'Rising Risk' docuseries examines alarming predictions about New York City flooding

Superstorm Sandy left behind a trail of damage in the NY and NJ. Scientists say Sandy's catastrophic flooding was made worse by rising sea levels.
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When Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, it changed everything New York City thought it knew about storms.

The storm left behind a trail of damage that put climate change into sharp focus. Scientists say Sandy's catastrophic flooding was made worse by rising sea levels.

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The "Rising Risk" docuseries explores how those rising sea levels will play out in the lower Manhattan of the late 21st century. Impacts include Sandy-like flooding during smaller storms and possible daily tidal flooding in some waterfront areas.

Lower Manhattan is especially vulnerable to the problem of sea-level rise. It's the home of Wall Street and a large business district. It also has a large residential population.

Many high-rise towers and NYCHA developments sit just steps from the water there. Nearby hospitals had to evacuate when Sandy sent water from the East River spilling into their basements.

Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist Lee Goldberg examines the efforts to protect this area. There is a wide range of options, from rethinking parks at the water's edge to redesigning buildings so they can keep working even if they flood.

The four-part "Rising Risk" docuseries premieres on Friday, September 4, with a new episode dropping each subsequent Friday in September.

For a better viewing experience, watch the docuseries on the ABC7NY apps on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. To stream, search "ABC7 New York" in the app store.

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Episode One: Double Impact
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The future of floodwater in one of the hardest-hit areas: Lower Manhattan. A look at the science and what's being done to protect the community and the businesses that thrive there


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The future of floodwater in one of the hardest-hit areas: Lower Manhattan. A look at the science and what's being done to protect the community and the businesses that thrive there.

Any population living near the water in an area prone to flooding is vulnerable to mother nature. But on the lower east side, that vulnerability is made worse by the dense population, and the densely-developed buildings and infrastructure around them.

Inside this vital and busy section of New York City, one that lives under constant threat of rising sea level and rising flood risk.

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Episode Two: Flooding Future
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Here in New York, scientists are trying to figure out how fast the world's oceans are rising and how that impacts flooding in New York Harbor.


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As we look towards the future, the sea is a major threat. The sea levels are rising around New York City 2x as fast as the National average.

Scientists are predicting that by the end of the century, 20% of New York City streets will be flooding daily from tidal flooding. Every inch changes the game when you're this close to the water.

Here in New York, scientists are trying to figure out how fast the world's oceans are rising and how that impacts flooding in New York Harbor.

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Episode Three: Fighting Back
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There's a lot at stake in Lower Manhattan. The southern tip of the island is just one percent of the city's land area - but it's a bustling hub of economic activity. Protecting thi


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There's a lot at stake in Lower Manhattan. The southern tip of the island is just one percent of the city's land area - but it's a bustling hub of economic activity.

Home to the city's most valuable property sits inside its acreage. Including the Financial District that encompasses NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange, and of course, the rest of Wall Street.

Losing power or access to parts of the neighborhood could create ripples felt far beyond.

Protecting this vulnerable space requires ambitious thinking and solutions that will remain useful for future generations.

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Episode Four: Stronger Together
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As the work - and the debates - continue, looming large in the minds of the decision-makers, the designers, the scientists, and the community: Lower Manhattan is not just a piece of land. Lower Manhattan is a historic treasure. That's what at stake when the next storm comes. That's what's at stake when the high tides start to top the bulkheads. That's what's at stake when a rising sea level... creates a rising risk.


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Hurricane Sandy sent millions of gallons of corrosive saltwater down into some of the city's subway stations.

The water had to be pumped out. Some of those stations had to be rebuilt. No where saw it worse than Lower Manhattan.

As the work - and the debates - continue, looming large in the minds of the decision-makers, the designers, the scientists, and the community: Lower Manhattan is not just a piece of land. Lower Manhattan is a historic treasure.

A global financial center - and for many - Lower Manhattan is home.

That's what at stake when the next storm comes. That's what's at stake when the high tides start to top the bulkheads. That's what's at stake when a rising sea level... creates a rising risk.

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DOCUSERIES CREDITS
Lee Goldberg | Host & Chief Meteorologist
Lauren Rodriguez | Producer, Writer, Researcher
Stephen Cioffi | Editor & Videographer
Emily Sowa | Senior Digital Producer & Videographer
Kim Dillon | Senior Executive Producer
Matt Gosciminski | Videographer
Cheryl Meaney | Senior Planning Editor
Rolando Pujol | Executive Producer - Digital Innovation, Content & Strategy
Dana Bussey | Motion Graphic Designer, Creative Director
Joseph Kollar | Motion Graphic Designer
Natalie Cioffari | Production Assistant
Laryssa Demkiw | Production Assistant
Chad Matthews | Vice President News Director
Debra O'Connell | President & General Manager

Special Thanks To:
Stevens Institute of Technology
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