November 1st, 2012
10:20 PM ET

Gov. Cuomo: Sept. 11 museum filled with water

As Sandy battered the Northeast Monday night, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo watched the water pour into the streets of downtown Manhattan. He describes the experience as "disorienting and frightening."

"It was truly frightening to say the least because, first it was all dark, all you hear is water in every direction...and again, you didn't know when it was going to stop and you're in the middle of building this building which has taken so long and a lot of the site is at a very delicate, precarious area because it's under construction," says Cuomo.

The September 11 museum under the memorial filled with water during the storm, and it's still being pumped out from below ground. Steve Plake, the lead engineer for the World Trade Center Project, says 20 million gallons were removed and there are between 150 – 200 million gallons remaining at the site.

While they surveyed the damage, Anderson Cooper asked Cuomo about future disasters in the city. "I do believe that there's been an increase in extreme weather patterns. I believe to be prudent, we have to bank on additional extreme weather patterns and that could be the learning experience from this episode, as painful as it is," says the governor.

When they went down seven stories for a close up view of the retaining wall for the Hudson River, Cuomo explained that on Monday night he feared the wall had been breached because the water was rising so quickly.

Tonight, for the first time since the storm, the lights on One World Trade will turn on and construction will begin again. "I believe we don't just rebuild, we rebuild better. And that's what this site is all about, and that's what New York is all about," says Cuomo.

Filed under: 360° Interview • Hurricane Sandy • New York City • Weather
soundoff (One Response)
  1. John

    They put the museum under the water feature in land reclaimed from the bay. What did they expect to happen? This was a bad decision and is going to cost millions every few years when it floods again and again.

    November 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |