Hurricane Sandy’s butcher’s bill

Hurricane Sandy hit last week, but the regions most affected–especially New Jersey, New York, and particularly Staten Island–are still struggling with the devastation.  That includes shortages of food and fuel.

Living conditions remained severe for tens of thousands of people unable to return to their homes, and some 1.4 million homes and businesses were due to endure another night of near-freezing temperatures without power or heat.

The devastation could also send ripples through Tuesday’s presidential election, with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney locked in a close race.

An exhausted region now faces the prospect of a new storm. A strong “Nor’easter” was forecast to bring freezing temperatures and more rain and wind by the middle of the week, possibly flooding coastal areas that have yet to recover from Sandy.

The U.S. death toll rose to at least 113 and thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by the gigantic storm, which slammed into the U.S. East Coast a week ago, bringing a record surge that flooded low-lying areas with seawater.

via Sandy still causing nightmare commute, housing crisis | Reuters.

Victims have been complaining about relief efforts, from the Red Cross to FEMA.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Julian

    Make no mistake though. This is not Obama’s “Katrina”. I’ve seen a few signs in my town, largely directed at local utilities, but the fed’s response has been largely commended. Read the local news as well and you’ll see people who are more than ever determined to vote for Obama.

  • Julian

    Make no mistake though. This is not Obama’s “Katrina”. I’ve seen a few signs in my town, largely directed at local utilities, but the fed’s response has been largely commended. Read the local news as well and you’ll see people who are more than ever determined to vote for Obama.

  • Cincinnatus

    Julian: Cool story, bro. You a paid poster?

    What I’m wondering is this: why is the death toll so high in the United States? With the exception of the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens, which was only destroyed in a somewhat idiosyncratic conflagration that was not and could not have been expected even by the most scrupulous emergency planners–and which killed no one–the physical devastation hasn’t really been all that remarkable when compared with other, less-fatal hurricanes. Were people simply camping out in the basements of their beach houses waiting for the surge? Are these 113 souls homeless folks who drowned? Are they counting elderly retirees who had heart attacks from watching the hysterical news coverage? I don’t get it. Folks had weeks, literally, to make adequate preparations and/or evacuate.

    I mean, I don’t intend to sound insensitive, but I’m frankly shocked by the death toll. Fewer people died in Haiti (!).

  • Cincinnatus

    Julian: Cool story, bro. You a paid poster?

    What I’m wondering is this: why is the death toll so high in the United States? With the exception of the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens, which was only destroyed in a somewhat idiosyncratic conflagration that was not and could not have been expected even by the most scrupulous emergency planners–and which killed no one–the physical devastation hasn’t really been all that remarkable when compared with other, less-fatal hurricanes. Were people simply camping out in the basements of their beach houses waiting for the surge? Are these 113 souls homeless folks who drowned? Are they counting elderly retirees who had heart attacks from watching the hysterical news coverage? I don’t get it. Folks had weeks, literally, to make adequate preparations and/or evacuate.

    I mean, I don’t intend to sound insensitive, but I’m frankly shocked by the death toll. Fewer people died in Haiti (!).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Cincinnatus, I read that a sizable number of people refused evacuation orders.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Cincinnatus, I read that a sizable number of people refused evacuation orders.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    One of our members owns a commercial fuel distributorship and they were just contracted to carry fuel from Chicago to the East Coast. He was telling me they have some bad price gouging going on right now in the east.

    I am not surprised at the death toll. People in those regions just are not mentally prepared for the kind of storm Sandy was. It isn’t like the southern coastal states where they live with the constant threat and are therefore prepared for such a storm.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    One of our members owns a commercial fuel distributorship and they were just contracted to carry fuel from Chicago to the East Coast. He was telling me they have some bad price gouging going on right now in the east.

    I am not surprised at the death toll. People in those regions just are not mentally prepared for the kind of storm Sandy was. It isn’t like the southern coastal states where they live with the constant threat and are therefore prepared for such a storm.

  • Julian

    @Cinn:

    No one paid me to live in NJ. Or read the Star-Ledger. Or talk to my neighbors and stuff. Thankfully the storm didn’t affect me nearly as much as people even a block away! Half of my town still doesn’t have power. And we don’t even live on the shore.

