Virginia Bound

Leslie and I are still stuck in New Orleans. As I noted yesterday, we have been stranded by US Airways which cancelled flights to Washington yesterday despite the relatively mild weather in the city. It appears that the airline simply did not want aircraft in Washington when the storm hit. My complaint has not been that decision but the lack of consumer support after trying for hours to reach anyone at the airline. We have little choice but to try to drive back to Virginia since we have four kids who are being watched over by our sitter (I also have classes to teach on Tuesday and Wednesday). We intend to be highly cautious and stop if it gets to dicey. However, we cannot leave the kids any longer in this storm.

We have been told that we might be able to get on a flight for Tuesday but it does not look promising. Indeed, it was not even raining last night in D.C. with low winds. Tuesday looks like it will be pouring with strong winds. We love New Orleans (where I used to live) but we are increasingly anxious to be with the kids.

There may be an interruption in my posting on Tuesday in light of our effort to drive back. I will try to tweet on our status.

I hope everyone is safe during the storm. I would not travel if we were not separated from our kids. I strongly recommend that people stay indoors and of course continually on this blog.

197 thoughts on “Virginia Bound”

  1. Helpless in a Hurricane: Mitt Romney’s Five Dumbest Budget Cuts
    The Republican challenger’s policies would be disastrous for federal emergency relief efforts
    By Tim Dickinson
    October 30, 2012

    As Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast this week, the so-called “Frankenstorm” exposed the dark underbelly of Mitt Romney’s plans to delegate core federal responsibilities to the states and to blindly impose a 5 percent, across-the-board budget cut to all discretionary programs “excluding military.”

    The true impact of a Romney presidency would be a federal government ill-equipped to coordinate a response to a regional natural disaster like this one, and agencies hobbled in their ability to provide storm forecasting, emergency housing – even Superfund cleanup in the toxic aftermath of a storm.

    Here are the five most damaging cuts that a President Romney would seek “on Day One” from the agencies that are essential for federal storm response:

    1) FEMA: Cut $500 million

    Romney’s budget cut would slash Federal Emergency Management Agency funding by nearly half a billion dollars. And the Republican nominee has gone even farther, suggesting a far more radical plan for FEMA: disband it and throw its duties back to the states. Asked about the agency during an early GOP primary debate, Romney said that disaster relief was a state responsibility, and might even be privatized. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states,” Romney said, “that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”

    2) NOAA: Cut $255 million

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is responsible for daily weather forecasts and severe storm warnings. It runs the National Weather Service and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service; those amazing pictures you’ve been seeing of Sandy from space are courtesy of NOAA. The agency also operates a “hurricane hunter” fleet of jets and turboprops that fly directly into hurricanes to measure their intensity. Most important: NOAA coordinates federal climate science investigating the links between global warming and severe weather events.

    3) SuperFund: Cut $60 million

    Sandy has already caused flooding of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, an EPA-designated “SuperFund” site contaminated with toxins ranging from PCBs to heavy metals to untreated sewage. Superfund cleanup is chronically underfunded, resulting in painfully slow remediation work. The agency is just getting around to funding cleanup of toxics stirred up by the monster tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011. And Mitt Romney wants to slash funding for this crucial work.

  2. NYU Hospital Storm Damage Could Destroy Years Of Research
    The Huffington Post
    By Tyler Kingkade Posted: 10/30/2012

    The New York University School of Medicine is one of the top medical research colleges in the country. It hosts some of the top scholars in medicine, and Langone Medical Center is home to much of the school’s research. Now much of that work is in jeopardy.

    The hospital was forced to evacuate Monday night after a power failure due to Hurricane Sandy, and a significant amount of research also could be washed away.

    The New York Daily News reports:

    Scientists are in a desperate frenzy to save what they can and transfer what can be moved to other areas of the hospital. In one case, scientists were rolling a big freezer — the size of a big refrigerator — to an area of the hospital with emergency power, the source told the News.
    Even more alarming, thousands of mice that are used by scientists for cancer research and other experiments, drowned during a flood. It is unclear how the mice died, but the source told the News that many of these mice are genetically modified for certain research and took years to produce. It will likely set back several scientists’ work by years, the source said.

    “This does not equate to a loss of life, but it is extremely disheartening to see years of research go down the drain,” the source said.

    The NYU Langone is considered one of the best in the nation, and consists of three institutions including the Tisch Hospital, the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and the NYU School of Medicine.

