In the wake of Sandy’s devastation to the New York City subway system, the need for protecting transportation tunnels in the event of disaster has been made a very real issue. Flood control may be one area in which there is a feasible solution. Recently after 5 years of work, a test was done at West Virginia University of an inflatable plug for stopping the flow of water in a flood situation. While this was just a test, it is promising for tunnels large and small. In fact, it offers a possibility for places like the Channel Tunnel, where a leak could lead to a major flood.
For more information on the experiment and other flood control options, please see: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/science/creating-a-balloonlike-plug-to-hold-back-floodwaters.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121120&_r=0
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.