In 1978, 34 years before Hurricane Sandy hit New York, a state law eerily predicted the a similar storm, mandating the creation of a Disaster Preparedness Commission and an up-to-date plan for restoring “vital services” after a damaging weather event. Those vital services included both transit and electricity, two of the city’s biggest burdens after Sandy, and the law also noted the Rockaways as among the “most at risk” areas.
The Commission was created, but didn’t always meet biannually, as it was intended to. And in the 2000’s more data came that warned of an impending disaster. “It’s not a question of whether a strong hurricane will hit New York City,” went a 2006 assembly report. “It’s just a question of when.”
The chairman of the committee which drafted that report was Richard Brodsky, a Democrat who had some choice words for the current administration. “But on two issues related to Sandy — prevention and recovery — they did almost nothing,” he said. “If Goldman Sachs was smart enough to sandbag its building, why wasn’t the MTA smart enough to sandbag the Battery Tunnel?”
(Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr)