Tag Archives: Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy: Obama’s Social–Worker–in–Chief Moment

Obama urging the National Weather Service to find more bad weather before the election.

Obama urging the National Weather Service to find more bad weather before the election.

Hurricane Sandy — much like Barack Obama — turned out to be an over–hyped phenomenon that failed to deliver. Our portion of the storm in Northern Virginia was so weak the Multicultural Commissars didn’t even bother to give it a Hispanic name, like last summer’s “derecho” (formerly known as “severe thunderstorm”).

I tried to lend a hand and come up with a culturally–sensitive name, but Spanish for “Sandy” is still “Sandy,” making it tough to appear cutting edge during a TV broadcast.

“Hurricane” translates as “huracán” and the resulting “Huracán Sandy” fails to advance the cause of linguistic arrogance. It doesn’t compare with changing the perfectly good name of “Bombay” to “Mumbai.” All that did was confuse millions of Americans looking for a particular large city in India. (The Indians already knew where it was.)

Besides, where does one draw the line? Does the “pecan sandie” cookie become the “sandie pacana?”

There were houses smashed by downed trees in my neighborhood — certainly a disaster for the affected homeowners — but nothing to compare with the “derecho.”

Even during the height of the hype, my household preparations were limited to bracing for a potential power outage. Since our family has never associated bowel movements with natural disasters, we even missed the ‘Assault on Food Lion.’ Because we don’t feel compelled to buy a pallet–load of toilet paper anytime it’s overcast for three consecutive days.

The local paper wrote of a Dominion Power repairman that just missed being drowned by rising floodwaters. But who noticed the unsung American Disposal Services crews braving wind and rain to pick up household trash during the beginning of the blow? While government employees, enjoying the shutdown, watched from their front window.

Naturally Obama’s media amen chorus and the administration itself, are doing their best to politicize the storm. There was extensive damage in New Jersey and New York. So the WaPost proclaims, “Storm provides Obama with a commander–in–chief moment.” Which only goes to show the mainstream media (MSM) thinks we’ll believe anything.

The attack on the consulate in Libya provided Obama with a genuine “commander–in–chief” moment where he could have affected events on the ground, which is something “commanders” do. But Obama failed miserably.

Hurricane Sandy provides him with a Social–Worker–in–Chief moment, a situation with which community organizers are much more comfortable. Obama took a helicopter tour while the wind was still blowing. Yet FBI investigators had to wait weeks before they could visit the ruined consulate in Libya, only to discover the scene hopelessly compromised by hundreds of journalists and sightseers who didn’t wait for administration approval.

And to show benighted conservatives how fortunate we are to have Obama in the White House, the WaPost adds: “Rarely, if ever, has a president had to deal with such a major disaster so close to Election Day…”

What’s “rare” — in fact unprecedented — is the MSM allowing an administration to take a bye on a disaster like Libya so close to an election. Governors in New York and New Jersey call Obama for help and he’s Johnny–on–the–spot. SEALs in Libya call for backup during an attack that kills four Americans, including the ambassador, and get an administration brush off.

If only Libya had a few more votes in the Electoral College.

The story also includes a breathless blow–by–blow of his day.  During a videoconference Obama uses the MSNBC slogan as he orders the bureaucracy to “lean forward on this.”

Then he holds a conference call with utility executives and “underscore(s) the urgency of restoring electricity,” as if the people at PEPCO were unaware their customers depend on electric power.

This is busy work in a pathetic effort to look engaged and presidential. It compares unfavorably with Obama’s trip to a Las Vegas fundraiser the evening we learned of Ambassador Stevens’ death.

The New York Times editorial page weighed in with, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” possibly indicating the NYT believes severe weather to be a recent invention.

Maybe they have a point. How could we do without FEMA officials “embedded in states’ emergency operations centers” getting the latest from local police, local fire and local officials. Then trying to decide how to give tax dollars taken from the states, back to the states after Uncle Sam has taken his cut for overhead, motivational speakers and government employee awards.

How did we survive disasters before Jimmy Carter’s FEMA got involved?

When I think of the abandoned buildings, the decaying harbor and the rusting trolley cars — all this could have been prevented if only Washington had helped after the San Francisco earthquake.

To say nothing of the vast desert, formerly known as Chicago, after the fire of 1871…

Hypocrisy: Molinaro blames slow storm relief on Red Cross

red-cross

Some things never change.. some things do. The paraphrased line from The Matrix‘s “Morpheus” can be applied to the hypocritical nature of some in politics.

