How Good is the Rigging in NYC?

As we all brace ourselves for the Hurricane of the Century Irene, there are still many nagging questions. My wife and I were enjoying the beautiful, muggy, slightly ominous day on Friday for lunch and she said to me, “Are the construction sites taking cranes down?”

It hadn’t ever really occurred to me; I guess because extreme winds and weather such as this happen so rarely. I was actually thinking something similar when I’d passed this future construction site where they were setting up the sidewalk overhang thing so that shards of whatever don’t rein down on our heads; how about having these same beams come crashing down?

I happened by a construction site on 8th Avenue and 52nd Street so I found a guy there and asked him. He was just a security guard and did not want to give me his name or photograph, but he was still willing to talk.

When I’d asked him the question about the sidewalk rigging being able to withstand 100 mile an hour winds, he tipped his sunglasses and said, “if we get it.” He didn’t seem convinced that anything was going to happen, even as Hurricane Irene tore up the eastern seaboard.

“They say we’re going to get something but it never happens.”

True, I had been here when there were alleged events which wound up being much ado about nothing. Still, I pressed him and he allowed.

“Well, what about those fire escapes,” he queried and this was obviously of great concern for him. “What happens when 100 mile an hour winds hit those?”

I scoffed and admitted that maybe New York City wasn’t built for hundred mile an hour anything. Still, these are the questions that residents are asking in the final countdown to Irene.

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