Ships have been destroyed, nobody wants to charter a boat, and fish have fled for safer seas. Eliza Shapiro on how Sandy screwed the fishing industry.
Usually at this time of year, Cpt. Mike Barnett of Freeport, Long Island is busy catching striped bass and blackfish. Frank Rizzo is taking families out on boat cruises. And Cpt. Ryan Cooke is making close to half of his business’s yearly revenue on chartered fishing trips.
Not this year.
Long Island’s fishing and boating industry, like so many other industries across the east coast, has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Boats and docks are destroyed, bait and fuel supplies are depleted, and fish have found safer waters—leaving Long Island’s fishermen in dire straits.
“I prepared for the worst, and this was much worse than the worst,” says Barnett, who runs fishing charters from his boat, The Codfather.
“It’s destroyed my business,” says Rizzo, whose mother, Elsie Rizzo, is the owner of Miss Freeport V, which for the past 12 years has chartered fishing trips and party cruises. “Sandy ruined two boats, ruined the office, and ruined all our storage,” he says. “We were counting on winter business, but I don’t think we’ll have any business now. The way Long Island has been destroyed, I don’t know who’s going to be doing parties.”
Rizzo has applied for FEMA relief, but he isn’t sure it’ll be enough to help his town, which has been badly battered. “There are piles and piles of clothing and furniture in the street. No heat, no hot water, and no gas. It’s living like a caveman,” he says.
Barnett, of the Codfather, says he’s lucky that his boat survived Sandy at all. He left it in the water, where it weathered the storm, but his neighbors were not so fortunate. Many fishermen had put their boats on cinderblocks in preparation. But “the water came up so high,” Barnett says. “It was like nothing we’d ever seen before. It knocked boats off the blocks and they traveled and ended up on people’s front lawns. It was one big collision in the boatyard with no one there.”
Barnett was counting on this week and the one before it. It’s traditionally the busiest period for his business. “This is usually a time where you see a full run of fish.”
To help rebuild Seaside Heights.
New Jersey can rest easy now. The cast of Jersey Shore is joining forces with nonprofit group Architecture for Humanity for Restore the Shore, a live special that will air Sunday, Nov. 15. The cast will join other celebrities at MTV’s Times Square studio to ask viewers to contribute donations to help rebuild Seaside Heights, the town where Jersey Shore is filmed. Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino said, “New Jersey, and especially Seaside, is just destroyed. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me. I know every business owner on the boardwalk personally, you know, and, like, they’re good people. They all are hardworking people.”
The mayor has brilliantly stage-managed his handling of the storm, but outside the city’s affluent precincts numerous angry residents feel abandoned by his administration as days have passed and help has remained distant, writes Harry Siegel.
“Are you from OEM? Or FEMA?”
“No, we’re from Brooklyn.”
That was the exchange when, after nearly six hours, the volunteer group I spent Sunday with finally managed to deliver supplies— flashlights, blankets, winter jackets, baby supplies, and pet food—to Staten Islanders who’d been rocked by Hurricane Sandy.
On television, New York City is resiliently recovering from Sandy—Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg even fought hard against canceling the ING marathon, giving in only when its sponsors caved. The mayor has maximized his television time with frequent updates in carefully staged settings, with members of the Obama administration standing behind him and his hypnotic sign-language interpreter Lydia Callis beside him. It's a swell sales job, part of his business-friendly, socially-liberal, post-partisan persona, that (with the help of his vast media empire), has helped him maintain his national reputation even as New Yorkers have soured on him.
But his one unscripted moment was far more telling: an unannounced trip to the devastated Rockaways on Saturday that happened to be caught by a camera crew with local news stations NY1. A local woman, part of a furious crowd of people who felt abandoned by the city, was held back by the mayor’s security detail, as she yelled at him: “Where’s the help? Where’s the fucking help?” (Azi Paybarah of Capital New York has raw video of the confrontation, and the backstory here.)
On my first day off since Sandy hit, I headed to Staten Island as part of a relief effort to do my bit after a can-do business owner in my corner of Brooklyn put out an email, asking for supplies, arms, and vehicles with gas: “I think this can be easy, no receipts, no tax deductions, no cameras, no politicians, no news.”
