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I am just throwing it out there as I have not seen any introspective diaries on DKos as to who is to blame. From a lay person's perspective, while better than Bush's  responses to Katrina, how is the Obama-Christie-Bloomberg-Cuomo's administrations' preparation for this satisfactory? This diary's purpose is not to lay out the answers. But I am hoping the comments I get will give us a better idea of what Cuomo and the others faced and if they could have done a better job?

So many people still without power more than a week later.
People were still confused what to do leading to some people dying because they did not expect the flood waters to be that dangerous. One of them being a case where a mother panicked and had her kids die in a flood.

Long Island Power is blasted for their ineptitude and this pieceillustrates how bad they were and they are a state run operation, even if they are contracted to National Grid,a private entity. One of the points was Cuomo himself did not make appointing board members and a permanent CEO of Long Island Power as big of a priority as it should have been. A state run entity is no better than a greedy profit driven one if there is no accountability. TO Cuomo's credit, he is seeking responses now and seems to be willing to hold people accountable. But was it too late?

But some longtime politicos say Cuomo needs to look in the mirror when it comes to LIPA, a state authority that has been without a permanent chief executive officer since before he took office in 2011.

Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey has been serving as acting CEO since September 2010 when former LIPA head Kevin Law left to head a business trade group.

“An organization needs leadership,” said a longtime top state official. “For the governor to talk about the bureaucracy — it’s a bureaucracy he’s supposed to oversee.”

In addition, three of the LIPA board’s six gubernatorial appointments, including chairman Howard Steinberg, are serving with expired terms. Cuomo has appointed just one new board member since taking office.

A Cuomo aide pointed out that the problem goes beyond LIPA to National Grid, which does the actual work and is overseen by LIPA.

“The facts are the utility is National Grid,” the aide said. “They are contracted with LIPA. And if National Grid is not up for it, we’ll find a new contractor.”

A state senator who asked for anonymity says the LIPA report shows the authority should have been held accountable long before now.

“The governor has done absolutely nothing with LIPA since taking office,” the lawmaker said. “He owns at least a piece of this.”

I am sure we can find equal problems(maybe worse?) in the republican run NJ. But I want to see an evenhanded critical look at our own party. Was enough prep work done by the federal and state governments(NY, NJ) and the cities(NYC)  when they had a week to prepare for the storm?

Of course, long term, I am going to put more blame on the Republicans because if Obama proposed any kind of stimulus program to give jobs to people who could actually do productive stuff like improving the infrastructure, they would oppose it. And regardless of how much blame one can lay on our party, the republicans have historically opposed funding for infrastructure improvements that would render quicker recoveries after a storm like this. But I have this gnawing feeling that democrats dropped the ball too. I hope I am wrong.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The product of a coddled safe unbothered life (13+ / 0-)

    One of the biggest storms in history hits the eastern seaboard, and someone is surprised everything isn't back to normal in one week.

    •  CNN just now had a report on this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, PsychoSavannah, JeffW

      There was an audit on LIPA after last year's milder storm. There were a number of red flags that went unheeded. They still use paper maps. Very antiquated technology.

      Republicans had the same callous response to Katrina victims. Couldn't they just leave? What's the big deal? Crap ;like that.

      Remember it's cold out there. There is immense suffering going on. ANd this is your best response? Or is this is a partisan response because we are trying examine failure of a government operation run by our own party? (IN all fairness, Pataki obviously did absolutely nothing in his tenure to attempt any kind of upgrades).

      •  No, it's just reality. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Quicklund, erush1345

        I don't see in Quicklund's comment any desire to absolve anyone of anything.  It's a sociological observation and I think it's accurate.  We are talking about very entitled populations, in the not-so-good sense of that word.  

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:58:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think you miss the point of the comment. (5+ / 0-)

        Entire power delivery infrastructure was wiped out. To think with millions of customers effected that full service would be restored in a week or even two or three is a bit naive. Yes it sucks if you are one of those without power, but I assure the line guys are working as hard and as fast as they can.

        I went through the same thing here in NH several years ago after a huge ice storm. There were folks in NH who were without power for three weeks and some for a month in the dead of winter.

        Suggestion if it feasible get a generator, these events are going to happen more often.