    In case you’re wondering, I’m not even voting for Obama. I just find it amusing when pundits display a pavlovian response to possible scandals they might pin on the Other Party.

  • Julian

    @Cinn:

    No one paid me to live in NJ. Or read the Star-Ledger. Or talk to my neighbors and stuff. Thankfully the storm didn’t affect me nearly as much as people even a block away! Half of my town still doesn’t have power. And we don’t even live on the shore.

    In case you’re wondering, I’m not even voting for Obama. I just find it amusing when pundits display a pavlovian response to possible scandals they might pin on the Other Party.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I don’t get why people try to pin stuff on presidents. You can’t blame Obama for not knowing what to do about hurricane relief. He is a lawyer! He is not and never has been in any kind of logistics management position. We have people who do that. The fact is hurricanes are just a big ole mess. You do the best you can to inform everyone of the risks and get people to behave rationally but you can’t make them evacuate, etc. Also, New York/New Jersey has tons of people. That certainly makes it a bigger problem in terms of human suffering and the needs are also huge. None of that is Obama’s fault. What exactly could he do?
    Some observers note that it is pretty bad in some areas.
    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/11/hurricane-sandy-in-the-far-rockaways-ny-looting-flooding-and-still-no-power-or-relief-in-sight/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I don’t get why people try to pin stuff on presidents. You can’t blame Obama for not knowing what to do about hurricane relief. He is a lawyer! He is not and never has been in any kind of logistics management position. We have people who do that. The fact is hurricanes are just a big ole mess. You do the best you can to inform everyone of the risks and get people to behave rationally but you can’t make them evacuate, etc. Also, New York/New Jersey has tons of people. That certainly makes it a bigger problem in terms of human suffering and the needs are also huge. None of that is Obama’s fault. What exactly could he do?
    Some observers note that it is pretty bad in some areas.
    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/11/hurricane-sandy-in-the-far-rockaways-ny-looting-flooding-and-still-no-power-or-relief-in-sight/

  • DonS

    Bloomberg is the real villain in this story. He refused to take the storm seriously, such that NYC made virtually no preparations for its impact, and then didn’t even bother to attend to Staten Island until days after the storm hit. If it’s not in Manhatten, it’s of no concern to Bloomberg. He was perfectly willing to go on with the NY Marathon, to show that NYC was “fine”, but people pointed out it would look bad when the runners reached Staten Island and had to pick their way through the debris and suffering.

    This IS Obama’s Katrina. Which is to say that if Bush was blamed for the failure of local officials to prepare for Katrina, then why shouldn’t Obama be equally blamed for Bloomberg’s failings in NY? Of course, my view is that neither president should have taken the fall for what were horrific natural disasters. People should, instead, recognize that big government should not be your basis for feeling secure and we should stop acting as if it somehow can solve all our problems. Our security rests in God, and I hope and pray that those who were victims of this storm and are suffering as a result will come to realize that. I hope we as a nation will return to our roots and realize that.

  • DonS

    Bloomberg is the real villain in this story. He refused to take the storm seriously, such that NYC made virtually no preparations for its impact, and then didn’t even bother to attend to Staten Island until days after the storm hit. If it’s not in Manhatten, it’s of no concern to Bloomberg. He was perfectly willing to go on with the NY Marathon, to show that NYC was “fine”, but people pointed out it would look bad when the runners reached Staten Island and had to pick their way through the debris and suffering.

    This IS Obama’s Katrina. Which is to say that if Bush was blamed for the failure of local officials to prepare for Katrina, then why shouldn’t Obama be equally blamed for Bloomberg’s failings in NY? Of course, my view is that neither president should have taken the fall for what were horrific natural disasters. People should, instead, recognize that big government should not be your basis for feeling secure and we should stop acting as if it somehow can solve all our problems. Our security rests in God, and I hope and pray that those who were victims of this storm and are suffering as a result will come to realize that. I hope we as a nation will return to our roots and realize that.

  • helen

    The Red Cross was busy doing what it does best… persuading people to send money to the Red Cross.
    And not even thinking of doing anything till a week later….

  • helen

    The Red Cross was busy doing what it does best… persuading people to send money to the Red Cross.
    And not even thinking of doing anything till a week later….


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