Sunday December 8, 2013
Sandy Leaves its Ugly MarkRobert O'Dowd Salem-News.com
Manpower is needed to search for victims and to provide for food and shelter for those left homeless.
(SOMERDALE, NJ) - We’re okay. Power never went out. The damage in New Jersey and New York is severe, especially along the coastline. We’re a good 40 miles west of the coast. Whole communities on and near the coast are destroyed. Railroad cars were washed-up on the NJ turnpike. Roads impassable (near the coast). Millions of homes without power. Not a nice picture.
I have no idea of the size of the New York and New Jersey National Guard. There are no reports of the entire Guard in either state was mobilized. Manpower is needed to search for victims. We can send our Guard to Afghanistan for tours of duty so why not mobilized the entire Guard in both states to search for survivors/victims, provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need?
Someone like retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré who directed the National Guard in New Orleans during Katrina and knows how to respond to an emergency like Sandy with military troops would be a welcomed sight to many.
Are politics preventing the full mobilization of the National Guard in both states? The Guard can prevent looting and free up local and state police from this duty. Is the Presidential election too close to mobilize the New York and New Jersey Guard?
Better yet, why not ask the Army to recall General Honoré to active duty to put together a task force of National Guard units from various states? General grade officers can be recalled to active duty at anytime. General Honoré has a highly successful record of responding to a natural emergency like Sandy.
The Jersey coastal towns, lower Manhattan, Long Island and Staten Island were hit hard by Sandy. For the most part, the New Jersey coastal towns are summer resorts, heavily populated during the summer months and less so during the rest of the year. That’s not true for cities like Hoboken, New Jersey. The surge really hit Hoboken hard.
Reuters reported that:
Four days after superstorm Sandy smashed into the U.S. Northeast, rescuers on Friday were still discovering the extent of the death and devastation in New York and the New Jersey shore, and anger mounted over gasoline shortages, power outages and waits for relief supplies.
The total killed in one of the biggest storms to hit the United States jumped by a third on Thursday, to 98. In New York City, 40 people have been found dead, half of them in Staten Island, which was overrun by a wall of water on Monday.
AAA estimates that 60 percent of the gas stations in New Jersey are shut along with up to 70 percent of the stations in Long Island. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/
Those residents in New Jersey who relied on natural gas to heat and cook are in trouble. Because of the risk of fires and explosion, Governor Christie ordered natural gas service shut off from Mantoloking to Island Beach State Park, a stretch of an Ocean County barrier island where several fires have burned, fueled by leaking gas. Water was pumped into the natural gas lines. This means that the gas can’t be turned back on until the natural gas pipeline is rebuilt.
Look at videos of the long lines of cars lined up for gasoline and those waiting for transport into New York. This is not Mississippi or Florida. The weather is getting cold and people are in danger of freezing and becoming ill from lack of heat and/or shelter. Gasoline is needed to run generators, too.
It looks like Staten Island, New York, is in serious trouble. Many people are without housing (and heat), food, and protective clothing. I’m about 100 miles south of the Staten Island but I’m running the heat now and can’t help but wonder about those on the island and along the Jersey coast without heat and fighting the elements. They can’t survive without massive support from others.
The idea of running a marathon in New York this weekend and starting it on Staten Island is crazy. There are better things for the state to do than sponsor a marathon. How about distributing MREs to those who are hungry? Again the National Guard has the resources and skills to do this.
The photo ops of President Obama and Governor Christie were nice, but those hit hard by Sandy need more than photo ops. Now is the time for a massive effort to support those in need for the basics in life. The federal and state governments are the key player to pull this off. Can they do it in time to save lives?
The following email from Richard Worst, retired FBI agent and friend, demonstrates the difficulty of getting in Ocean City, New Jersey:
Bob O’Dowd is a former U.S. Marine with thirty years of experience on the east coast as an auditor, accountant, and financial manager with the Federal government. Half of that time was spent with the Defense Logistics Agency in Philadelphia. Originally from Pennsylvania, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 19, served in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings in 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. A graduate of Temple University, Bob has been married to Grace for 31 years. He is the father of two adult children and the grandfather of two boys. Bob has a blog site on former MCAS El Toro at mwsg37.com. This subject is where Bob intersected with Salem-News.com. Bob served in the exact same Marine Aviation Squadron that Salem-News founder Tim King served in, twenty years earlier. With their combined on-site knowledge and research ability, Bob and Tim and a handful of other ex-Marines, have put the contamination of MCAS El Toro on the map. The base is highly contaminated with TCE, trichloroethelyne
You can email Bob O’Dowd, Salem-News.com Environmental and Military Reporter, at this address: email@example.com
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