Thursday, August 25, 2011

Governor Cuomo Says NY State Reviewing Critical Infrastructure After 5.8 East Coast Earthquake - Does That Include Roosevelt Island Tram?

You Tube Video of Mayor Bloomberg Responding In Aftermath Of 8/23 Earthquake

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement following the August 23 earthquake.

Updated Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Earthquake

The State Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor the effects in New York State from the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that originated near Mineral, Virginia this afternoon.

The state is initiating comprehensive reviews of critical and sensitive infrastructure including the state’s hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, key bridges and tunnels, and other assets.
Does that infrastructure review of NY State assets include the Roosevelt Island Tram system including it's towers? I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
A reader asked if the Tram Towers or any other piece of Tram equipment need to be re-examined following the earthquake.

Any comment
Mr. Martinez replied:
As a result of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, I have received several emails regarding the structural integrity of the Tram.  I have been in constant contact with Leitner-Poma ("Poma"), the operator of the Tram, since the incident occurred. Poma has conducted a thorough inspection of the Tram, and did not find any structural problems.

Unlike railroad or subway tracks which cannot handle any significant movement without buckling, the Tram has a flexible element (the ropes) that allows movement during an earthquake which helps prevent damage to the structures (i.e. towers).

Further, the Tram structure is in compliance with the local building code and its design takes into consideration the seismic values required for New York City.  Essentially, the Tram was well under any seismic level that could damage the system.

Finally, the Emergency Management team of the Operations Department has been monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irene, and is preparing for its impact in the next few days.
How did Roosevelt Island residents experience the Earthquake? An Island House resident had this reaction:
I felt it in Island House, which was definitely rocking. First I thought someone was trying to get in through the door - the door was shaking. Then I thought I was having a stroke - I couldn't understand why the chair I was sitting in (an office-type chair) was starting to roll around by itself. I glanced over at the bird cage, and a hanging bell was rocking back & forth. I really didn't understand it was an earthquake - it really didn't occur to me that it was an earthquake although I could see the room was shaking. I thought some deep explosion or disaster had occurred somewhere - maybe a building collapse somewhere or some horrible disaster in a subway. I thought my building was holding up very well, though, despite the shaking. Then I heard the news that there had been an earthquake - wow - what a weird experience. I've never been through an earthquake before.
Manhattan Park resident Dottie experienced this:
I work at home and felt Manhattan Park shake. I thought I was hallucinating!
Riverwalk residents had this to say about the Earthquake
I felt building swaying at 425 Main. We had one here about 13 years ago, centered in Long Island City of all places. That was freakish!
‎475 swayed
On the other hand, another resident commented:
wow- first Earthquake on RI in my 29 years of living here and I didn't feel anything...