by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: They are still playing Sandy up as the worst in recent history to hit the U.S. The death toll has been risen to 38, 17 from New York alone (but they only have info on 11 of those). I just thought I would put Sandy into perspective for you:
Hurricane Ike Sept. 17 2008 – 600 miles in diameter – hits Galveston as Cat. 2 – hurricane force winds extended for 120 miles from the eye of the storm. 112 people died when the surge topped the 17 foot flood wall and the Gulf poured into the low-lying areas of Galveston. They never stood a chance. 23 are still missing.
- Hurricane Gustav Sept. 1 2008 – Came ashore in Louisiana and 53 people in the United States and 153 total.
- Hurricane Rita Sept. 20 2005 – Made landfall as a cat 1 at 120 mph in Texas – killed 120
- Hurricane Ivan 2004 – Killed 121 people total, 54 in the U.S.
- Hurricane Frances 2004 – Killed 49 people
- Katrina Aug 29 2005 – hit St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana as Cat 3 sustained winds at 128 mph – 1,833 people died as a result.
Those listed should be easily remembered by most adults today and as you can see, Sandy doesn’t even compare. Yet, it’s the Storm of the Century?
Just for the fun of it, still in this century…
The Okeechobee hurricane of 1928 – Killed 2,500+ in the U.S. and 4078 total
Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s disaster capitalism folks, lot’s of money to be had. All we got to do is make this storm the worst thing to happen to America since Katrina and presto! cash all around.
As bad as it is, this is not the “storm of the century” or the “perfect storm”…
This was the Storm of the Century, it occurred in ’93. This was The Perfect Storm, from 1991. This is the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane, it killed 390 people with winds of up to 140 mph. This is the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, it killed 800 people with sustained winds of over 160 mph and did damage to the tune of 300 million dollars in ’38 (4.7 billion today) Four storms, same area, much much worse than Sandy.
Go to the New York Times article with a collection of photos from the storm’s aftermath and when it was hitting the city yesterday. What you see are:
- someone who’s umbrella folded
- a car driving through 3 inches of water in Jersey
- some people in Brooklyn wading through 10″ of water with sandbags
- Goldman Sachs in Lower Manhattan still with power
- A lady being wheeled out in a chair in the rain while New Yorkers walk by unaffected.
- A couple and a man walking a dog looking at a big puddle of water
- A darkened street in the East Village damp from some rain
Speaking of the East Village, go here and read an article in the Village Voice titled “A Few Reasons Why Over-Hyping Sandy is Probably a Good Thing“
You know the hype, you’ve been reading it and watching it for days. Yesterday I watched as grown men 1.5 thousand miles away sat at a restaurant watching the exciting live coverage and pontificating to one another by simply repeating whatever talking point they all heard just minutes ago as if these claims were the product of their own life-long studies on the history of weather. Sadly it reminded me of the made-for-prime-time bombing of Baghdad.
Now I used to live in Manhattan and I worked for 3 years in Red Hook Brooklyn and I feel for the people who are having to deal with this crap now. I am glad the storm was not stronger than it was and I hope they get back to their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible.
But I will tell you something, there’s a very good reason they over-hype these events. Remember Irene 14 months ago?
It’s called “Disaster Capitalism” and there’s a lot of money to be made in the wake of major storms. There’s a lot of money to be skimmed off the top of reconstruction plans and a small window of opportunity to get certain neoliberal agendas passed through local and state governments. Katrina is a prime example but you can also look at Indonesia, Haiti and Japan for others.
There’s an industry out there which runs to the scene like ambulance chasers and if the “crisis” isn’t big enough to justify all their “emergency measures”, then by God, they make sure their friends in various media outlets help present it as such.
Mayors and governors have a vested interest in over-hyping the fallout as well: federal relief money which won’t go toward helping the people (again, Katrina, Haiti, Indonesia, and Japan just for starters).
Today’s “news” reports are full of gloom and doom stories about how “millions” of people are without power. This is marker is always used as a measuring stick of how bad a storm is.
Trouble is, I didn’t forget the fact that they deliberately turned the power off prior to Sandy getting there and they are deliberately leaving it off while they “assess” the damage. Of course, the MSM forgets to tell you that part of the story.
“Before the explosion at the Con Ed substation, Miksad said Con Ed pre-emptively shut off three networks, two in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, in anticipation of high tides, which Miksad said reached peak levels of as high as 14 feet.
Miksad estimated that it would take three to four days to restore power to the three networks pre-emptively shut off once Con Ed could get access to them.” NY 1
Obviously there’s going to be some power outages due to the effects of the storm but everyone is harping on the power being out in lower Manhattan and the truth remains that the power is out because they turned it off. Lower Manhattan’s power grid isn’t as vulnerable to storms as say Atlantic City’s simply due to the fact that most of the lines run underground in sealed tunnels as opposed to above ground on poles. But the power was deliberately shut off to most of lower Manhattan in anticipation of Sandy’s wrath.
The pro-”over-hyping” spin has already begun. This CBS story talks about the lead-up to the crisis as being government and media raving “at it’s best”
“Is everybody satisfied now that Hurricane Sandy was not the over-hyped figment of any politician’s desire for headlines or the media’s hunger for ratings?…
It was professional, well-coordinated and reflected government at its best – a enterprise devoted to serving a clear public need as quickly and efficiently as possible with no grandstanding, ego trips or fakery” CBS
Have you heard the story of the “50 homes” burning in Queens? Makes you think the hurricane set 2 city blocks ablaze right?
Truth is, those “50 homes’ are mostly apartments and it seems the fire started in one or two connected buildings. Thus the “50 homes” story.The video I’ve seen seems to show how the apartment fire blew and spread to other buildings in Breezy point damaging many other homes. But the one which suffered the most damage seems to be those apartments.
Now I certainly don’t mean to belittle those people who’s homes are damaged, but it’s not tantamount to the burning cities of Japan that were fire-bombed prior to dropping Little Boy and Fat Man. It’s an apartment building for the most part.