        The 47% also "pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more" but when Romney does it he thinks it's a virtue, while when they do it, he thinks they are deadbeats.

        by jsfox on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:59:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can I recommend this twice (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          Or maybe three times? What's a politician supposed to do? Get in a bucket truck and start mending the lines personally?

          To reduce crime, make fewer things against the law.

          by Bruce The Moose on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:53:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  THat's not the point of my questions (0+ / 0-)

            No one questions the actual work by the people in the field. Was there any way they could have done a better job preparing for a storm like this after last year's audit and could there have been some last minute prep done any better  with a week's notice. I am not sure, but then I don't see much in the press about this. So I wanted to see if we could get info from our vast community here. I am sure there are people here employed in utilities.

    •  I agree with you (6+ / 0-)

      Nobody would consent to pay the power rates needed to maintain rapid response and recovery to rare but catastrophic events.  Nobody would consent to the cost and dislocation necessary to harden the street-level delivery system.  I am open to evidence that LIPA or other NY-area utilities have done a bad job restoring power, but my view is that we have all signed on for a system that minimizes spending on contingencies because we resent paying for power at all.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:56:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sooo true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      You hit the nail on the head!! Thank you.  Lots of people haven't been able to go back to their homes,if they still have one  

    •  no, the lack of urgency in trying to get it (0+ / 0-)

      back to normal is what is extremely aggravating

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:01:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  meep meep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:19:20 PM PST

    •  Hypocrite (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, pgh kid

      If this was aimed at a republican, I doubt you will be so flippant.

      •  You ask good questions. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pravin, PsychoSavannah, erush1345

        We were outraged with Bush's response to Katrina and we shouldn't bury our heads in the sand now.  An honest look at what went wrong as well as what was done right is definitely in order.

        •  And let me be clear to the others (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane

          I am not equating this disaster to Bush's handling. Because our guys can never match that ineptitude. But we did not hesitate to ask questions right away. So when we see something less than adequate now, we should ask questions.

          Feel free to pile on Christie too. But I want to know why NY went wrong since that is our own party. Unlike Republicans who like to give a pass to whatever their party does, I think we should be better than that.

          •  it's important to make a strong distinction (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pravin, out of left field

            between disaster response and storm recovery.  

            Post-Katrina New Orleans, for instance, was an example of catastrophic failure in disaster response.  Certainly there were subsequent failures in recovery efforts, as well.  But the historic scenes of devastation in the midst of administrative neglect, people dying in the streets and holing up in the Superdome, and the resulting political outcry were the result of criminally negligent disaster response.

            That is significantly different from the problems now being faced in NY and NJ.  By all accounts, emergency response has been strong.  Recovery, however, is likely to be hobbled by the limitations of the existing/remaining infrastructure.  

            CNN may well attempt to conflate these things, in order to spark political drama.  But there is a real-world difference.

            Please proceed, Governor.

            by vivadissent on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:59:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why did you change the title? Hypocrite. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        araina23, tommyd357
        Democrats to blame too for poor Sandy response?
        Trying to assign blame when people are still cleaning up is just bad manners.

        "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

        by jazzence on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:02:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To refocus the discussion. (0+ / 0-)

          I notice people can get very defensive if we just try to focus on Democrats. THink of it as a tiny amount of pandering though there is some truth in my new title too because I do hold republicans responsible for the long term spending.

      •  I live on Long Island (0+ / 0-)

        There's towns that were destroyed, the whole south shore was leveled.  LIPA management hasn't been great (the workers in the field have been great) but this is massive destruction.  Lets try to save the "politics" of this for later... HELP is needed NOW.  

  •  I and all the other New Yorkers I know feel that (9+ / 0-)

    the government has done an excellent job of evacuating those at risk, keeping everyone informed about how to stay safe, restoring mass transit within days, and putting proper emphasis on assuaging the fuel shortage in the wake of the storm. It was well known that there was a call to evacuate flood zones and stay indoors during the storm, and a lot of people chose to stay, so it's hard to lay that on the government. Power has been taking a long time to restore in part because the damage was so extensive. Certainly Sandy has had a devastating effect, but that's the nature of natural disasters.

    Now, I do think it would be worth seeing if we can do a better job of weather-proofing New York and creating a better contingency plan for restoring power and rescuing victims from hard-to-access areas more quickly after the next storm, but that is stuff that you can't really just plan for the week before a hurricane is coming. That's serious infrastructure work that would take a lot of time and money.

