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MTA Calls Climate Change An 'Urgent Reality'

Richard Drew
Submerged cars near a parking garage in Manhattan in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. New York City awakened to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power.

In a report released Wednesday, the MTA, the nation’s largest public transit system, called climate change an urgent reality. The agency says it’s budgeted about $3 billion toward addressing climate change’s biggest threats.

The MTA says the most pressing threat to transit is flooding from rising sea levels and storm surges. They say the system suffered more than $5 billion worth of damage from flooding after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Since then, they’ve spent hundreds of millions on flood protection measures like reinforcing tunnel walls or floodproofing substations.

The MTA expects that work to prepare for climate change will continue at least into the 2020s. Sea level in the region is expected to rise 8 to 30 inches by the 2050s.

MTA funding comes from the federal government, the states of New York and Connecticut, and from New York City.

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