While politicians play for votes and ignore the evidence of a rapidly changing climate, Mother Nature has made the consequences heartbreakingly clear.
Four days after 24-year old Jake Vogelman was killed by a hurricane-toppled tree, NYPD detectives came to his house with his personal effects: a black leather wallet still wet from the rain and a watch that was still working.
A man walks next to standing water and piles of sand swept onto a road from Superstorm Sandy at Rockaway Beach in New York City on November 3, 2012. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
“9:07 p.m.,” a family friend said after checking it.
“9:09,” another friend said. “But mine’s probably two minutes fast.”
The first friend placed the watch down on a table beside the contents of the wallet, which were set out on paper towels to dry. The watch continued marking the seconds that Vogelman and all the others killed in the storm would never see.
Each second was also one closer to the next extreme weather event, disasters certain to come ever more frequently as a result of climate change.
Each second was also one closer to the time when it will be too late to do anything about it.
The next critical moment will come on Election Day, Tuesday, when Vogelman would have voted at Public School 321, directly across the street from his Brooklyn home.
The beach community of Breezy Point, home to many city firefighters, became a scene of unimaginable destruction as it burned to the ground.
New York City firefighters helped build the beach community of Breezy Point a hundred years ago, but on Monday night they had to stand back and watch it burn, prevented from helping by the torrent of water that had flooded the neighborhoodís streets. Storm surge from Hurricane Sandy made roads impassable and covered fire hydrants while gusts whipped burning embers from house to house. With the volunteer fire department's own station flooded, radios down, and phones dead, they could do little but evacuate people by boat and try to keep the fire from spreading. They saved the house of Sheila Scandole, whose husband was one of the 30 Breezy Point residents who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, but more than 100 other homes burned to their foundations by the time the tide receded.
After major destruction from storm.
With two days to go until the presidential election, officials are doing all they can to minimize the damage from Hurricane Sandy. In New Jersey and New York, organizers say there will not be major problems for voters in the areas hit hardest. Hundreds of generators will power polling stations, though the number in some areas has been cut down. New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg estimated polling-place changes would impact 143,000 New Yorkers, even though of the 1,256 locations to vote, only 59 will close.
David Axelrod says the GOP’s ‘in deep trouble,’ Eric Cantor attacks Obama for his ‘negativity,’ Peggy Noonan wishes America was more like England, plus more in our Sunday Talk roundup.
Axelrod: GOP ‘In Deep Trouble’
On Fox News Sunday, a confident David Axelrod taunted the Romney-Ryan campaign, saying that with only two days left until the election, the GOP knows “that they’re in deep trouble.” Expounding on the ever-important state of Ohio, which many pundits say will determine the election, the Obama campaign’s senior strategist was confident the state would remain blue. “They’re behind,” he said of his rivals, “and they’re not catching up at this point.” What about the rest of the country? Well, Axelrod said, Romney and Ryan are “desperately looking for somewhere to try and dislodge some electoral votes to win this election,” but “I can tell you that’s not going to happen.”
Beeson: Romney Will Win Florida ‘By A Significant Margin’
Mitt Romney’s political director also stopped by Fox News Sunday, arguing that this year’s presidential race won’t come down to ‘Florida, Florida, Florida,’ despite Axelrod’s claim that the GOP is “vulnerable” in the crucial swing state. “At the end of the day,” Rich Beeson said, “Governor Romney is going to carry Florida by a significant margin.” In fact, Beeson is confident that his candidate will take enough key states to win the entire election: “It looks like the map is expanding drastically in our favor,” he said. “I’m just sitting here trying to imagine what Mr. Axelrod is going to look like next week without his mustache,” referring to the Obama adviser’s wager to shave his facial hair if Obama loses Michigan, Minnesota, or Pennsylvania.
Cantor: Obama ‘Full of Negativity, Character Assassination’
The battleground states will decide this election. And the tightest swing state race, according to POLITICO, is in Virginia. So Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who represents Virginia’s 7th congressional district and the interests of the Tea Party, took to Meet the Press to bash President Obama and back up Romney’s bid for the presidency. “Mitt Romney has a plan,” Cantor said. “The president doesn’t. The president is full of negativity, character assassination, and attacks.”
Mayor says number similar to Katrina.
