Monday, November 05, 2012
The Hurricane Sandy Response
What a difference it makes in who occupies the White House. Reporters were all over President George W. Bush for a lackluster government response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where state and local officials made no organized attempt to evacuate people from the areas most prone to flooding until it was too late to do anything about it. When disaster ensued, it was all the fault of President Bush. Hurricane Sandy, by comparison, posed a much greater threat given its predicted path and its impact on the country's most populous metropolitan area with people living at or below sea level. The media has been falling all over themselves praising President Obama for showing leadership in helping the Tri-State area recover from Hurricane Sandy, while they haven't been shy at criticizing local officials for their response efforts, particularly Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who only called off the New York Marathon after protests grew loud and runners started voluntarily dropping out of the race because of the poor taste it would show in running the marathon when so many people were in dire need of food and shelter. At its peak when it hit last week, 8.5 million people were without power in the metropolitan area. That number was down to just under 2 million as of yesterday. As of yesterday morning, there were 164,000 residents who had applied for emergency aid with FEMA. The situation is more dire for New Yorkers than NOLA faced because of the cold temperatures. People have faced hours-long lines to get gasoline with many gas stations closed due to power outages. Looting is a problem in many areas. Some people are struggling to find food or water to drink. Just finding a place to go to the bathroom has been a problem for many people with the power out and no running water in their buildings. In the video above, Mayor Bloomberg gets an earful from some city residents in the Rockaways neighborhood about the slow response.