After Sandy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Experts, reporters and listeners weigh in on the damage from the storm.  Plus, live coverage of briefings from Gov. Christie, Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo.

Guests include:

Justin Auciello from Jersey Shore Hurricane News,

Alfonso Quiroz of Con Ed,

Paul Rosengren of PSEG,

Adam Sobel, climate science professor at Columbia,

WNPR's John Dankowsky 


Justin Auciello, John Dankowsky, Alfonso Quiroz, Paul Rosengren and Adam Sobel

Comments [43]

Kate from WaHi

When elderly people are stuck up in high towers where they cannot flush their &^%%& toilet, that is a problem of city planning.

Nov. 01 2012 12:16 PM
Andrea C from Wallingford PA

just got off call with friend without power in NJ. She didn't know where she could get gas. While lines are long, all gas stations on Garden State and NJ Tpke are open. can you broadcast this?

Nov. 01 2012 11:38 AM
Anon from Harlem

Hello, under what authority does the Mayor use to restrict vehicles across the bridge to car pooling three or more and why not have this more often?

Nov. 01 2012 08:02 AM
Build a Sea Wall in NYC Harbor

"We are getting 100 year storms every 2 years".
Clearly this is going to continue. Time to focus

NYC should build a 40 ft high sea wall out in NYC
harbor to protect NYC's zone A from future storms.
The sea wall can have gates or one-way valves to
allow flow out during normal times and navigation
during normal times. These gates can be closed when
we face an impending storm surge. It's on;y a few
miles long (both the Dutch and the Chinese have built
much larger structures a long time ago).
During pleasant weather, it could also be a harbor PARK
which people could walk or jog on.

This might be a good basis for a show :
eg. LOCAL MITIGATION approaches to damage
from climate change.

This might also be an EXCELLENT jobs/infrastructure
program at the NATIONAL level using a NEW WPA.
(President Obama might take a lead in arguing for
such projects in sensitive high population areas
around the Nation - YES govt CAN employ people -
and they can do IMPORTANT work at a low cost
for the benefit of the nation).

Oct. 30 2012 01:28 PM
timsored from West Side

For reasons I suppose I'll never know, my block was ignored by Sandy. W. 51st between 9 and 10. I was nursing a fever all weekend so I stepped out only yesterday afternoon for a coffee. Later as I was resting I expected to hear the wind kick up and rain but nothing happened. My power has remained in tact as well. I so wish other neighborhoods have had my luck!

Oct. 30 2012 11:50 AM
Anonymous from Manhattan

Martin Chuzzlewit
Martin Chuzzlewit
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit is a novel by Charles Dickens, considered the last of his picaresque novels. It was originally serialized in 1843 and 1844. Wikipedia
Published: 1844
Author: Charles Dickens
Original language: English

Oct. 30 2012 11:46 AM
RJ from RJ

"Where is Obama?" He's using technology to be in contact and follow the damage RATHER THAN TAKE AWAY SECURITY PERSONNEL AND DISTRACT LOCAL OFFICIALS WITH PRESIDENTIAL SECURITY NEEDS. If he showed up anywhere, there'd be hoards of law enforcement personnel required--rather than doing their first-responder duties. Why is it that some people can't step back from their ideologies and look at actual circumstances. FEMA has worked well, everyone--Democrat and Republican--has lauded the preplanning and cooperation of all levels of government--Dem and Rep. Fundamentally, "government" is about community--we pay taxes for exactly these purposes: to provide the services we can't create on our own--or are better created by a community being carefully coordinated rather than running willy nilly without on their own.

The next time public sector workers want improved benefits, let's at least have a little bell go off in the backs of our minds about what they've been doing under these circumstances. Not just first responders but sanitation workers and social and those who have organize the sudden need for massive benefits help--food stamps, rescue, enabling food deliveries, etc.

Oct. 30 2012 11:46 AM
Helen from manhattan

I'm going to try to ride my bike into work tomorrow/until trains are back up, but I have to cross the queensboro bridge. Is there anywhere to find out the status of pedestrian/bike paths and bridges?