Restoring power is just the first step. Thirty to forty thousand New York City residents may require housing for some period after the monster storm ravaged the East Coast, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The city’s mayor said that the number of people in need of housing “may have been similar in Katrina.” A number of large housing developments in the city will be “out of commission for a very long time,” Bloomberg said. About 730,000 people remained without power in the region on Sunday.
The paranoia about mold being left behind by the floods is unwarranted. Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on why you should sleep easy on your sopping wet mattress.
In the resource-challenged world, the response to natural disasters progresses in predictable stages. First is the horror of the event—the earthquake, hurricane, or tsunami. Next comes a genuine outpouring of generosity worldwide. Third is the televisionization of the event with cameras galore, inside stories about small acts of bravery, harrowing rescues, heartbreaking loss; it is without question the best reality TV around (and unlike reality TV, it’s real). Then finally comes the sudden shivering neglect as people change the channel, even while locals die of dehydration or diarrhea or crush injuries. The public (not the victims) somehow determines it has reached “closure” and moves on to the next big event.
Hurricane damaged items pile up along the roads of the Rockaways in Queens. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
Here in the land of adequate resources, we go through the same first three steps of horror, help, and TV, but we have a different fourth act—one that hews to the sanctity of the American free-enterprise system. Our final step is not neglect—we can afford to fix things, as Sandy once again attests. No, our last act consists of a familiar parade of characters seemingly just loosed from the circus. Hawkers and hucksters, mountebanks and sleazeballs, each looking to spin the fresh tragedy into spools of gold (reserved for personal use). They are ready to show us how to slice and dice without tears, to julienne without bloody knuckles, to drill holes without a drill, to glue without slippage.
The lead example in the Sandy saga is the predictable appearance of teams of mold abaters: here and here for starters. Yes, mold—that slimy, amorphous crud that shows up when things get damp. You have some in your shower right now, I promise. The mediation experts already know the territory because of a controversial condition referred to as sick-house syndrome, purported to be the result of molds hidden in the house that elaborate dangerous toxins for those living there. The post-Sandy pros have arrived in their trucks with their cards and grim expressions, convincing, as best they can, the still-staggering locals to believe they have a problem they didn’t even know about. A problem that just might be worse than Sandy itself.
And right now they don’t have to push particularly hard. After all, before Sandy dominated the headlines, there were already headlines about fungal meningitis due to a mold called Exserohilum. In fact, when the FDA went into the infamous New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy linked to contaminated steroids that have killed more than two dozen people, and cultured the equipment, they found several different types of mold and other fungi. It was everywhere. The place was grossly contaminated by lots of living things—including the mold that ended up in the many patients tragically harmed by the outbreak.
But there is a substantial difference between the mold found in the spines of the 404 poor souls affected thus far and the mold that many people have in their walls, books, and carpets, the type that thrives in moisture and post-Sandy conditions. And it’s not the species of mold, either—that doesn’t matter at all, really. It’s where the mold is, anatomically. You could inhale Exserohilum all day long (in fact you may well be doing this), you could drink it, you could rub it onto your skin, and not be harmed. Consider this: people at NECC didn’t get sick, though we now know the place was crawling with mold. Nor did the doctor injecting the stuff or the other people in the room as the medical procedure was taking place.
No, to get sick, you had to have a large amount of the fungus injected directly into a small area of the back with a poor blood supply—the poor blood supply, which is advantageous to provide a depot for medications that won’t wash away quickly, is a disaster if an infectious microbe enters the space. Without a blood supply, there is an extremely limited capacity for the body to respond with a healing inflammatory response. Beyond those with anatomic inoculation, the only other persons at risk are those with immune systems severely compromised by such medical interventions as bone-marrow transplants. For completeness, one must also consider the large group of people—the hay-fever crowd—who are allergic to mold. Some are so reactive to mold that they develop asthma, though it’s cockroaches, not molds, that are driving the current epidemic of inner-city asthma in children.
In a fact-based society, the lessons of the fungal-meningitis outbreak would be used to quiet concern about any health risks due to the moldiness sure to follow Sandy. But as Ronald Reagan’s most famous Freudian slip has it, facts are stupid things. I suspect that rather than assurance, we will enter the Mold Wars era, where these slimy, villainous-looking microbes will take over for the more general “germ” as the object of public fascination and censure. In this role, however, they surely are miscast—now there’s a problem the Gipper could understand.