When Hurricane Katrina, a massive category 3 storm, hit the Gulf coast, politicians could do nothing but blame the sitting president for slow relief response. There was no blaming relief groups, the poor judgement of a city mayor that didn’t forcefully stress evacuation, the lacking effort on the part of citizens to prepare or the inadequate provisions made by local leaders at the Superdome. Nope, all the blame was heaped on President Bush.

Now, a force one storm hits the Northeast – a tragedy for sure – and the blame is placed squarely on .. the Red Cross? While the Red Cross is not as efficient as charities such as the Christian-based Salvation Army, they didn’t cause the storm – just as George Bush didn’t cause Katrina. Neither the Red Cross nor the former President forced those people to stay in the wake of the storm instead of evacuating – and they all had ample warning.

On Friday morning, Borough President James Molinaro decided to boisterously attack the Red Cross for not providing food and water fast enough for those that stayed in the city as he pleaded, “Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars.”

Most reasonable people would have thought that those individuals, having heard that a massive storm of historic proportions, would have left the city knowing that food, water and electricity would not be available for days if not weeks. If they didn’t want to leave, perhaps they should have gathered 7-10 days worth of water and food as many news outlets had suggested.

The Red Cross is clearly not where the blame should be focused nor should it be placed on the President. The people that decided to ride out the “frankenstorm” or “storm of the century” or “monster storm” should shoulder the entirety of the blame for failing to take care of themselves and their families.

Now we see New Yorkers dumpster diving, Mayor Bloomberg trying desperately to shuttle food and water into the projects and leaders looking for anyone else to blame. Heck.. the mayor went so far as to tack on a charge against global warming – as if that was why citizens in his city were struggling. Wasn’t he the one that decided to only evacuate a small portion of the city?

The hypocrisy is thick as we watch political figures attack the Red Cross for this storm after having laid the blame on President Bush for the last. When is the blame to be placed on the individuals who clearly made the poor choices to both stay in the path of the storm and to have no provisions ready when it came?

** story has been updated as the original incorrectly identified James Molinaro as a member of the Democratic party.

Andrea Mitchell Attacks Mitt Romney for Making Collections for Sandy Victims

MSNBC host, Andrea Mitchell, attacked Mitt Romney for making collections to help the victims effected by Hurricane Sandy.

“And then you have the image of Mitt Romney, doing what they say is not a campaign event, in the same space they were going to hold a campaign event,” says Mitchell. “They say they are making collections for hurricane and storm relief. Chris Cillizza, first to you: We checked with the Red Cross, the Red Cross said, well, they are always grateful for donations, but this is not what they need or want. That they always tell people, please donate money, because we have our own packagers, wholesalers. They have their own distribution system. And to now get these canned goods from the Romney event in Ohio, and have to first package it–used clothes, they have to clean, they can’t go directly to victims. So, what they need are donations of blood and donations of money. It does seem like a thinly veiled–why Ohio? Why choose Ohio?”

“Right,” responds Cillizza, “because the storm is kind of there” in Ohio, while Mitchell interjects simultaneously, “not in Ohio.”

Per the Toledo Blaze, “High winds spinning off the edge of superstorm Sandy took a vicious swipe at northeast Ohio early Tuesday, uprooting trees, cutting power to hundreds of thousands, closing schools and flooding parts of major commuter arteries that run along Lake Erie.

“At least 250,000 homes and businesses in Ohio — the majority in the Cleveland area — were still without power by early afternoon. Scattered outages reached down into central and eastern Ohio, with some in the southern part of the state. Utilities said it could be days before it’s fully restored.”

Hurricane Sandy – How To Help

red-cross

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As Hurricane Sandy begins to weaken and pass, cleanup efforts and relief are needed.  Here is how you can help through the American Red Cross.

NOTE – Only use reputable charities and organizations in order to avoid scams.

FINANCIAL HELP

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Salvation Army is also accepting donations for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  You can donate online by clicking on the following link: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/disaster

Also with the Salvation Army, you can contact your local branch HERE to find out if items are needed such as food, clothing, children’s toys, or other goods.

NON-MONETARY HELP

You can also help in non-financial ways.  To donate blood or platelets, please go to the American Red Cross Blood website:  http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation now to find a location near you where you can help.

RED CROSS APPS

More than 235,000 people have downloaded the free Red Cross Hurricane App Friday when Sandy began approaching, making it one of the most popular free apps. The app gives up-to-date weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay.

People have been using the app to find shelters, to set up locations for the app to monitor, to make a disaster plan, and learn what steps they can take to stay safe. The app is available in Spanish just by changing the smart phone setting to Spanish before downloading.

The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in a person’s hand. Both can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

 

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Hurricane Sandy headed for New Jersey, “life-threatening” storm surge to hit New York

hurricane sandy track

Hurricane Sandy may become one of the worst storms in history for the New York/New Jersey area as the storm track runs just south of the region.