    They chose not to evacuate ahead of time, as they did for Hurricane Irene in 2011, according to ABC News. However, late on Monday, a power failure forced the hospital to scramble to get patients out safely.

  3. MikeS, I feel so ashamed. I’ve been scolded by Saint Mike. I only mentioned my volunteering to help natural disasters because I was challenged by Emperor Gene. You’ve played this “I’m more worthy than you” previously. I’ve only talked about the things I do to help others when challenged[rape victrims, natural disaster victims] by sanctimonious commenters here. I spoke @ length how I was taught by my old man that you help people for no other reason than to help glory. I gave an account of how that was driven home w/ a poignant meeting w/ a man my dad helped his entire life w/o me knowing. I live my life helping people and NOBOBY knows how many I’ve helped. Helping people is my religion, it is the message of Jesus, everything else is horseshit. Now, climb off your high horse and stop watching tv so much, they only want to scare you and sell you shit! I’m glad your family is safe. However, except in very rare circumstances only the people who make stupid decisions die in get a week of incessant warnings. Tornadoes and eathquakes are a different ballgame. Now, basta!

    1. Nick,

      Your sarcasm is merely a cover for the fact that your own words were what was criticized and you aren’t able to accept that they were wrong in content and in bad taste. Your responses talking about your selflessness were also deflections away from the central issue, which was your ill-chosen words. Now you use religion as another deflection. I claim neither sainthood, nor extra worthiness, but merely rejected your past acts as a excuse for your insensitivity. ow about the media over-hyping this, that is usually the case with anything they touch, but in instances such as this rather the “over-hype” than the skeptical.

      “However, except in very rare circumstances only the people who make stupid decisions die in hurricanes.”

      Nice example of compassion, but I would add the people who disregard urgent warnings into that category and some of them are not necessarily but simply think they are always smarter and more experienced than everyone else.

  4. Superstorm Sandy: New Jersey, New York, East Coast Assess Hurricane’s Wrath (PHOTOS, LIVE UPDATES)
    AP | By ADAM GELLER Posted: 10/31/2012

    By late Tuesday, the winds and flooding inflicted by the fast-weakening Sandy had subsided, leaving at least 55 people dead along the Atlantic Coast and splintering beachfront homes and boardwalks from the mid-Atlantic states to southern New England.

  5. And for those playing down the storm as a big bust, they are talking nonsense. I’m a lifelong NY’er and I know all the areas talked about on the news quite well. I was shocked at the devastation. No there weren’t the deaths there were in Katrina but thats because NY isn’t run as badly as New Orleans and unlike Louisiana, poor and black people aren’t left to die, or outright murdered by police on an unprecedented scale. This is not to say that NY doesn’t have its ills and prejudice, only that the rescue infrastructure is much better.

    Also the devastation to people’s lives is not only measured in death tolls, but in the devastation to the fabric of their lives.

  6. New York City Subway Flooding: 7 East River Tunnels Affected, MTA Chairman Says
    Posted: 10/30/2012

    New York City MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota released a statement Tuesday declaring Hurricane Sandy the most “devastating” disaster in the subway’s 108-year history. The hurricane has flooded seven subway tunnels under the East River and affected “every borough and county of the region,” according to the statement.

    “In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now,” Lhota wries.

    Read the entire statement below:

    The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots.

    As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal.

  7. The only one we should be concerned with are Turley and wife and Blouise, who had been caught in one of those offspring of a autumn storm type decaying hurricane.

    Why Elaine is still pushing it as a big storm is beyond me. That’s her privilege. And she teaches Nick as she has me the value of choosing your words carefully.

    We snarl at Nick now, almost have a gut feeling that it is due to disappointment that the climax was kinda anticlimatic. Yeah, it was big but not like Katrina. It did not wipe out the blacks in New Orleans and east of there which GeneH has attested to. And the rotten north section was ready to fall in Atlantic City, like the rest of it may be. Do the counting, but it sounds like disgruntlement to me.

    We had a big storm. And 39 died. None we know I hope. How many died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, West Bank, Pakistan Swat valley yesterday?
    How many of our soldiers will die tomorrow?

    If Romney gets in with his Cheney/Ryan we don’t have much hope. Suicide pacts anyone?

    Do you realize that you are puppets of the media and our secret government? They showed Obama for the 15th time that he does not control what they do….
    How does it feel to be Prez and know that black ops are many more which are their than are yours.

    Have you understood Benghazi yet. It was a USA black ops team who did the consulate attack. Why? to humiliate Obama. (Romney releases attack bulletin 2 minutes, repeat 2 minutes after Hillary Clinton’s official speech.)

