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Old 03-11-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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While watching the news today about the earthquake in Japan, I thought what would happen if an earthquake hit the Kensico Dam in Valhalla?

Local news is showing flooding in White Plains from just 3 inches of rain. The Bronx River Parkway is closed from White Plains to Yonkers. Imagine if the 100 year old dam broke.

One analyst years ago stated that a 60 foot wall of water would rapidly come down the Bronx River from Valhalla to the Bronx.

Is there any warning system to alert citizens like there is for Indian Point?
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:40 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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We can dream ;-)
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
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LMAO , what is with all these Earthquake threads.... The Dam is very large and unlikely to fall...
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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If an earthquake that size hit, I think people would be looking for the water from the dam to wash away the remnants of the people who got nuked from Indian Point.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Pleasantville, NY
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Eh. If an earthquake hit us, anything greater than a 3.0 magnitude, we're going to be in trouble. Nothing here is built with earthquakes in mind. As to what will happen to the Kensico dam if we were to get an earthquake... I'm not a structural engineer so I can only guess. I'm not one of those, like on the news, that will speculate over everything.

As God is my witness, I remember the local news ran a story of "could this really happen" when the network (NBC, I think) ran the move "Independence Day". Seriously? They're speculating about alien attacks now? They actually did a good portion of the newscast on this. (sigh)
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:50 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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When I was a teenager, there was a 4.0 earthquake centered on Ardsley. No one even mentioned the dam.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
When I was a teenager, there was a 4.0 earthquake centered on Ardsley. No one even mentioned the dam.
Exactly. I think it would take at least something in the 5s to have trouble (and for those wondering, the earthquake ABQ mentions was in 1985).

Historically, there was an earthquake in 1884 centered off Rockaway Beach that was supposedly in the high 5s, close to 6. It cracked a lot of buildings in Manhattan, but not real damage/casualties because the epicenter was a very unpopulated area then.

It would probably take an earthquake like that size that is actually centered in Westchester to do this kind of trouble. MSNBC did say this morning that the NRC does consider Indian Point to be the #1 most vulnernable plant in the country though when you combine the nearby population with the relatively moderate earthquake risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioGuy93 View Post
As God is my witness, I remember the local news ran a story of "could this really happen" when the network (NBC, I think) ran the move "Independence Day". Seriously? They're speculating about alien attacks now? They actually did a good portion of the newscast on this. (sigh)
Chuck Scarborough of Channel 4 news actually wrote a fictional book speculating what would happen if a 7.0 earthquake happened on the fault that lies across 125th Street in Manhattan. There was a TV movie made from it many years ago starring Sharon Lawrence. It was a bit "sensationalist" but not too bad (a lot better than a much "campier" and more sensationalist fictional movie on the same subject made about the same time for the "ABC Family" cable channel).
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:50 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
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They upgraded most of the Bridges in Urban Jersey to handle a 6 a few years ago...
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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The simple answer is that nobody knows. And it is unknowable until an earthquake occurs.

All the talk about designed for this or designed for that is somebody's estimate about probabilities of failure and what "failure" means. Is "failure" complete and catastrophic, such as when the walking trees in Lord Of The Rings pulled down the dam to release a wall of water on Isengard? Or an event leaving the dam structurally unsound but allowing the reservoir to be drained? The former occurs rarely. The later is much more frequent.

I myself place little stock in the safety PR statements from officials about a structure built long before they were born. On the other hand, in the past it was common engineering practice to wildly overdesign structures because the tools to calculate stresses and failures were not available. The Brooklyn Bridge is a great example.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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If Kensico Dam was hit, white plains and part of scardsdale will be flooded. In scarsdale village you can find out the flood zone map to see where is the likely areas. White plains would be gone for sure.
Indian Point should not impact lower Westchester as the wind never blow this way. It blows to north. So I guess Putnam, Rockland and Dutches have higher risk than NYC or lower Westchester county.
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