MTA officers spent $1.5 million of post-Sandy federal grant cash on flood mitigation pumps which have by no means as soon as been used, in accordance with a brand new report — together with at the very least two that sat idle at bus depots that suffered important injury from Aug. 31 flash flooding from Hurricane Ida.
The 12 pump vehicles purchased with federal grant cash in 2017 and delivered in 2018 have “not been maintained as required to maintain them operational,” in accordance with a report by MTA Inspector Common Carolyn Pokorny’s workplace, which was obtained by The Put up.
Bus official used a federal grant to purchase the pumps for depots that skilled important flooding throughout Superstorm Sandy in 2012 — but IG investigators discovered employees have by no means been taught to make use of them, in accordance with the report. Coaching is at the moment scheduled for the tip of this yr, the report mentioned.
“An incapability to function the pumps when wanted successfully nullifies the explanation for getting the pumps within the first place,” the report mentioned. “In line with depot workers liable for working the pumps ought to a flooding situation happen; that they had not been skilled on pump operation – nor had they even seen a pump being operated. This inexplicable lack of instruction not solely leaves important amenities susceptible to flooding.”
Sources mentioned the pumps sat unused on Aug. 31 at at the very least two depots that skilled important flooding from Ida.
Video obtained by The Put up from Casey Stengel Depot in Queens confirmed the ability’s car parking zone inundated with about one to 2 toes of water, as drivers tried to wade their automobiles by means of the sludge.
One other facility, Castleton Depot on Staten Island, noticed 4 toes of flooding from Hurricane Ida that broken 28 buses — 12 % of the depot — and value the MTA at the very least $8 million. Video posted by employees on YouTube confirmed the within of the depot stuffed to the brim with brown sewer water and employees standing on barrels to keep away from it.
Each MTA bus places had a pump truck on web site, sources mentioned.
“It might have pumped it out of significant areas, completely,” mentioned one bus supply.
A “majority” of the buses are capable of be repaired, an MTA spokesman mentioned. Transit officers don’t imagine deploying the pump vehicles would have averted flooding at both depot.
The cash for the pumps got here out of almost $8 billion in federal grant cash given to the MTA after Superstorm Sandy to shore up its flood infrastructure for excessive climate occasions.
“The vehicles that have been the topic of this audit are only one piece of a giant ecosystem of tons of of water pumps which can be a part of an expanded and upgraded local weather change mitigation program,” the spokesman, Aaron Donovan, mentioned in a press release. “That’s the reason we are able to now quickly pump out flooded websites on brief discover.”
IG Pokorny’s workplace confirmed the authenticity of the report.
“The MTA acquired this costly gear to stop important flooding from recurring in bus depots. Buses’ not sustaining these pump vehicles, or ever studying to make use of them, is an insult to New York’s taxpayers who’re footing the invoice,” Pokorny mentioned in a press release.
“Given the frequency of excessive climate occasions, together with two historic storms within the previous couple of weeks, there isn’t any denying that our local weather has modified and the MTA should do a greater job of sustaining sources particularly designed to guard its infrastructure.”