November 26, 2012

Sandy aftermath made even more gruesome after abysmal failure of FEMA

Proving once again that the aftermath of disasters is almost always worse than the disasters themselves, Thieves strike storm-damaged Breezy Point homes over Thanksgiving holiday

Adding insult to injury,  Sandy victims are charged for full month of power despite blackouts that in some places lasted more than 2 weeks.

Worst of all, murderers find in the storm wreckage inviting spots to dump bodies    In Storm’s Debris, the Macabre

Long Island Residents Dealing With Sandy-Related Garbage Nightmare

Plagued by filth, health concerns are mounting on Long Island’s South Shore.Streets in one local community are still buried in more than two weeks of trash build-up and another is pumping out rivers of raw sewage.t.
“Every day I go home, I take a shower for an hour and I throw out the shoes I had on. I just don’t know how to protect myself from this mess. This is how cholera started,” Bay Park resident Randee Gerry said.

Sewage on their streets and in their homes, backing up through toilets and bathtubs. The storm surge ruptured sewage mains.

Preliminary estimate from Governor Chrisite's office:  Sandy cost New Jersey $30 billion in damages to homes, businesses and tourism.

 Sandy Half-House-1

Some of that no doubt because the New Jersey railway parked much of its trains in the flood zone despite warnings, resulting in damage to one third of its locomotives and a quarter of its passenger cars, damage that will cost tens of millions of dollars to repair.

All of which makes even more disheartening reports of the abysmal failure of FEMA.  The report below makes the federal government's response sound completely inept.  Dan Greenfield says the recovery effort was "criminally botched." 

I asked, ‘Why haven’t you been sent out?’” he says. “Then he just lays the story on me, tells me about all the personnel they have out there, more than 100 ambulances, two paramedics per ambulance, everybody waiting for marching orders.”

Horrified, the logistical worker offered to help transport them to a place where they could be useful.

He said they couldn’t do it because FEMA had them all under contract, and they couldn’t go out without FEMA’s say-so.

In the first rush after the storm, these emergency medical responders were frantically busy with the evacuation of NYU Langone and Bellevue, transporting patients out of the damaged hospitals to safer facilities.

But after that burst of activity, the orders suddenly stopped coming. EMT crews idled for days on end, waiting for direction, growing increasingly exasperated as the hours and days ticked by.
“I called my contact back for clarification,” the logistics worker tells the Voice. “He says to me: ‘We’re firefighters and EMTs and nurses. We’ve been here for days, and they haven’t let us off the compound, they haven’t given us marching orders, they haven’t even given us our equipment. We’ve been sleeping on plastic chairs since we got here.’”

The motorcycle club, the Hallowed Sons, proved far more .

By Tuesday morning, the waters had receded, and the Hallowed Sons had set up camp in the Oceanside Park, serving food and sending teams out with residents to their small, single-family homes to remove wreckage and junk out of the ruined basements and first floors. On a bedsheet they spray-painted the words “Hallowed Sons MC, Just Ask for Help.” Aside from the shell-shocked residents, they were the only people on the scene.
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 26, 2012 10:42 AM | Permalink