A flooded subway entrance stopped Brooklyn commuters in their tracks. For four hours on Wednesday, the staircase leading down to Broadway Station in Williamsburg was blocked off and completely submerged. The sight was even stranger since it hadn’t rained in New York City that day.
It turns out that the flooding was intentional; the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority was testing one of the gadgets it has put in place to protect the subway system from a future superstorm. In the case of a real disaster, a “flex gate” seals off the entrance to the station and can hold back up to 14 feet of water. The MTA says that it was checking to make sure that a new gate at the Broadway Station was installed correctly; it passed the test.
When local commuter Kaye Blegvad saw the flooded entrance, she sent a tweet asking the MTA to explain themselves. In comedic fashion, the MTA responded: “We’re pivoting to submarines.” In a later tweet, they explained that they were doing this because “climate change is real.”