Current tracking information shows Sandy hitting somewhere between Delaware and northern New Jersey some time late on Monday with sustained winds up to 90 mph and guts of up to 115 mph. The center of the track is currently on New Jersey – a track that puts the northeastern side winds of the storm  into the lower bay area near New York. This is expected to produce a record-setting storm surge in the New York Harbor.

The “Frankenstorm”

Weather conditions are coming together that are likely to produce a monster storm with high wind, rain and possibly snow possibly causing a multi-billion dollar disaster for the city that never sleeps.

Sandy is likely to mix with a winter storm that is currently charging in from the west and a blast of cold air coming in from Canada. The combination will cause major problems for wherever it lands.

A major concern is the expectation of widespread power outages just as an arctic blast of cold air joins Sandy. Cold temperatures and no electricity could make things much more difficult on emergency preparations and personnel.

Marshall Moss, vice presient of forecasting at AccuWeather said that the storm will impact millions of people causing billions in damage. Moss estimated that outages could last several days or even weeks.

The “Right Hook”

As cyclones rotate counter-clockwise, their rotation moves massive amounts of water. That rotation will cause an offshore flow on the west and south sides of the storm and a huge storm surge towards land on the northern and eastern sides. The current track for Sandy is directly at New Jersey which puts the right side of the storm (the northern side) going right into the New York harbor and up the Hudson river. This is the dreaded “right hook” scenario for New York city.

The financial district and travel infrastructure in New York city could be threatened as the surge may push water straight up the Hudson river and into New York city  causing subway, school and business closures on a large scale.

As the NOAA surge probability map to the right shows (click for larger image), there is a greater than 90% chance of significant storm surge for the New York/New Jersey area (purple shading). Current predictions are for the storm surge in New York Harbor to be up to 11ft – a surge that Gov. Cuomo says “is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.”

A weather service bulletin says that the storm surge in New York Harbor will be “life-threatening”:

HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER  26A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL182012
800 PM EDT SUN OCT 28 2012

...SANDY EXPECTED TO BRING LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE FLOODING TO
THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST...INCLUDING LONG ISLAND SOUND AND NEW YORK
HARBOR...
...WILL BRING COASTAL HURRICANE WINDS AND HEAVY APPALACHIAN SNOWS...

Hurricane Sandy Current Track Map (updated 5pm Monday)

Official Evacuations

New York City

New York is in full emergency mode as the mayor announced on Sunday that 370,000 residents in the low-lying areas of the city, known as “zone A“, were being ordered to evacuate. If you want to find out if you are in the evacuation zone, you can use New York City’s “zone finder” HERE.

New Jersey:

New Jersey has ordered the evacuation of the barrier islands.

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is being evacuated.

Camden county library system to be closed on Monday.

Gloucester County offices closed Monday and Tuesday.

Delaware:

Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell ordered the evacuation of about 50,000 people in the state’s coastal region.

University of Delaware classes cancelled for Monday. Students and staff urged to leave.

DART fixed-route bus and paratransit services suspended until further notice.

SEPTA regional rail service will not operate in New Castle County.

Closures

New York:

Mass transit and regional rail service would shut down beginning at 7pm on Sunday and city bus service will stop at 9pm. PATH trains to be shut down at midnight. Closure are likely to last until Wednesday.

New York City public schools will be completely closed on Monday and likely Tuesday.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange will close floor trading and electronic trading on Monday and possibly Tuesday. Previous reports had said that electronic trading would remain open.

All bridges and tunnels into or out of Manhattan Island are now closed.

New Jersey

Atlantic City casinos will be closing at 3pm on Sunday. New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has ordered the closure of all state offices on Monday and that NJ transit will start shutting down at 4pm on Sunday. Public schools will be closed on Monday.

All state parks are now closed.

Washington D.C.

Federal and city offices will be closed on Monday. This includes the U.S. Capitol and visitor center.

Hurricane Preparations

New York and New Jersey residents are being urged to take precautions as high winds are expected to last anywhere from Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon. Sustained high winds are expected to knock down trees and power lines resulting in widespread power outages across the area.

FEMA recommends 3-4 days of supplies for a Hurricane, but local officials are asking residents to stock up to ten days worth of non-perishable food and water.

Ready.gov says that before a hurricane, residents that don’t evacuate should use the following as guidelines.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kitand make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view NFIP’s printer-friendly handout Avoiding Hurricane Damage.

 Satellite Imagery

This image was captured by NASA’s GOES-13 satellite at 9:02am Sunday morning.