Oct. 30 2012 11:46 AM
The Truth from Becky

@MARTIN - you are clearly mentally defective. Seek help.

Oct. 30 2012 11:42 AM
Jeb from Williamsburg

I'm delighted that Bloomberg acknowledged the role of global warming with extreme weather events. These storms will become increasingly common for NY and the East Coast. I hope, as Governor Cuomo put it, we build things back "smarter."

Oct. 30 2012 11:39 AM

As one of the other commenters mentioned, it would be nice to hear about relief effort volunteer opportunities for those of us from the elevated neighborhoods that really had no trouble last night.

Oct. 30 2012 11:27 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

@ Becky-

Your usual race card. (You have nothing else to say.) Sorry for your self-loathing.

Oct. 30 2012 11:27 AM
The Truth from Becky

The usual characters here, on record with their jealousy, envy and racial hatred. There becomes a point when you Martin, David, Calls 'em when you just look envious and ridiculous of this man's superiority and position. Too bad HE IS THE PRESIDENT, no matter how much you don't like it!

There is a city in crisis and all you guys can do is talk negatively about the President. Laughable.

Oct. 30 2012 11:21 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Will Obama characterize the damage from this storm as "not optimal" ...the way he dismissed the murder of 4 American diplomaic personnel in Benghazi on the Jon Stewart Show?

Oct. 30 2012 11:19 AM
Calls'em from McLean, VA

That was quite the storm. Hope we don’t see another. 0bama is bound to do well after this emergency, since he recently had a practice round during which he failed miserably - "Benghazi, Libya" where he has blood on his hands. Although NPR & WNYC barely cover this scandal, it is becoming increasingly clear from both internal leaks and by comments by leaders in the military and intelligence community, that for political reasons 0bama failed to (a) increase security for our diplomats before the terrorist attack; (b) then failed to rescue them for 7 hours despite watching the events in real time via a drone and local video resources and getting repeated satellite phone calls from out intel and military assets on the ground; and (c) then lied to America and the world about what happened. 0bama was afraid that since his big claim to fame was killing Usama bin Laden, that a successful terrorist attack on 9-11-12 undermined his narrative. So he and Hillary and the rest of the regime and its minions in the media concocted this tale of a video causing demonstrations. 0bama & Hillary took out paid ads to foster this lie and continued it for weeks despite the fact that they both had actionable intel in real time throughout the 7 hour even t and failed to relieve our fellow Americans. I think that at this point 0bama hopes to lose the election since he is sure to be impeached over this matter within days of a second inauguration and perhaps be prosecuted. He would live in disgrace after that and I doubt that his ego could take that. May God Bless all the people impacted by the hurricane and May God Bless America and our fallen heroes.

Oct. 30 2012 11:16 AM
Fred from Northwest New Jersey

Dear Brian:

Much has been made of the presidential campaign continuing in the wake of hurricane Sandy. But, and I may have missed it, I have not heard ANY comments on the possibility that many thousands of voters may not be able to make it to the polls and that many of those polling places may not be up and running in time for the election. I would very much like to hear a comment on how this might affect the election. Is the press somehow afraid to even approach this topic? Thank you, in advance, for reading this.

Oct. 30 2012 11:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


"Where is Obama?"

Actually, he is in the middle of determining how far inland he will need to go in his helicopter in order to find a dry golf course.

Oct. 30 2012 11:10 AM
Sunnie from sunset park

Romney:President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet...
Who's joking now Romney!

Oct. 30 2012 11:09 AM
David from Brooklyn, NY

Where is Obama? Physically. We hear about him on the phone with this person and that, but why is he not surveying the damage physically in NJ, in Philadelphia, in VIRGINIA, for God's sake. Why is Romney holding a "relief event" in Ohio? Obama has a chance here to show his face and promote the good of goverment (i.e. FEMA). He can campaign under the guise of damage survey and hugging the survivors and sufferers. Get out there Barry!

Not much damage in Park Slope. No flooding. Tree down on Berkeley Place and 8th Avenue and on President Street and 8th Avenue (latter has fallen on two cars).

