MTA officers spent $1.5 million of post-Sandy federal grant cash on flood mitigation pumps that have never as soon as been used, in response to a brand new report — together with a minimum of two that sat idle at bus depots that suffered vital 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 keep them operational,” in response to a report by MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny’s workplace, which was obtained by The Post.
Bus official used a federal grant to purchase the pumps for depots that skilled vital flooding throughout Superstorm Sandy in 2012 — but IG investigators discovered employees have never been taught to make use of them, in response to the report. Training is at the moment scheduled for the top of this 12 months, the report stated.
“An inability to operate the pumps when needed effectively nullifies the reason for buying the pumps in the first place,” the report stated. “According to depot staff responsible for operating the pumps should a flooding condition occur; they had not been trained on pump operation – nor had they even seen a pump being operated. This inexplicable lack of instruction not only leaves critical facilities at risk of flooding.”
Sources stated the pumps sat unused on Aug. 31 at a minimum of two depots that skilled vital flooding from Ida.
Video obtained by The Post 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 vehicles by way of the sludge.
Another facility, Castleton Depot on Staten Island, noticed 4 toes of flooding from Hurricane Ida that broken 28 buses — 12 % of the depot — and price the MTA a minimum of $8 million. Video posted by employees on YouTube confirmed the within of the depot crammed to the brim with brown sewer water and employees standing on barrels to keep away from it.
Both MTA bus areas had a pump truck on web site, sources stated.
“It could have pumped it out of vital areas, absolutely,” stated one bus supply.
A “majority” of the buses are capable of be repaired, an MTA spokesman stated. 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 practically $8 billion in federal grant cash given to the MTA after Superstorm Sandy to shore up its flood infrastructure for excessive climate occasions.
“The trucks that were the subject of this audit are just one piece of a large ecosystem of hundreds of water pumps that are part of an expanded and upgraded climate change mitigation program,” the spokesman, Aaron Donovan, stated in a press release. “That is why we can now rapidly pump out flooded sites on short notice.”
IG Pokorny’s workplace confirmed the authenticity of the report.
“The MTA received this expensive equipment to prevent significant flooding from recurring in bus depots. Buses’ not maintaining these pump trucks, or ever learning to use them, is an insult to New York’s taxpayers who are footing the bill,” Pokorny stated in a press release.
“Given the frequency of extreme weather events, including two historic storms in the last few weeks, there is no denying that our climate has changed and the MTA must do a better job of maintaining resources specifically designed to protect its infrastructure.”