It’s Tough To Believe Sandy’s Aftermath

The more I see the more astonished I am by what Hurricane Sandy brought to the Northeast. Everything that’s happened to Connecticut looks like a light bruise compared to New Jersey, New York City and Long Island.

This picture shows the entrance to the South Ferry subway station in Lower Manhattan. As I understand it the platform and tracks are 80 feet below street level. This is just the top of an amazing amount of water.

To get that one station working all the water will have to be pumped out, but it’s saltwater. Engineers will have to check rails and electrical gear for corrosion or potential corrosion. Of course they can’t do that until they remove the sludge, silt and trash that undoubtedly has sunk to the bottom.

That’s just one station on one line. There are more, like 86th Street on the left. There are tunnels too, hundreds of miles of tunnels.

Do I even want to think where New York’s subway rats have gone?

New York City will offer limited subway service Thursday morning. I have no idea how they’ll do that. Most of the lines pass near or through areas that were flooded. Most lines store their rolling stock out-of-doors.

In New Jersey some beachfront communities have been leveled. Others cities, like Hoboken, remain underwater with some residents trapped New Orleans style.

New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie toured some of the worst areas with President Obama. This is what they were talking about when the phrase, “Politics makes strange bedfellows,” was coined!

Christie, the guy who gave Mitt Romney’s keynote address at the Republican National Convention said,

When it comes to getting things done, I don’t care what party someone is in. The responsibility I have is much bigger than politics.

Seriously, if you would have told me I’d see Christie and Obama walking side-by-side arm-in-arm I would have thought you were nuts. Last week this photo would have been questioned as probably Photoshopped!

How the hell do we rebuild from this? It is a monumental task. Has there ever been a rehab project so vast?

I’m sure I’m missing something important, but won’t the forced rebuilding from this disaster end up being good for the economy&#185? All of a sudden there are jobs that need our out-of-work tradesmen.

Folks on the Jersey Shore understood the peril of living near the sea, but New Yorkers always felt immune from a natural disaster like this. No more. The bloom is off the rose. Anything’s possible now.

&#185 – Seriously, I haven’t given that last line a lot of deep thought and will appreciate any comments setting me straight.

7 thoughts on “It’s Tough To Believe Sandy’s Aftermath”

  1. Thank you for mentioning Long Island. NYC and New Jersey are receiving much of the coverage, which is not surprising, but Long Island is devastated. My husband grew up there and the pictures we’ve seen are shocking.

  2. “won’t the forced rebuilding from this disaster end up being good for the economy?”

    Yes, you’re correct. While the disaster will obviously hurt the economy in the short term, all the rebuilding and repair work should help the economy grow in the long term. (I’m taking an economics class this semester…) 😉

  3. 2 telling things: insurance companies will take a huge hit. Households will take a huge hit. This is a loss of wealth- destruction of valuable property.

    Home Depot was up 2% today. That means that we are moving to restore that which has been destroyed.

    Most likely, our economy can do without this damage in the aggregate. But some will benefit. If I break a window, it helps the glazier, but on net, it doesn’t enrich society.

    Check out the wiki on Broken Window Fallacy. It’s an old idea and it has some critiques. It’s really interesting.

  4. I have a friend who owns a house in Brooklyn, NY she has water in her basement up to the ceiling. When I get a inch of water in my basement I get overwhelmed, I can’t imagine water to the basement ceiling. As much as I want to help her out I know nothing can be done until the water is pumped out. Then the devistation will sink in.

  5. I moved down to DC four years ago and knew to come here to see your take on what happened in Connecticut. Simply put, all your warnings were on the money now I that I am reading them as a Monday Morning Quarterback.

    I definitely feel for everyone back in my native Connecticut and the New York and New Jersey areas. DC pulled through this one pretty well. And given some things that have happened down here, it’s for the best because all the freak storms… Derecho, Earthquake, Snowpacalypse/Snowmaggeddon shut down DC for quite a bit. Okay, the Earthquake didn’t, but the others did.

    I think what happened in this storm gave me more appreciation for what is genuinely happening in weather. See, I chalked up the problems in DC (public transit closed forever for example) and all the power outages to a poor infrastructure. Seeing the NY tri-state going through the same thing, if not something significantly worse gives me pause about what could be in store for any part of the U.S. really when it comes to natural disasters.

    I remember as a kid looking at a projection of what our land could become as a result of climate change (simply called global warming back then). A vastly widened Mississippi river, California flooded out from earthquakes and becoming islands. We probably actually do have the technology and manpower to withstand nature to a degree, but we still haven’t been truly tested yet.

    Pointing to DC, where I live now, small warnings have been given. Sandy was a large warning. But it really will take the second act of nature or even the third… or more.

    If anything, what Sandy did do was remind me and hopefully reminded others that nature is something bigger than us and we have to think bigger than fixing and repairing everything after a storm strikes. And it is bringing Climate Change back into the discussion.

    I get the impression that projection of the globe of a mostly destroyed California and widened Mississippi are probably not (at least immediate) reality, and perhaps an example of the exaggerations that might cause the average person to deny climate science… though just because it might not be destined for our lifetimes doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  6. I was in Lower Manhattan yesterday & last night. (In a classic case of “The Show Must Go On”, City Winery on Varick St. near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel rigged up a generator so last night’s show featuring Al “Year Of The Cat” Stewart & the artist I tour manage, Rachael Sage could happen. It was a surreal, magical scene down there.)

    The dividing line is between 39th – 38th St. Above that, life ia as close to normal as you would expect (gridlock traffic notwithstanding). Below that line, NYC is a third-world country. No street lights, no traffic lights, very few traffic cops. Now I know what it’s like to drive in Bangladesh!! Seems nobody in NYC remembers the paragraph from the driving rules textbook about “if a traffic light is out, the intersection becomes a 4-way stop”.

    I was surprised by how many businesses were open even without power – the wine shop next to the building where our record label office is located was selling by candlelight (cash only). The delis were selling what they could. The Indian restaurants in our neighborhood had given away free food until it was gone, rather than see it spoil.

    R. lives on the LES, which is like something out of a war zone after dark. The lack of looting and crime so far frankly stuns me … but I fear what the next couple nights may bring, as frustration levels rise. (She got a call from ConEd today saying that power in her neighborhood won’t be restored until 11pm Saturday.)

    I fear we are going to hear some truly tragic stories coming out of the no-power zones once the electricity comes back on. R. reported today seeing people lowering buckets of water on ropes out of their windows to get filled with water from open hydrants. With no elevators, water or heat, there are surely elderly & infirm people stranded in their apartments with nowhere to go and no way for help to get to them. This thought makes my impending inconvenience of having to load out our entire band’s gear (including a 70-lb keyboard and 50-lb amp) from our 10th floor office with no elevator to go on tour on Saturday morning seem like no big deal.

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