Neighborhood Part 1 (Tunnels)

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Mom, the Times is giving terrorists ideas again! Turns out the PATH tubes under the Hudson are "more vulnerable to a bomb attack than previously thought." (That would be, previously thought by those not always paralyzed with crippling fear of a riverbed cave-in every time their train enters one of those pitch-black death tunnels.) According to a new analysis, were a "significant" bomb to go off somewhere in one of the four tunnels, it would only take six minutes for the tube's entire length to flood. The paper says it's withholding information about the bomb's size and the precise locations where it can do the most damage; it does say that a 50-foot hole would cause 1.2 million gallons of water to rush into the tunnel per minute.

As a consolation, consider that the Port Authority recently earmarked $180 million for security improvements. Clever plans include installing floodgates at various points of the tunnels and laying concrete blocks atop the tubes (in case of an explosion, the blocks descend and plug the hole). So, please update your irrational fears to include randomly closing gates and concrete hunks tumbling through the ceiling. Thank you, and good night.

PATH Tunnels Seen as Fragile in Bomb Attack [NYT]