1:17 pm Oct. 30, 2012
At his press conference in Manhattan this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was sending a specially trained team called the "National Unwatering Team" to New York to assist with the continued flooding from Hurricane Sandy.
"A national unwatering SWAT team is on its way to New York and we need them very badly," said Cuomo, who seemed slightly amused by the name.
Cuomo spent years helping manage federal efforts in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but conceded he'd never heard of such a team.
That may be because it is a relatively new entity.
A press release announcing the team's deployment, issued by its home district of Rock Island, Illinois and passed along by a local spokesman for the Corps, said the team was "specially trained for unwatering New Orleans in the aftermath of a hurricane."
The release said the team "will provide engineering technical assistance to the Corps’ New York District for unwatering flooded transportation systems and other low-lying areas."
All of the subway system's East River tunnels flooded last night, and M.T.A. Chairman Joe Lhota told reporters at a press conference this morning that the South Street station had water "literally up to the ceiling."
In an email, the spokesman, Christopher Gardner, said the team was en route, and added that, "unwatering is the current phrasing of choice for pumping out water."