It’s now eleven years after 9/11. As noted in this post, “For several days after the collapse of the twin towers, New York City fireboats supplied the only water available to the site. This demonstrated the importance of the City’s marine firefighting capability. Since that time, New York City has a critical new addition to its fleet – Fireboat Three-Forty-Three, named for the 343 firefighters who gave their lives on September 11. Fireboat Three-Forty-Three berths on the same pier that is to become the beachhead of a new, high-pressure, interstate gas pipeline.”
That’s right, in a brilliant stroke of urban planning, Mayor Bloomberg urged, his girlfriend Diana Taylor insisted, and the Hudson River Park Trust approved, the installation of a potentially explosive gas main, the Spectra pipeline, between a toddler’s playground and one of only 2 NYC fireboats. This really is a shame, since the fireboat would be the primary back up in case water mains were to be blown out in an explosion, as happened in the 2010 pipeline failure in San Bruno, California, where firefighters could not find a working hydrant for more than 20 minutes after arriving on the scene.