Oct 24, 2017

Cities aren't prepared for disasters 5 years after Sandy

A proposed flood-mitigation design for Manhattan, part of the Rebuild by Design competition. Illustration: The BIG Team / Rebuild by Design via AP

Sunday is the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy landfall. "[D]isaster planning experts say there is no place in America truly prepared for climate change and the tempests it could bring," AP's Frank Eltman and Wayne Parry write: "That is true even in New York and New Jersey, where cities and towns got slammed by deadly floodwaters that rose out of the Atlantic on the evening of Oct. 29, 2012."

Why it matters: "While billions have been spent to repair the damage, protecting vulnerable infrastructure, people and property across the nation from the more extreme weather that climate change could bring is going to require investment on a staggering scale, easily costing hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions." And some "experts worry also that the ascendance of a climate-change skeptic to the White House may put the brakes on coastal protection efforts."

New warning for NYC: "Within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the New York City area only once every 500 years could occur every five years, according to a new scientific study," AP's Frank Eltman writes:

  • "The study, performed by researchers at several universities and published [yesterday] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, primarily blames the predicted change on sea-level rise caused by global warming."
  • "Many of the models had a dose of good news for the nation's largest city: Climate changes may mean that storms are more violent, but are also likely to swing further off-shore, meaning storm surge heights aren't likely to increase substantially through 2300."
  • Why it matters: "[R]ising sea levels could mean that floods of 7.4 feet ... or more that struck the New York city area roughly once every 500 years before 1800, and which occur roughly every 25 years now, could happen once every five years between 2030 and 2045."

Go deeper

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy