground, might collect the water that would reach as far as Rector Park.

Knickerbocker Village and Lower East Side are also at risk, as are Midtown East and Upper East Side, which seem to be potentially the worst affected.

Midtown Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, as well as part of the subway network could be affected by the surge as well.

The red line represents the predicted limit of likely Manhattan floding according to NOAA data. The boundary is probabilistic, meaning that it can turn into reality only if a number of calculated premises are met, including and especially if Irene hits Manhattan frontally. Thus, it is not a true “forecast”. The data is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via

Other details at

use the + / – signs to zoom in and out. click and drag to pan around the map. click earth to see map in 3d, including buildings.

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

2 thoughts on “Could hurricane Irene surge flood lower Manhattan, Midtown East, Upper East Side, Battery Park, the shipyard, and Ground Zero (World Trade Center) areas? (map, kmz)

  • August 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    If lower manhattan flooded and with the forecast for Monday being sunny, how long would it take for the waters to recede?

    • August 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      God knows… But hopefully the water will be out by Tuesday-Wednesday. Just a guess, there is no actual forecast out there…


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