Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Katrina Sandy Strikes the Northeast

This is the first time I have been able to get online for a significant amount of time since Hurricane Katrina Sandy struck the northeast last Monday, and I would like to thank my readers for sticking by me and following along on Twitter in my blogging absence.

The brunt of the storm hit on Monday afternoon and evening with the high winds and heavy rains. In past storms, I have fared well with the power situation, but by 7PM, out it went...and it still hasn't come on! I am writing this blog, thanks to the WiFi offered at my local Barnes and Noble.

When I woke up Tuesday morning, I saw destruction hit New Jersey like I've never seen before! Above is a picture of one of the downed trees, which also downed a power line (and one week after the storm, has still not been cleaned up!) This is a common scene around the Garden State! The Jersey Shore is much worse. As I am able to get back online, I am seeing this terrible pictures of destruction, and it hurts even deeper as these are places where I've grown up, where I have history and where I love. Towns like Sea Bright, Seaside Heights, Long Branch and Atlantic City took the brunt of the winds, and also faced the wrath of the sea, in the form of a storm surge. In North Jersey, especially parts of Hoboken and Jersey City, communities saw severe flooding. Power outages caused gas shortages around the tri-state area, even prompting Governor Chris Christie to enact Carter-era gas rationing, which he believes will combat the long lines at the pumps. Across the Hudson, the situation is not much better with flooding in Lower Manhattan, power outages throughout the city, incidents of "dumpster diving for food, looting and New Yorkers in the outer boroughs still suffering from power outages.

In order to prepare for this storm, I went through the precautionary steps; be it having enough food and water in the house (supermarkets were like zoos the days before) and topped off my gas tank the night before. While it may seem like common sense, not everyone follows this rule and because of this, government needs to take the same steps to prevent life or death situations. Because they did not make the proper precautions, they deserve no praise. While some may see the dog and pony photo ops and think the government is working to help people affected by the storm, they are not doing enough. For many, including myself, this is Day 8 without power. What we've been seeing in the Northeast could have been easily prevented by the federal, state, and local governments taking the proper precautions, be it stockpiling on food, water and gasoline, as well as forcing the power companies to make the necessary changes to their grids to prevent these lengthened power outages. Obama clearly had his "heckuva job, Brownie" moment, Chris Christie's inappropriate fawning over the empty chair president truly did New Jerseyans a disservice, Mike Bloomberg's insistence to hold the New York City Marathon left many New Yorkers in the dark (figuratively and literally) and together, Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo have been deficient in ignoring certain residents of New York City. For our government officials, they must look at this storm as a learning experience.

It is sad to see the number of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans who have suffered as a result of this storm. If you have the funds or the time, it wouldn't hurt to give of yourself to others, so that these people can rebuild their lives, their livelihoods and their communities. Please also, take a moment to keep the Northeast in your thoughts and prayers.

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