    Do you realize that the black ops team could have taken the consulate in 10 minutes max against one armed defender who was killed. Why did they keep shooting for 3 hours. To make a big press affair of it all, ie a political affair of it, to favor Romney.

    Thees are military facts. The consulate was not much better than a goatskin tent in the desert as a place to defend. A compound wall is a laugh. A sandsacked sentry post armed by a contracted guard is good for nothing in a fight.

    It was a CIA Hollywood production and don’t believe many here know this. Just like tha provocation film was a CIA production. The real protest at Benghazi was quiet and respectful, and chased away by our Black Ops team.

    Let me give a tip. Do like I did last night. Go read in Wikipedia the story of the attempted aasassination of Reagan. Who was Veep? HW poppy Bush. Who was a CIA asset before he was out of Yale? Bush Sr.
    Who was in Dallas the night before the assassination of JFK? HW Bush, ie Senior. Who set up Nixon with Watergate and helped feed his paranoia, and that of his Congressional senate investigators. Poppy Bush. Did you know he was appointed as the Nixon post-72 RNC chairman.
    And who is cozy with Romney? Poppy.

    So understand that we have had lots of Manchurian candidates who have taken the fall for various assassinations, including those of RFK and MLKjr.
    The Reagan one fits the pattern, as does Chapman who did the Lennon killing.

    Hope you vote for Obama.

    How we can get a shootout between the CIA and FBI is a problem lefr to be solved. I mean that so they destroy each other.

  8. Idealist707…………………….

    moon pies and hot Chocolate sounds really good………. does anyone know if Mr. Turley made it home safe ???

    wow interesting site here…. Can”t we all just get along…. 🙂 love thy neighbor…. thank you for all the updates on storm… all safe up here in Maine ….headed south in 16 days…… heat wave… 63 today…

    OH the pic on the news are devastating… prays to all on the east coast this storm affected….

  9. Nick: “Blind, I’m “awful/thoughtless/ callous.” I testified what I have done to help natural disaster victims and others. What about yourself?”

    Nick, how does what I do affect the your attempting to paint people talking and worrying about the very real dangers of a powerful storm as “chickenlittles” and all the other unfounded nonsense that you claimed?

    Can you not own your previous statements? If you meant what you said about hand wringing and chickenlittles, stand-up and defend your statements. How would my history of public service have any bearing on your claims? Thats total nonsense, Nick.

  10. You’ve all convinced me. I am a callous, thoughtless, mean, horrible man. Can we now give it up. I have to go kick some old ladies and kill some cats before I go to sleep.

  11. nick:

    this storm caused a lot of destruction from what I can see. Lots of flooding, the east coast from Ocean City, MD to Long Island got hammered hard.

    Some people here are older and on fixed incomes, they dont need to donate anything. There goodwill is enough and they would probably help if they could. But you dont need to help people if it hurts you.

    If I was a young man with a job I would not want a retired person on a fixed income helping me to recover from this storm. Just them cheering me on would be enough contribution.

  12. Disarray, Millions Without Power in Sandy’s Wake
    Associated Press
    Published: Oct 30, 2012, 7:48 PM EDT

    PITTSBURGH — The most devastating storm in decades to hit the country’s most densely populated region upended man and nature as it rolled back the clock on 21st-century lives, cutting off modern communication and leaving millions without power Tuesday as thousands who fled their water-menaced homes wondered when – if – life would return to normal.

    A weakening Sandy, the hurricane turned fearsome superstorm, killed at least 43 people, many hit by falling trees, and still wasn’t finished. It inched inland across Pennsylvania, ready to bank toward western New York to dump more of its water and likely cause more havoc Tuesday night. Behind it: a dazed, inundated New York City, a waterlogged Atlantic Coast and a moonscape of disarray and debris – from unmoored shore-town boardwalks to submerged mass-transit systems to delicate presidential politics.

    “Nature,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, assessing the damage to his city, “is an awful lot more powerful than we are.”

    More than 8.2 million households were without power in 17 states as far west as Michigan (though the total outages had fallen to approximately 7 million Tuesday evening). Nearly 2 million of those were in New York, where large swaths of lower Manhattan lost electricity and entire streets ended up under water – as did seven subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn at one point, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. The New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day from weather, the first time that has happened since a blizzard in 1888. The city’s subway system, the lifeblood of more than 5 million residents, was damaged like never before and closed indefinitely, and Consolidated Edison said electricity in and around New York could take a week to restore.