As the weather gets increasingly wild, experts say America’s outdated electrical infrastructure is overdue for a serious upgrade. How new power systems could pay off.
Hurricane Sandy may be the culprit for leaving close to 8 million people without power after ripping through the East Coast on Monday, but some experts say the blame should go toward the nation’s aging electric grid and power companies, which have failed to switch to more reliable “smart grid” systems that could fix blackouts in a matter of minutes, not weeks.
“Our energy-generation and distribution infrastructure is outdated and often over capacity,” says climate strategist Boyd Cohen. “We are going to see increased frequency and intensity of storms, like Sandy, which will continuously put pressure on the grid.”
One of the most attributable causes of the increase in blackouts is America’s archaic electric infrastructure.
The U.S. has 215,000 miles of high-voltage power lines; 70 percent of those are more than 30 years old. The huge system requires a lot of manpower and funds—an estimated $1.5 trillion in the next 20 years—just to maintain as is.
Experts say a better solution is to throw it out entirely. Instead of revamping grids that don’t meet the country’s power and voltage needs, they argue for implementing a digital smart-grid system.
Smart grids work as a two-way conversation between homes and electric companies. Unlike today’s electrical grids, which can leave whole areas in the dark after a storm until the power company is called to fix the problem, smart grids automatically alert utilities when there’s a glitch, and fixes can often be made remotely.
Despite the benefits smart grids offer, the U.S. has been slow to adopt the technology.
How raised entrances, flood gates, and huge balloons could save New York’s subway from disaster.
If there was any doubt about just how serious a threat rising oceans and extreme weather pose to New York’s subway system, Hurricane Sandy put an end to them. Despite covering entrances and vents, erecting flood walls across tracks, and readying pumps, each of the seven subway tunnels leading into lower Manhattan took on water. The South Ferry station flooded to the roof. The 86th Street tracks looked like a river. Five days after the storm, there’s still no date set for when full service will return.
Damage to the South Ferry station of the No. 1 subway line, in lower Manhattan, after Superstorm Sandy passed through New York City. Floodwaters that poured into New York's deepest subway tunnels may pose the biggest obstacle to the city's recovery from the worst natural disaster in the transit system's 108-year history. (Patrick Cashin, MTA / AP Photo )
It’s a disaster scenario New York has envisioned many times before, most recently in a 2011 report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which estimated that a storm like Sandy could cause $10 billion in damage to transportation infrastructure, plus another $40 billion in economic losses. Now that it’s happened, long-talked-about upgrades to the subway have taken on new urgency. The havoc wrought by Sandy should prompt a “fundamental rethinking of our built environment,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference this week. “The challenge is not just to build back, but to build back better than before.”
What would a better, more resilient subway look like? For starters, it would have higher entrances and ventilation grates, says MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg. The MTA has been working to elevate subway entrances and air vents ever since a sudden summer deluge in 2007 dropped 3.5 inches of rain and overwhelmed the subway’s pumps, shutting down 19 lines. So far the MTA has raised entrances at 30 stations and ventilation grates on low-lying lines, often improving the street in the process by turning them into benches or bike racks.
It’s a good start, and an easy way to prevent flooding in an unexpected downpour, but it won’t do much against several feet of storm surge, as we saw with Sandy. Flooding like that calls for something along the lines of Bangkok’s subway entrances, which are elevated over a meter above street level and have built-in flood gates. The Bangkok metro continued to operate even as a foot of water lapped at the entrances during the 2011 monsoon.
The subway also needs more pumps, and better pumps, and they need to be on backup power. “One of the stories that’s emerging is that all infrastructure is interconnected,” says Radley Horton, a climate scientist at Columbia University who served on New York’s climate-change adaptation panel. “When the power is out it’s hard to drain the tunnels—that’s had a lot of impact on the subway system.” The power outage is also partly responsible for the gas shortage, he adds, which has made it impossible for many stations to keep pumping. Not that the current system could have held off Sandy anyway. The subway’s 700 pumps of varying vintage must drain 13 million gallons of water on a normal day; when there’s a storm, even a brief one like 2007’s, it can quickly be overwhelmed.
