So this storm Sandy? She was quite a beast. Flooding, fires, and explosions apparently are all on her calling card. While I’d like to think this was the storm of the century, with the extreme weather changes, this may only be a small taste of what will eventually become the new weather normal.
There are tons of reports still coming in regarding city wide problems and issues. Breezy Point, a small community in Far Rockaway, is burning down. Tunnels are flooded. Millions are without power. Long term effects are being assessed, namely the damage the flooding has caused to the underground infrastructure of the city. Losing the subways is a huge blow to the way millions of people get around the city to begin with, and losing the tunnels/bridges even for a short time is incredibly limiting in order to get resources into the areas that need it. Today, once the wind dies down, promises to be a little better but the mass transit is still going to be an issue when trying to get people home.
This is the view of First Avenue and East 36th Street last night at around 21:00. Notice the taillights are on for the car across the street. Everyone seemed so focused on Battery Park that they forgot about the East River and all the water that it contains. The water from this intersection is ultimately the same water that flooded the Queens Mid-town tunnel, effectively cutting the island of Manhattan off from all the other boroughs except the Bronx at the very northern tip of the island.
Allow me to just assure everyone, the response in NYC on the local level is as dysfunctional today as NOLA was in 2005. You can see what that dysfunctionality caused in this photo:
All of those ambulances are evacuating NYU Medical Center on First Avenue that was supposed to have been evacuated on Sunday. In fact, their Emergency Room had been closed on Saturday. Suddenly they discovered they still had 215 patients hidden in a closet somewhere? The city says that they had received assurances that the back-up generator would work, but then it failed. Not only does this not surprise me, but this should have been expected. Where was the back up to the back up? Which City Official signed off on this? This was the very reason we were doing the evacuations on Sunday, to avoid this kind of mess.
So yeah, don’t let it fool you, we’re no better.
Be safe, stay dry, keep grounded.