    •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
      That's serious infrastructure work that would take a lot of time and money.
      It's not like there were any precedents, or anything
      •  People in the NY area pay a lot for power. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, JeffW

        What are the chances they would have consented to pay more to harden the system against a 100-year storm?

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:59:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345

        Hurricanes and tropical storms occasionally hit New York. There are steps we can take to mitigate hurricane damage, but we can't make hurricanes disappear, so there will always be danger as long as we have homes on low-lying coastal areas on the Atlantic. So you always have to ask, what specifically can we do to reduce and mitigate the damage from flooding, fires, and power outages during hurricanes? How much will it cost, and how do we pay for it? I'm sure there are a lot of worthwhile prevention measures we can take for future hurricanes as they become more common due to global warming, but that doesn't suggest gross negligence on the part of the city or state government.

        •  Should Democrats use this to sell stimulus proposa (0+ / 0-)

          Rebuilding infrastructure. This has to be the most popular time to refocus spending here. Provide jobs. All the assets are built locally keeping the money domestically. Less suffering by people makes more productive people.

  •  legitimate at this point to begin asking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jazzence, JeffW, araina23

    whether the response has been adequate, so far, and to apply pressure where necessary, if necessary.

    Illegitimate to skip ahead to assigning political blame points.

    Unnecessary to accuse people here of being callous hypocrites.

    -- in my opinion.

    Please proceed, Governor.

    by vivadissent on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:39:31 PM PST

    •  Reason for my comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      The answer the other guy gave me was typical response to troll diaries - something I do not deserve. If I replaced the title with Republican, I doubt I would have gotten that response. In fact, I wouldnt be shocked if I got a bunch of people joining in the piling on blame.

      I agree about your other points. That's why I was seeking answers, and laying out assumptions based on what I know because I have not seen any authoritative diaries here enlightening me about what happened. Another point I did not like in the report that just aired on CNN is that the authorities did not seem to learn from last year's post hurricane audit.

      •  I would be skeptical of CNN's framing, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        if not the facts that they are reporting.  Judging from their usual practices, I expect that part of their motivation will be to politicize the situation and to get the blame game started as quickly as possible.

        I am not shocked that governmental structures are inadequately prepared and overwhelmed -- many of the authorities involved (Cuomo, Christie, Bloomberg) have already suggested as much in their public statements.    

        And, living in the northeast, I'm not surprised that recovery efforts are slow. In past years, normal snowstorms and nor'easters have left large portions of the region without power for many weeks.  Even after criticism and scrutiny are directed at the power companies, it seems clear that there are limits to the efficiency of the existing technologies and infrastructure.  

        Rather than wasting time and attention on the search for political goats, what will likely be necessary is a commitment to new infrastructure and planning, to deal with the new reality of larger and more frequent extreme weather events.

        Please proceed, Governor.

        by vivadissent on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:13:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I dont doubt they want to create drama (0+ / 0-)

          But some of the people they talked to were Democrats like James Sanders and even he was saying there needed to be accountability.

          Like I said, easier said than done as there was no money to act upon the problems highlighted by the audit. But it looks like they could have addressed more than they did in the past year.  

  •  Maybe the response wasn't flawless, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jazzence, Rich in PA

    it was a good solid response.  The fact that there are still some areas without power is to be expected, the power can't be restored without power lines in place.

    I just wonder how anyone can find fault with the leadership and efforts that were put forth from the moment that the storm was forecast.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:49:31 PM PST

    •  What about the lack of action on last year's audit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Van Buren

      I don't think the NY state government's response was out of norm for a typical state government. But a report on CNN said that an audit was conducted last year. And there was no action taken in the ensuing year to act on those red flags. No action was taken to strengthen leadership at the utlity.

      •  Like anything serious could be done in a year (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nupstateny, RJDixon74135

        Don't tell me about outdated maps--that isn't important when the power is out everywhere.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:00:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Has the power company done anything to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pravin

          inform/educate property owners about the things that they might need to do BEFORE power can be turned back on? I'm just wondering whether, on top of everything else, there's a communication problem.

          Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

          by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:28:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The red flag to me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW

        is that you're basing your claim on what CNN reports.

        How do you know nothing was done to correct anything that the report cited?  Obviously the response to Sandy was a reflection of the lessons learned.


        The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

        by nupstateny on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:15:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well if you have something better, let us know (0+ / 0-)

          Seriously, if CNN was reporting the same way on a republican, would you have been as skeptical? I have seen numerous diaries on DKos which cite a CNN report and then use that as a basis to attcak a republican. All of a sudden, I am being held to a different standard on what I research? I am just relaying what I see and asking why we should not be concerned. I was pretty open up what I knew and didn't know.

          What concerns me is the overly defensiveness for reports that would have been eagerly lapped up if it were attacking some other party. Let's be consistent. This is not a stupid  freeper site.

          •  Flawed Arguments (0+ / 0-)

            You seem to be brushing aside the legitimate responses of posters who suggest that your questions may be somewhat flawed in themselves. First of all, a focus on how to apportion blame to entire political parties is premature, at least part because information about preparation efforts and disaster response/recovery is currently incomplete. To me, it makes sense to defer such questions until we know more about who "dropped the ball," and how and where the ball was dropped. As numerous posters have pointed out, in many ways preparation and recovery efforts were successful.

            You’ve responded to some of these posts by claiming that if you had been focusing on Republicans rather than Democrats, the majority of the comments on your diary  would be enthusiastically supportive. I think that assumption is unwarranted, because I haven’t seen anybody on this thread blaming the Republican Party for perceived failings in preparation and response to Sandy. Further, the claim that “If x had been y, you would have done z” relies upon an unobserved counterfactual, and hence, in this case, constitutes a specious argument. It also implies that those who disagree with you are hypocrites, which is entirely uncalled for.

            In my opinion.

            Thanks to denial, I'm immortal. -- Philip J. Fry

            by IamGumby on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:30:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I just need to say (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, pravin, LilithGardener, erush1345

    the problem is with management, not workers. The linemen who worked on my street-who were from New Brunswick(Canada, not Jersey)- spent 7 hours to restore power to 5 houses. The job is monumental. And when the Noreaster blew through Wednesday night and we lost power again, a crew worked at the height of the storm to restore power again. I could not have faulted them if they shut off the juice and came back in the morning, but they slogged away and fixed things. It appears management wa s woefully unready for a storm of this size, and that's inexcusable.

    Paul Ryan = Ebenezer Scrooge

    by Van Buren on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:00:03 PM PST

    •  No dispute there (0+ / 0-)

      From what the audit says, it seems the main problem lies with the top. You can't really blame workers. I wouldn't be able to work half as hard as some of those workers did. It's bone jarrring work in harsh conditions.

  •  With just the money that was spent by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, out of left field, pravin

    Adelson in the election, all kinds of upgrades could be made.

    Tax the obscenely rich and give the "little" people infrastructure that works.

    David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

    by PsychoSavannah on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:25:16 PM PST

  •  I don't know if this specific problem would have (0+ / 0-)

    been helped, but if we had passed a comprehensive "climate change/energy/ infrastructure" bill in the Senate and reconciled it with the House's climate change bill, we would have been a long way in the direction of solving problems like this before they happen.
    Ultimately, that's what we need.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:48:13 PM PST

    •  Agreed. A stimulus would be easier to sell now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      out of left field

      We have this storm. Sell a stimulus in terms of preventing such future calamities the way Bush and his neocons used 9-11 to escalate military spending. THe difference is we are doing this for a productive and good cause with a stimulus that will not just spend our tax money but also get us a payback with more employed citizens and more spending locally.

  •  Power is a national security issue. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    out of left field

    Nationalize the grid, bury the lines.

  •  Everything takes time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345

    With the massive amounts of damage and outages it takes even more time.
    Parts of the electrical grid are very old.
    They got flooded with salt water.

    Now it must all be pulled apart, cleaned, repaired if needed, and put back together. Neighborhood by neighborhood.

    For millions and millions of people.

    We all want to be first and no one wants to be last but shit happens.

    Blaming the storm damage on the GOP or the Dems makes no sense.

    Peggy Noonan. She had Romney winning because of "vibrations." My response edited due to the possibility of insulting many people.

    by J Rae on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:17:13 PM PST

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