Oct. 30 2012 11:01 AM
CJ of Queens from Queens, NY

One of my cousins who lives in Canarsie, Brooklyn reports that her home and that of many of her neighbors was flooded. She said water filled the basement up to the third step from the top of the stairs. She has no electricity and that is the condition of many in the area around 108 Street and Avenue N. This (we believe) is not a flood zoned area. Is there any chance of getting some news on what is happening over there?

Oct. 30 2012 10:58 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Seems that Christie is ultimately self-interested. As a Republican he has to support Romney, overtly. But Christie's convention speech was all about Christie. Maybe a Romney presidency is really not in the interest of a Christie presidency...

Oct. 30 2012 10:57 AM
lu from brooklyn

The New York times is making the argument about FEMA and a robust federal government right now on their online homepage.

Oct. 30 2012 10:57 AM
The Truth from Becky

Why Brian? Why mention that if it is not a character judgement? You never mention Bush and when you do that is the comparison you choose to make? He was always on time? Unbelievable!

Oct. 30 2012 10:47 AM
Sandy from UWS, CPW, 100 St.

NYC Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 4th

Will they be able to do clean up to have the route ready for the run?

Oct. 30 2012 10:44 AM
Graham Walker from Bronx

Remember, for flooding someone will only get compensated if they have FLOOD insurance, otherwise the insurance company will wheedle out of paying anything. Been there, done that. X(

Oct. 30 2012 10:42 AM
David from Washington Heights

See the NY times editorial this morning about Romney's opposition to the federal government's role in emergency management. What do listeners think about this issue?

Oct. 30 2012 10:38 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Wasn't there another explosion at that same Con Ed power plant on 14th Street during Irene?

Oct. 30 2012 10:37 AM
Jane M Farmer from Taos, NM for daughter in Westbury, NY

This was on abc news:

"Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein has issued a Do Not Consume Water Order for the water districts of Long Beach and Mill Neck Estates.

All residents who are customers of these water districts are advised not to drink or use tap water for personal use. This includes brushing teeth, drinking and bathing. The water cannot be made safe by boiling. Further, all Nassau County residents are advised to conserve water in order to maintain water pressure for emergency and fire responders."

My daughter, without power in Westbury, NY requests that you address this issue on your program. She is listening with a hand-crank radio and feels you NEED to keep locals aware of any such post-storm issues.


Oct. 30 2012 10:37 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

I agree with Jay and Amy, we need a full throated explication of the connections between CLIMATE CHANGE and this storm. See Mike Tidwell on Common Cause from The Nation.

Let the deniers scream, but this needs publicity and explication!

Oct. 30 2012 10:36 AM
Dan from Flushing, NY

I'd like to concur with other some of the other commenter——many are talking as if the storm were over. It is not yet. The system has not completely left the area, and we just experienced more strong gusts and a band of rain moving through Flushing, Queens. So for those who think it's safe to venture out or take to the roads, please reconsider!

Oct. 30 2012 10:28 AM
Hal from Crown Heights

This storm is not over. Huge low pressure zone over the Mid Atlantic and Midwest states continue to dump rain and snow in those states. Forecast for NYC is for rain through Friday. Flooding in many places has not yet reached peak.

Oct. 30 2012 10:22 AM
andy from manhattan

Please keep us poste3d regarding opportunities to help others less fortunate than those of us who got off light.

My household never even lost power, and woke up to a very small amount of damage in our section of Spanish Harlem around E105th and Lexington.

Oct. 30 2012 10:21 AM
leslie from nyc

Ask ConEd if they will replace the grid with BloomEnergy boxes that are now supplying energy to Google and parts of the Dept. of Defense with bloom boxes. If we didnt have a grid would we these energy outages from broken grids still happen or could we rely on Bloom boxes?

I'm not a scientist. See website. I think to simplify:
Bloom boxes are filled with coated disks. The coating transmits sunshine and electricity. Obviously it is much more complicated.

