A map was released this week, titled, "Hurricane Sandy Storm Surge Impacts," showing the areas of the Northeast where 1.4 million people were hit in 11 states by the direct impact from the storm surge. Additional millions were affected by other aspects of the storm — winds, heavy rains, etc. The map was put together from FEMA and 2010 census data for population density, by the New York City-based Columbia University, the Earth Institute. (See earth.columbia.edu)
Those directly in the path of Superstorm Sandy include: New York, 821,000 people resident in low-lying surge areas; New Jersey, 437,000 residents in low-lying areas; Massachusetts, 59,000; and so on, in 8 other states.
The map drives home the point of how it will take restoring a functioning, high-tech economy to rebuild, after a storm so extensive and terrible, and to build structural protection against future storms. Moreover, we have other extreme weather episodes playing out — such as the western states drought; and could have another storm event again, or a different kind of extreme disaster, such as a Pacific Rim earthquake.
"Save us from this 'slow-motion Katrina,' is what one New York City dweller, now displaced, told a reporter, viewing the lack of relief action in the Rockaways, New York City. In New Orleans, after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, thousands were displaced; the city lost 111,000 people. New Orleans had 455,000 just before Katrina (ranked 38th in the nation); in 2010, it had only 344,000 (ranked 51st).
Now we face a Killer Katrina process, if we don't unseat Obama, and make way for a revolutionary policy change.
In the Northeast storm zones, quantified reports are now coming out on the scale of the damage and task of caring for people — ignored by the Trio — Obama, Bloomberg, and Christie. On Thursday, Nov. 15, Obama will go to New York City, for a staged look-at-me-care appearance with Bloomberg.
- NEW YORK CITY — 3 HOSPITALS SHUT -
The physical damage to the social institutions of the City is enormous: three public hospitals remain closed, including the 800-bed Bellevue Hospital complex, whose re-opening is mooted for February, 2013. Coney Island and Coler-Goldwater Hospitals may be back in operation by January, 2013. The school system has 23 school buildings closed.
The reality of the storm damage casts light on the Bloomberg insanity-to-date, of cutting resources. For example, Bloomberg until recently proposed cutting the City budget by $1.6 bil, and planning for new revenue, to come from nearly doubling the price children pay for school lunches. Hospitals have been shut down in New York City, under the excuse that they are "redundant"! Public health was scaled way back, and now, in particular, there is a scramble to even be sure tetanus shots are administered widely.
Post-storm, Bloomberg — who has had no change of heart — nevertheless, had to ask the City Council today to vote up $300 million to the City Health and Hospital Corp., and $200 million to its Department of Education, for repairs.
- NEW YORK CITY — TRANSPORTATION NIGHTMARE -
Between Manhattan and the Rockaways, subway service is months from resuming. A temporary ferry service has been set up.
Between Manhattan and Staten Island, a tunnel connection has now re-opened to express buses, but only for a very limited to-and-fro commuter time, so that repair work can proceed. This is the Hugh L. Carey-Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. At least 43 million gallons of salt water flooded this tunnel, state officials estimated. The Long Island RR is getting back into operation, over 50 percent so far.
PATH light rail, a major source for New Jersey-New York commuters, running on a limited basis, remains suspended at the badly damaged depots of Hoboken, N.J., the World Trade Center, and Exchange Place.
- POWER — DAMAGED HOOK-UPS CAN'T RECEIVE ELECTRIC —
As of Monday night there were 56,000 customers (representing thousands more people, in the case of an apartment building being one customer) with no electricity, in the customer base of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). By Tuesday night, over 10,000 of these should have power, but some 46,000 hook-ups cannot be connected to the electric grid, because their internal systems of wiring, outlets, panels, etc. were too damaged in the storm. Many of these are big, dangerous apartment complexes, from which Bloomberg and FEMA will not provide alternate accomodation, while the systems are rebuilt. LIPA is state-owned, and the hardest hit geographically, by storm damage to its receivership.
- NEW JERSEY — SEWAGE, WATER WORKS HIT HARD -
On Nov. 8, the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission asked their 1.4 million customers in 48 towns in 5 counties to limit their waste-water production — don't flush so often, because of damage to the sewage treatment plants. The five counties are Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Union, and Essex; towns include Patterson, Bayonne, Hackensack and many more. Their normal flow is 240 [million?] gallons a day of wasterwater, but they cannot cope with giving full treatment to that at present. The same situation exists in many locations in the storm zone.