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Wetcoaster

Hurricane Sandy

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Merriam-Webster: " a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction; broadly : a sudden or great misfortune or failure <the party was a disaster>" - http://www.merriam-w...ionary/disaster

Oxford: "a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life: - http://oxforddiction...nglish/disaster

Canadian government: "one or more of the following criteria: 10 or more people killed; 100 or more people affected/injured/infected/evacuated or homeless; an appeal for national/international assistance; historical significance; significant damage/interruption of normal processes such that the community affected cannot recover on its own" - http://www.publicsaf.../index-eng.aspx

I couldn't find anything from the US pages on how they define disasters, but know that there's more to an event than just loss of life. As I said in my above posts, factors such as communications and economic hits have to be taken into consideration, not to mention access to clean water, sanitation services, and shelter. The fact that thousands have been evacuated from their homes, clean water supplies have been tainted by the mixing of sewage, and vital infrastructure has been damaged means this is a disaster.

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I guess they really meant it when they said this was gonna be the last season of "Jersey Shore". I imagine the shirt shop and "Shore" house are likely destroyed.

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It's definitely a disaster, I was only focusing on that word because they used it to describe one street that had a few fallen trees. But the words catastrophe and tragedy just seem over the top to me.

If we use those words here, what words do we have left to describe natural disasters like the Tsunami in 2004 that killed over 200,000 people.

Floods like this happen all over the world every year that cause widespread destruction. And it seems like those are just brushed off as another day in the news. But because it's Americans, everyone in the world stops and pays attention. It's just a weird phenomenon that I think is worth noting every once and awhile.

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This is what I'm most worried about - as much as we can get people to shelter and as much as we can get people away from flood areas, the quality of water in the area really hampers relief efforts.

Hurricane Sandy Spills Sewage, Triggers Toxic Troubles

NEW YORK -- Raw sewage, industrial chemicals and floating debris filled flooded waterways around New York City on Tuesday.

Left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the toxic stew may threaten the health of residents already dealing with more direct damages from the disaster.

"Normally, sewer overflows are just discharged into waterways and humans that generate the sewage can avoid the consequences by avoiding the water," said John Lipscomb of the clean water advocacy group Riverkeeper. "But in this case, that waste has come back into our communities."

One particular concern is the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, which abuts a 1.8 mile canal that was recently designated a Superfund cleanup site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency due to a legacy of industrial pollution and sewage discharges.

"Everyone is always concerned about that," said Jim Gratson, who owns a building by the canal and leases a space where he builds sets for photo shoots.

On Tuesday morning, Gratson and his neighbors, most of them members of a small artist community, took turns using electric pumps to flush the chest-high water from their basements. Standing over the cellar steps, Gratson pointed down at the brown, murky soup. Just a block away, he said, the basements, while flooded, looked like they'd escaped the canal's putrid grasp. "I lent my pump to my friend around the corner and his water is crystal-clear," said Gratson.

While a storm surge of up to 11 feet had been predicted, the confluence of Sandy and a full-moon high tide exceeded expectations: Waters rose a record 13 feet in New York Harbor.

Judith Enck, regional administrator for the EPA region that includes New York, told The Huffington Post that preparations for such a pollution event are difficult regardless of how accurate the weather forecast.

"Little can be done in the hours or days in advance of major storms that were experienced last night," said Enck. "Instead, multi-year improvements need to be made. The situation illustrated the need to clean up urban waters and the benefits of a comprehensive Superfund cleanup."

The best officials could do was urge residents to steer clear of the contaminated waters.

Late Tuesday morning, City Councilmember Brad Lunder, who serves the neighborhoods around the Gowanus Canal, sent an email message to his constituents.

"If you live near the canal, do not touch standing water in the area, or any sediment or debris left by Gowanus flood-waters," he wrote. "After the storm, the EPA and DEP are committed to work together to conduct any sampling needed to address potential issues of toxicity created by the flooding."