    “Everybody knew it was coming. Unfortunately, it was everything they said it was,” said Sal Novello, a construction executive who rode out the storm with his wife, Lori, in the Long Island town of Lindenhurst, and ended up with 7 feet of water in the basement…

    Images from around the storm-affected areas depicted scenes reminiscent of big-budget disaster movies. In Atlantic City, N.J., a gaping hole remained where once a stretch of boardwalk sat by the sea. In Queens, N.Y., rubble from a fire that destroyed as many as 100 houses in an evacuated beachfront neighborhood jutted into the air at ugly angles against a gray sky. In heavily flooded Hoboken, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan, dozens of yellow cabs sat parked in rows, submerged in murky water to their windshields. At the ground zero construction site in lower Manhattan, sea water rushed into a gaping hole under harsh floodlights.

    One of the most dramatic tales came from lower Manhattan, where a failed backup generator forced New York University’s Tisch Hospital to relocate more than 200 patients, including 20 babies from neonatal intensive care. Dozens of ambulances lined up in the rainy night and the tiny patients were gingerly moved out, some attached to battery-powered respirators as gusts of wind blew their blankets.

    In Moonachie, N.J., 10 miles north of Manhattan, water rose to 5 feet within 45 minutes and trapped residents who thought the worst of the storm had passed. Mobile-home park resident Juan Allen said water overflowed a 2-foot wall along a nearby creek, filling the area with 2 to 3 feet of water within 15 minutes. “I saw trees not just knocked down but ripped right out of the ground,” he said. “I watched a tree crush a guy’s house like a wet sponge.”

    In a measure of its massive size, waves on southern Lake Michigan rose to a record-tying 20.3 feet. High winds spinning off Sandy’s edges clobbered the Cleveland area early Tuesday, uprooting trees, closing schools and flooding major roads along Lake Erie.

  13. Leejcarroll, I can think of few things more “nasty” or cowardly than calling someone a liar in the chickenshit, obtuse way in which you did. I have testified under oath many times and I consider myself under oath whenever I speak.

    Blind, I’m “awful/thoughtless/ callous.” I testified what I have done to help natural disaster victims and others. What about yourself?

    ID, You get my main point. That being supposedly intelligent people get played by media like a cheap guitar. You are a big picture person. Regarding victims, I have helped many victims. I’ve not yet heard one person say what they have done. What people say is window dressing. In my world we are defined by what we do. There are too many folks here who cannot say anything about what they do because they have done little, if anything. But, they sure can talk!!

    1. Nick,

      You indicted yourself with your own callous words. You basically made a fool of yourself with your stupid predictions and calling people media driven cowards. I got your point about the media, but that’s something I’ ve written about here for years. In this context though you were wrong snd the media was right.

      Then rather than just admitting you were wrong and letting it go at that, you double down and make out like you’ve spent your life saving people, as if that gives you the right to say whatever you want with no one allowed to call you on your ill advised statements. You challenge people to equal your heroism. Don’t even try to go there with me because my entire 37 year career was spent in service of helping people in need. For openers I’ve literally intervened to stop three suicides and two people who would have died from insulin shock if I didn’t get there in time to save them. Thats not even a major part of the story of me, just as it isn’t for many of the regulars here, they just don’t need to brag about it. You’re obviously an intelligent man, but you’re too hung up on playing macho and it is frankly not becoming to you.

    2. Nicks “Leejcarroll, I can think of few things more “nasty” or cowardly than calling someone a liar in the chickenshit, obtuse way in which you did. I have testified under oath many times and I consider myself under oath whenever I speak. ”

      Nick, you read into it that you were a liar, I did not write that.

      If you had bothered to read my post a number of posts above the one to which you responded you would have read that I said the media panic mongered.

      Maybe people have not said what they have done because, since you brought religion into it, they may not feel the need or desire to annouce what they have done/are doing.
      New International Version (©1984)
      “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets,…”

      Nick S:”Regarding victims, I have helped many victims. I’ve not yet heard one person say what they have done. What people say is window dressing. In my world we are defined by what we do. There are too many folks here who cannot say anything about what they do because they have done little, if anything. But, they sure can talk!!”

      Boy this sure sounds like judgement to me,

      NickS: “Helping people is my religion, it is the message of Jesus, everything else is horseshit. ”

      Judge not…is the message of Jesus.
      If you want to declare your allegiance to the message then it would help iof you dropped the judgemental bit.

      (Elaine, thanks. (: )

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