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There is Good and Bad With Hurricane Sandy

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York so watching what is happening there as a result of Hurricane Sandy has more of an effect on me that most mid-westerners. To watch the Battery Tunnel and Battery Park fill up with water, to see some 90 homes in Queens go up in a huge blaze, to see the subways fill up and to see a total shutdown of the City of New York is beyond belief.  Frank Sinatra said it best, “it’s a city that never sleeps”. It probably hasn’t slept it’s just sitting still almost afraid to come out to see what just happened. The damage assessment is just starting there, but I can tell you New Yorkers are a resilient people and they will pull through what is ahead for them. People, no matter where they are from, usually do. It’s just getting past the stunned feeling of “what just happened here?”  Tornado victims here in the Midwest can tell you that feeling.

If you look at what is ahead for New York there is good and bad waiting to happen there.  The good is that people actually paid attention to the warnings and took precautions for the most part. Plus,with the damage incurred, there will be future construction jobs for people who have been out of work. The bad is that with sewers totally backed up there is no way people can use their own bathroom. It has no place to go and with the sewers flowing into the streets there will be all kinds of health problems for a city with 10 million people.  With 10 million people, there will be those who will try to take advantage of the situation by looting abandoned buildings. Those people should be dealt with severely. There is no room for people who would do that kind of thing during a time of crisis. Many people probably never left their businesses simply because of the fear of looting afterwards.  Hopefully, that will be minimized.

Things you would never think about will be problems like the salt water that invaded the city. The salt can erode sidewalks and other materials that are a part of the City’s infrastructure. So the cost of this storm will be felt for years and not just by the City of New York but by Americans who probably will see their insurance rates go up as a result of the thousands of future claims that will be submitted.

I could go on and on but the real cost of this storm will be the loss of life as a result of it. As of this writing, some 45 people have died. When you think about the some 50 million people affected by this storm, that death total is remarkably low.  Hopefully, it will remain so.

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