Unfortunately, said Linda Mariano of Gowanus, people in her neighborhood didn't have Internet service Tuesday morning to retrieve the email. Before she had read his note, Mariano was walking the streets near the canal scoping out the damage. She was surrounded by families, including young children, doing the same.

A similar post-Sandy scene played out at New York City's other Superfund site, Newtown Creek, a waterway that forms the border between Brooklyn and Queens.

Richard Platzman, 30, owns a condo a couple blocks from the creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. While his building wasn't affected, he said, some of his neighbors had been hard hit.

"The fact is that waste from all these industries -- metal-working, pencil manufacturing, everything -- all this stuff is going to rise up into the dirt, basements, everywhere," Platzman said, noting Greenpoint's widely-recognized designation as New York City's most polluted neighborhood.

Platzman said he expects severe storms in the years ahead to bring more of the same toxic mess. He said he might at least reap the benefit of increased property value, thanks to his location just outside the flood zone.

Nearby, at the the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, all four buildings sustained flooding. One basement took on six or seven feet of water, said Brian Coleman, who runs the center. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was still holding off on pumping the water in anticipation of further flood waters with the next high tide.

"Toxic chemicals are a long-term concern," said Coleman. "But those of us who work here, we've learned to manage our lives around it as best we can. Right now, there are too many other things to worry about."

Combined sewage overflows, so-called CSOs, are also nothing new for New York City. As The Huffington Post reported in September, a number of older U.S. communities -- including a number of East Coast cities affected by Sandy -- sit atop antiquated plumbing that carries sewage, industrial wastewater and rainwater together to treatment plants.

As little as a quarter-inch of rain can be enough to overburden the multi-use pipes in New York City and trigger a CSO, according to Riverkeeper.

"What happened last night in terms of CSO releases is what happens chronically in wet weather events throughout the year," said Lipscomb, pointing out that 27 billion gallons worth of the mix spills into New York Harbor every year.

Perhaps the one consolation of Sandy’s storm surge and rain, said Lipscomb, is that the sewage is likely heavily diluted.

But he adds that his concerns for human health -- and the water's health -- extend long-term.

"You can think about this like an Exxon Valdez accident, but instead of there being one contaminant it's a zillion contaminants -- from floatables to dissolvables to containers of contaminants -- and instead of one location, there's a zillion point sources," Lipscomb said. "This is a stunning pollution event. I don't think the harbor has ever taken a hit like today."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/30/hurricane-sandy-sewage-toxic-_n_2046963.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003' rel="external nofollow">
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early evacuation makes a difference. The Japanese Tsunami had very little if any warning. Big difference. Earthquakes are the toughest to get warning for.

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early evacuation makes a difference. The Japanese Tsunami had very little if any warning. Big difference. Earthquakes are the toughest to get warning for.

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GOES-13 Sees Life and Death of Hurricane Sandy

This animation of satellite imagery shows the life of Hurricane Sandy from its development in the Caribbean Sea on Oct. 21, through its track up the U.S. East coast and landfall. The animation continues through Oct. 31 when Sandy had weakened to a remnant low pressure area. Credit: NASA GOES Project

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=154883651

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I would say that but even moreso architecture played a massive role here

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I guess they really meant it when they said this was gonna be the last season of "Jersey Shore". I imagine the shirt shop and "Shore" house are likely destroyed.

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I haven't had time to keep up with this at all... Has there been reports of major looting? Sounds like something that will happen soon, if not already

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I haven't had time to keep up with this at all... Has there been reports of major looting? Sounds like something that will happen soon, if not already

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Fuelling their rage: Violence breaks out over Sandy gas shortages

  • by: By Anthony Sharwood

  • From: news.com.au

  • November 02, 2012 12:21pm

A gas shortage is crippling New York after superstorm Sandy. Picture: NBC News

THINGS are getting ugly in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Forget the warm, fuzzy sense of neighbourliness that came after the disaster. That was sooooo Wednesday afternoon. Frustration is now boiling over as desperate locals queue up to six hours for petrol.