I'd like to know if the grid will disappear in the future and if we will all be better off with bloom energy boxes?

Oct. 30 2012 10:21 AM
Cynthia Vos from Brooklyn

You helped the whole city get through this thing. Your service is invaluable.

Oct. 30 2012 10:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Well, at least this storm gives Barry Obama a chance to appear to be presidential and to pretend that he is handling a crisis.

Actually, it plays to his strengths .... going around and handing out goodies (other people’s money) and taking credit for it.

Oct. 30 2012 10:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

Stop, with the Elmo...puhleese

Oct. 30 2012 10:16 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I think Mr. Sobol misunderstood the caller's question. As Brian reported it, the caller asked if Arctic ice melt was resulting in cooling of the air that then moves farther south, making it cooler in temperate areas--not that it would make it cooler in the Arctic itself.

One more reason we should call it global climate disruption, not global warming. The average global temperature is warming, but warming isn't uniform all over the globe.

Oct. 30 2012 09:52 AM
Jay from Brooklyn

The current guest is misinformed as to the role climate change is playing in the pulling of polar air down into the mid latitudes.

Brian, please have your producers check out Neven's excellent sea ice blog This is currently considered one of the best clearing houses for accurate information on what has been happening for the past several years in the arctic.

With this years EXTREME melting of the polar ice (roughly a sigma 6 deviation from the norm), we have witnessed a shift of the polar low from roughly over the north pole to over the northern tip of Greenland. This last happened in 2007 when there was similar extreme melting of the Western Arctic Ocean.

As observed in 2007, this shifting of the polar low greatly perturbs the jet stream, pulling arctic air further down and more strongly and sooner in the season than observed in previous years.

It is speculated as we move towards an "essentially ice free" moment in the arctic (likely within 10 years as the ice volume was down roughly 80% from the average. Many cryophiles are calling 2016 as the year this will first happen now.), this shift of the polar low from the magnetic/geographic north pole to over Greenland will make this sort of storm path as well as the arctic blasts in over the middle of the continent part of a "new normal."

This storm is absolutely enabled by climate change.

Oct. 30 2012 09:49 AM
Melissa from Manhattan

Brian, at some point, I'd like to hear someone talk about dangers from toxic chemicals that are carried and circulated by flood waters, particularly on Staten Island's North Shore (not to mention in Bayonne and Jersey City). For instance, I was on your show several years ago to talk about a radioactive spill on the North Shore. It still hasn't been cleaned up, and this storm is exactly what the folks there have been really worried about. I believe the EPA took some steps to contain that site in a very basic way before Irene, but even without that site, there is a lot of nasty stuff in the Kill Van Kull and all around that area...

Oct. 30 2012 09:47 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

We keep hearing that subway service will take several days to restore. BUT WHAT ABOUT BUSES? Please clarify.

Oct. 30 2012 09:33 AM
Frank from Glendale, Queens

I'm amazed that such little attention is given to 50 homes burning down! Yes, power is out, yes subways and homes are flooded. That will get corrected. But isn't the loss of 50 homes in one fire a big enough story? It's a big loss to those poor people and their neighborhood. Sorry, but this is a huge tragedy. And any other day it would be the focus of concern...but apparently not today.

Oct. 30 2012 09:28 AM
Alicia from Morningside Heights

Brian-- Am I the only person who expericenced this last night? We're up by Columbia University, on high ground, with full power. BUT I spent all last night leaping out of bed EVERY TWO HOURS to answer NYC robo calls before my child and visiting cousin were disturbed. The NYC Office of Emergency Management kept calling me to report this "important information" (also emailed to my Dept. of Education email account): "Shelter in place. Do not drive. Call 911 only in real emergency."

Anybody else with this problem?

Oct. 30 2012 09:19 AM
Daphne from Harlem-135th Street

For the umpteenth time.... the Madison Avenue Bridge is OPEN and has been open all night. Traffic has been crossing to/from the Bronx without problems, even though the traffic lights stopped working. You can leave Manhattan if it is necessary.

Oct. 30 2012 09:08 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.