I have not really been all that into sharing my opinions on this storm. A lot of my colleagues and folks that I talk to on a daily basis were impacted by the storm. But, in the aftermath a couple of things are beginning to standout. In a comment to Mad Ogre’s post this morning I said:
NYC is the target of a hurricane every 12 – 24 months. They get moderate snowfall that will also shut down essential services in the city. Manhattan and Long Island are ISLANDS with most of their infrastructure underground (BELOW SEA LEVEL). The vertical expansion of the urban area creates a high population density, and funnels that amplify wind speeds as well as cause more turbulent flow of those winds.
Nothing that I wrote above is rocket science. The damage, and potential for damage as a result of NORMAL weather patterns in the NY Metro area is well understood. For anyone that has working brain cells between their ears and a basic understanding of the natural world, the damage and social situation that we see in NYC as a result of Sandy (barely a Cat 1 storm) is not a surprise.
There are two distinct mindsets in this nation. Those that will do what needs to be done for themselves, and as possible for others. And those that expect others to provide for them. Unfortunately, those that are relying on that safety net of others have become a significant part of the population. I do not believe that it is a coincidence that the majority of those individuals are concentrated in large urban areas.
My second data point this morning comes via Tam . Apparently some of the good folks from south of the Mason-Dixon lines sent some help to New Jersey in the form of utility repair crews. In and of itself, this is a common practice and one that the utility companies actually advocate and facilitate. That’s just good business, getting things back on line as quickly as possible and using force multipliers in the form of borrowing crews from other companies to do so.
Unfortunately, it seems the union folks in NJ are running off the borrowed crews because they don’t belong to the local.
On a related note; Barron put together a nice breakdown of what has to happen to bring the NYC power systems back on line. He also debunked some positions of the administration in doing so. Double points there for the “big man” science-y education and politics all in one post.