Across New York and New Jersey, up to 80 per cent of gas stations remain closed after the storm. The stations are closed not only because of a supply shortage, but because power is still out, and power is required to pump petrol.

Gas shortage

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Hundreds of people in need of petrol have queued up in New Jersey to purchase as much as possible. Source: Getty Images

At the few stations which remain open, the only thing running hotter than demand is people’s tempers.

Fistfights have reportedly broken out in line-ups, while police and the army have been called in to restore order.

Gas shortage

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A girl holds jerry cans while waiting in line at a gas station in Hazlet township, New Jersey. Source: Getty Images

As local resident Chris Woehrle said on Facebook:

“Fist fights in gas lines and police drawing guns on people to stop them. Only a couple of days into this and civilization is rapidly breaking down. Another week of this and it’ll be full-on Thunderdome out there.”

Gas is now running out at many stations, as people queue on foot with containers to fill their home power generators.

The fact that people are in proximity to each other, rather than being struck in their cars, is another factor turning rage into violence.

As @metrogypsy tweeted: Someone just pulled a knife at Greenpoint #gas station as line stretches with hours long wait #gettingrealFAST.

Gas tweets

083257-gas-tweets.jpg

Desperate residents have taken to social media to talk about the violence at gas stations. Source:

Fuel tankers were allowed back into the ports of New York and New jersey on Thursday, but with 13 of the region’s 33 fuel terminals and two major fuel pipelines still closed, there’s no relief in sight.

Meanwhile, food remains in short supply for residents of New York’s Lower East Side and East Village, with many resorting to eating throwaway food from dumpsters – a practise known as “Dumpster Diving”.

Things are looking a little better in Newark, New Jersey. When local resident @my_serenelove tweeted Newark mayor Cory Booker to ask when power was back on, the mayor invited her over to his house to relax and watch DVDs using his electricity.

Maybe they watched Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Gas shortage

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Chris Zaturoski uses a garden hose to attempt to siphon gasoline from his car to use in a generator at his New Jersey house. Source: AP

Gas shortage

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A man lifts a jerry can over his head to see if there is any gasoline left at a gas station in Hazlet township, New Jersey. Source: Getty Images

Gas shortage

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So many motorists wish to fill up that state troopers have been dispatched. Source: Getty Images

Gas shortage

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A gas station attendant fills a customer's Jerry cans with gasoline in New Jersey. Source: Getty Images

Gas shortage

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Cars queue for miles to get to a gas station in Toms River, New Jersey. Source: Getty Images

Gas shortage

081371-gas-shortage.jpg

Traffic is gridlocked on the Long Island Expressway into Manhattan. Source: AP

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Yeah. As powerful as America is... a gas shortage and lack of electricity brings everyone to their knees. Scary.

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I´m surprised how this happen EVERY hurricane/tornado in USA. they have zillions of them per year and they don´t learn? EVERY hurricane/tornado USA suffer with fuel, eletricity, food. JAPAN has many problems (or worse) like this but seems they don´t suffer soo much like USA...

the media in US is too agressive that´s why the entire world pay attention on it. in south america´s jungle rains more than in USA, we have extreme floodings but we/they don´t receive that much attention...

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I´m surprised how this happen EVERY hurricane/tornado in USA. they have zillions of them per year and they don´t learn? EVERY hurricane/tornado USA suffer with fuel, eletricity, food. JAPAN has many problems (or worse) like this but seems they don´t suffer soo much like USA...

the media in US is too agressive that´s why the entire world pay attention on it. in south america´s jungle rains more than in USA, we have extreme floodings but we/they don´t receive that much attention...

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Yeah. As powerful as America is... a gas shortage and lack of electricity brings everyone to their knees. Scary.

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