Sandy Checkin and Drinking Society

Reply Tue 13 Nov, 2012 01:43 am
On ya! You not having your hair cut won't help anybody....
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Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 01:10 am
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, . . .

I saw a report that some people in Far Rockaway received their first mail delivery today since Hurricane Sandy hit. Reasons: damage to local post offices. Impassable and unsafe streets. Not included in the report, but I'm guessing that some houses aren't there anymore.

A woman commented that she's been waiting for her paycheck.

It's gonna be a LONG time before things are back to something approaching normal.
Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 06:18 am
Our stations here are still covering NYC's disaster and there's a lot of the same (as what you reported) going on all over the city and surrounds. Lots of people still have no heat, some have no power, and many face flooded main floors and basements. No gas, not many groceries - the aftermath is about as bad as the storm.
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Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 07:24 am
My employer's offices in NY and NJ won't be reopening for some time.

Folks from our office have already gone down to work in the area, more are going down later this week.
Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 07:36 am
from an early report by one of the reinsurers


Major damage imposed by Superstorm Sandy relates mostly to storm surge and flooding as opposed to direct wind, Willis Re notes in a preliminary post-event damage survey.

While damage from storm surge and flooding is widespread and extensive, there is only minor damage to buildings from direct wind, Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of Willis Group Holdings, notes in a statement released Monday.

The damage survey was carried out by representatives of Willis Re’s catastrophic management services team. Immediately following Sandy’s landfall near Atlantic City on October 29, team members spent four days on several affected properties in New Jersey and New York to assess damage caused by wind, storm surge and flooding.

Key findings include the following:
•significant structural damage to buildings, ranging from moderate to complete collapse, from the storm surge and related flooding;
•widespread and extensive damage to boats and automobiles as a result of storm surge;
•flood depths, as indicated by water marks, as much as four feet above the first floor for almost all properties less than 0.2 miles from the coast;
•structural damage from flooded crawl spaces and foundations should be expected in the future for many properties; and
•minor to moderate wind damage to buildings in a few localized areas, as well as much more widely spread damage to buildings from tree fall.
Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 07:51 am
Which means the insurers will try to push the recovery onto the Feds and the National Flood Insurance program.
Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 07:57 am
Which means (I hope) that some very serious discussions about regional planning take place before significant rebuilding takes place.

Who the h*** thinks it's smart to build within 0.2 miles of the coast - given everything we know about the changes in our climate. They may be short-term (i.e. less than millenial) changes, but there are changes and governments and people have to accept that and deal with it.
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Reply Wed 14 Nov, 2012 08:42 am
In 1968, Congress passed the National Flood Insurance Act. The point was to provide flood insurance to home- and business-owners in flood plains who would not otherwise be able to get insurance, and thereby reduce the amount of Federal disaster relief which would be paid to such home- and buiness owners. The act had the flood-prone areas of the Ohio-Mississippi-Missouri watershed in mind. To qualify for the insurance program, a home- or business-owner had to live in a community which participated in a federal flood plain management program. In 1973, participation in the flood plain management program was made mandatory, as was the purchase of the Federal insurance by anyone building in a designated flood plain. More than 40% of the money paid by the National Flood Insurance Program has gone to Louisiana.

In 1982, another act was passed, the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, which defined areas in which new construction could not be made (among other provisions of the act dealing with existing development). The maps from which construction and development would be exclused were drawn up by the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the examptions for areas in which building and development had already taken place. Probably as a result of cronyism with members of Congress, huge swathes of the Fish and Wildlife maps were exempted--usually on no more sound a basis than that there was a paved road passing within 500 yards of an existing house, or that there was a building density of at least one structure per five acres of land. In the late 1980s, the was a rush to build in existing areas which had been exempted by the Fish and Wildlife Service, and it was, for a brief time, covered by the television media, with many dire predictions. The great majority of such exempted properties were in Texas and Florida.

Because of the Federal program, and because in the inland areas subject to flooding by major rivers, communities were required to participate in the flood plain management progrqm, many insurance companies began offereing (albeit at high rates) insurance to those building in such areas. Justly or not, in the late 1980s people said that it was a program so that Reagan's cronies could build in the barrier areas of the coast. Although many of the dire predictions made in television news "white papers" have been borne out, the media has not revisited this issure, because of the lag time between the passage of the relevant acts (1968, 1973 and 1982) and the dramatic increase in hurricane damage since the mid-1990s. Because some people qualify for Federal flood insurance and have been able to take out private insurance, the amounts paid out for flood damage have risen just as dramatically as the effict of storms in coastal areas.

I have known about these flood insurance programs since the early 1970s (there was a major flood event on the lower Mississippi-Missouri system in 1973--i participated by volunteering to fill sand bags and build emergency levees). I have used Wikipedia as a resource to get the relevant dates and the names of the relevant acts.
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Reply Thu 15 Nov, 2012 01:01 am
Margo sent me the following link, an article about Bellevue Hospital published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It made me tear up. The people who work at Bellevue saved my life more than once.


Reply Fri 16 Nov, 2012 07:18 pm
Bellevue and Langone took awful hits. From what I've read and heard they may not be back before next January /February, and some losses will take much longer to recoup (research projects lost or severely disrupted, equipment that needs to be replaced, enormous costs, emotional,medical, financial.) On a personal note, came back into the city this evening around sunset. Came via the Holland Tunnel and the view from New Jersey of New York City was glorious, buildings along the Hudson in golden sun . The air was clear, the sky blue with streaks of clouds, the three-quarter view of the Statue of Liberty, a soft green again accent in the harbor was a grace note. I was coming home from Belmar, NJ. I'd gone to Belmar with my sister who was going home after her twelve days with me. Her house and her street were not badly damaged, but I walked three blocks east to Ocean Avenue and saw the empty space where the boardwalk and buildings along the east side of the street had been destroyed. Most of the debris had been cleared away . I saw a few dumpsters, quite a lot of heavy equipment (idle at the time I was there) and many utility trucks driving past. No private cars are allowed on this street for now. There was one huge jumble of wood and concrete and metal that had been a small municipal building with public restrooms, a snack bar, and offices that sold beach passes. No trace of the boardwalk remained. People I talked to were already repairing, or planning to repair damaged property and reopen or rebuild businesses. There was a sense that things would be OK, but it would take time. One man said he'd lived all his life in Belmar, and had never seen such enormous damage from past storms. I have to wonder about and question , as so many others are wondering about and questioning the wisdom of living and building in such proximity to the ocean. I worry about what the next storms this winter will do to coastal towns and cities.
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