Robert Puentes, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, recommends “mundane but obvious” fixes like higher entrances, storm hatches, and a more resilient electrical grid, as well as more speculative projects, like a giant balloon that can be inflated to plug tunnels. The giant plugs are being developed by the Department of Homeland Security to protect subway tunnels from terrorist gas attacks, but the manufacturer claims they can work for floods as well. Though they wouldn’t be able to hold back all the water, they could limit flooding to a level that the pumps could handle.
“We can cork a wine bottle, so why not a subway tunnel?” says Lisberg, half-joking. He saw the plugs on Twitter but says he has no idea if they work. The MTA did try something similar on the west side yard of Penn Station: a giant tube full of water known as an aqua dam. It burst, but Lisberg says it helped reduce flooding.
When the hurricane hit, the city's Orthodox Jews stepped up to care for their African-American neighbors.
New York City’s ultra-Orthodox Jews live in a world apart from the rest of the city. They have their own neighborhoods, send their kids to religious schools and wear a uniform of black hats and suits that makes them as distinct as an Amish farmer in Times Square. After the storm hit New York, hundreds of elderly and frail New Yorkers from the
Residents of Coney Island wait on line to collect food and water at a distribution point following Superstorm Sandy on November 3, 2012. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
African-American and working-class neighborhoods of Far Rockaway and Coney Island had to be evacuated when their assisted-living facilities flooded or lost power. They were moved to the Park Slope Armory, where the only food available was Army rations—high-preservative, high-sodium ready-to-eat meals. So Brad Lander, a local city councilman, called Rabbi Alexander Rapaport, who runs the MASBIA soup kitchen in the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Boro Park.
“We were supposed to be closed on Tuesday, what with the blackouts and the flooding,” Rapaport said. “But this food they had, it was a like a mix between cholent [a traditional Sabbath stew] and lasagna, and it came in this inner pouch that they somehow call ‘food.’”
Rapaport and Lander put out the message on Facebook and Twitter that the soup kitchen needed volunteers. Even as the city still struggled to slough off the effects of Sandy, nearly 100 showed up, peeling potatoes, dicing squash. They delivered 200 lunches of eggplant and pasta that day and made twice that many chicken and meatloaf dinners. By Wednesday, their stocks were depleted, so they put out another call on social media; more donations came in. At week’s end, they were still making hot meals for evacuees and volunteers all over the city, delivering hundreds of meals to a command post in the flood-ravaged Seagate neighborhood in Brooklyn. All of this while the regular lines at the soup kitchen are growing longer.
“A lot of people who would never eat in a soup kitchen are now staying with someone who let them in, a distant friend or a distant relative,” he said. “We have a lot more middle-class people who are at a loss, who don’t even know where to put their head down.”
Does this mean that the ultra-Orthodox reputation for insularity is a false one? “I don’t know,” Rapoport said. “My agenda is to feed people. If you want to find a new cultural trend here, that is up to you.”
After more than 1,000 New Yorkers made their way to a downtown shelter, a school custodian was there to take care of them.
When residents of Manhattan’s Lower East Side fled their homes, Richard Gorgoglione took them in.
A woman arrives at an evacuation center for Hurricane Sandy at Seward Park High School on October 28, 2012 in New York City. (Andrew Burton / Getty Images)
For more than four high-adrenaline days, the 51-year-old custodian for the Department of Education served the city, keeping his hand at the helm of one of its 76 hurricane shelters. The work started at 6:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon, unloading supplies. At the height of the storm on Monday evening, a capacity crowd of 1,100 people, as well as some eights dogs, a cat, and a rabbit were in Gorgoglione’s care, spread over five floors in Seward Park High School on Grand Street in Lower Manhattan.
The work was “a little hectic,” the laconic evacuation-center manager said on Monday, about six hours before the storm made landfall. Gorgoglione shared his burden with an equally tireless crew of about 30 city employees and ten civilian volunteers.
When the facility’s lights went dark, the Office of Emergency Management installed a portable generator outside the building. Inside, on green cots stamped in gold with the seal of the City of New York, mothers, husbands, and children slept soundly under blue fleece blankets, because Gorgoglione and his fellow workers did not.
“They had nowhere to go,” Gorgoglione said of the people who left their homes in Evacuation Zone A.
