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Resource ID: #26494
Subject: Natural Disaster
Source: New York Public Radio and The Record
Affiliation: 
Date: May 13, 2013

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Description

On the weekend before Sandy thundered into New Jersey, transit officials studied a map showing bright green and orange blocks. On the map, the area where most New Jersey Transit trains were being stored showed up as orange - or dry. So keeping the trains in its centrally-located Meadows Maintenance Complex and the nearby Hoboken yards seemed prudent. And it might have been a good plan. Except the numbers New Jersey Transit used to create the map were wrong. If officials had entered the right numbers, they would have predicted what actually happened: a storm surge that engulfed hundreds of rail cars, some of them brand new, costing over $120 million in damage and thrusting the system's passengers into months of frustrating delays. But the fate of NJ Transit's trains - over a quarter of the agency's fleet - didn't just hang on one set of wrong inputs. It followed years of missed warnings, failures to plan, and lack of coordination under Governor Chris Christie, who has expressed ambivalence about preparing for climate change while repeatedly warning New Jerseyans not to underestimate the dangers of severe storms.

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