Saturday, January 26, 2013
Long Island Sounds like B.S.
From the NY Times:
New York City’s health commissioner ardently defended the city’s decision not to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes before Hurricane Sandy, facing down withering questions Thursday from City Council members who contended that some old people may have died as a result.
The commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said that the city and state health commissioners — ultimately reporting to the mayor — had made the best decision they could using information from the National Weather Service, which he said initially showed the brunt of the storm hitting Long Island Sound.
By the time on Sunday that it was clear the storm was threatening the city more directly, he said, “We couldn’t have accomplished the evacuation of everybody in Zone A before zero hour,” which appeared to be as early as midnight.
Part of Long Island Sound lies between Queens and the Bronx, so a storm surge should have been expected regardless of where along the Sound the storm touched down. Plus, the hurricane would obviously have had to pass over land before reaching Long Island Sound. (Makes me wonder if the health commissioner, city council and NY Times know where LI Sound actually is, since this was not explored further.) And how is it that City officials got different information from the National Weather Service than every media outlet that reported on the storm? I recall phrases like, "storm of the century" and maps showing the amazing width of the storm well before midnight, all of them showing a direct hit on NYC.
Of course, the decision to not evacuate had more to do with piss-poor planning: there was no place to send the evacuees and it cost a lot of money that the administration didn't want to spend. And despite the nonsense Farley spewed during this dog-and-pony show, people DID die after being evacuated, because the places they were sent were not prepared to take care of them. Here's what some of them are going through now. Sad, isn't it?