The lifelong New Yorker’s own wife and three adult children rode out the storm safe on higher ground on Staten Island—a consolation for Gorgoglione, for whom the work was nonstop. Three meals a day had to be served, countless questions answered. The only person Gorgoglione didn’t have time for was himself. On Wednesday morning, with about 120 shelterees remaining and volunteers shutting down the shelter’s top floors, there he was, wearing a scraggly three-day beard, still on his feet.
She organizes softball games, teaches Bible school and gives comfort to those who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy.
As soon as Nuris Barzey-Ramos found out how destructive Hurricane Sandy might be, she rushed back from Parents’ Weekend at her daughter’s college in Massachusetts and promptly reported for volunteer duty at a makeshift shelter at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens.
People walk through the Breezy Point section of Queens, New York after fire destroyed about 80 homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy. (Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images)
Shortly after Sandy made landfall, evacuees from nearby Breezy Point began to arrive at Hillcrest. Many had lost their homes in the electrical fire that destroyed 100 houses. “I tried to calm them down,” said Barzey-Ramos. “I assured them that the City of New York is not going to let them down. You’re not going to be let go without us helping you find a place to stay.”
Barzey-Ramos stayed at the shelter for days on end, returning home briefly to sleep and eat. “It’s hard sometimes when I get home and I just want to sleep for the entire next day,” she said. She brings water, fruit, and nuts in her tote bag to the shelter each day.
Barzey-Ramos has been volunteering for decades, ever since she moved to New York at age 14 from the Dominican Republic. She teaches Saturday morning Bible classes for children at her church, St. Joachim and St. Ann Parish in Queens Village, and volunteered in shelters in New York after 9/11 and Hurricane Irene. “It was wonderful to see how many volunteers of all ages got together. I became friends with many of them and we still talk,” she says of her years of volunteer work. “I always feel that my responsibility is to New Yorkers in need.”
For fun, she organizes softball teams with her co-workers at the Human Resources Administration. “I’m a medium player but a good organizer,” she says.
“New Yorkers always stick together, especially in times of crisis,” she says. “We become one.”
As the storm surge rose, an army of health aides jumped barriers and waded through water to get to their housebound patients.
The real test of the army of caregivers for tens of thousands of seniors trapped at home when Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast began the day after the storm ended. Eloise Goldberg, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York supervisor for the Bronx and half of Long Island, stepped out of her home about 50 miles east of New York City on Tuesday morning, jumped into her car (her husband’s was crushed beneath an oak tree), and began to figure out how to get 11,000 home health aides and 3,500 clinicians to their patients. “We had been preparing our field staff for several days so they would have cellphone connections with their patients, but now we were up against massive flooding and blackouts and fires.”
Andrew Lichtenstein / FCDA
On the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, where the Atlantic had cut through to join Jamaica Bay, nurses had begun to call Goldberg’s cell during the height of the storm on Monday. One nurse said she was wading in to reach trapped patients. She walked seven blocks through knee-high water to get to a group home and found medicines had been washed away. She would get prescriptions refilled and return, she promised. But by afternoon, downed wires sparked fires that eventually consumed 60 houses. By nightfall, more than 100 homes were destroyed. Many patients who had refused to evacuate were desperate to escape floodwaters that were climbing past the first floors. Each nurse on Goldberg’s Long Island team was reporting that they couldn’t find several patients. “The majority of our patients have been very calm through the hurricane,” Goldberg told me on Wednesday. “But if this continues—the blackouts, the lost power for communication, no water supply—I anticipate a very different reaction.”
“I’m providing essential emergency services,” she told police. She walked up 12 flights to administer the medicine and calm the patient, who, like tens of thousands of others, was sitting in the dark with no TV, no water or gas service, and (aside from a dying cellphone) completely cut off from the outside world.
With one half of the 1.1 million people on Long Island still without power as of Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the Long Island Power Authority, which at first vowed to restore service to 90 percent of its customers by Wednesday. Messina’s advice to distant families with loved ones in this situation is to call a home-care company to get a live-in aide for a week or two, until essential services are restored.
Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that deploys veterans to help with disaster recovery, did their part to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy in lower Manhattan last week. Team member Curtis Coleman, a former Marine, shares his thoughts on heroic leadership.
As Hurricane Sandy barrels toward the northeast, see some of the most hilarious wind-blown reports.