Monday, August 29, 2011
inhospitable winter environments imaginable, the warnings, preparations, and particularly the news coverage of snow seemed rather ridiculous in comparison.
On Saturday at Union Square, I had an encounter with a woman of similar mind - originally from Florida, she considered the concern to be overblown.
Admittedly, the city is a complex web of services and systems with an enormous population and businesses. For a natural disaster to occur in New York City, the financial impact as well as human suffering is tremendous. So it is prudent to prepare.
The problem, however, with "better safe than sorry" is that the cost of preemptive measures is very high and would seem like a huge waste if a storm proves to be much less damaging than expected. The Mayor Bloomberg administration was criticized for its lack of adequate preparation for the blizzard of December 26, 2010. Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith told the City Council, "We owe you and all New Yorkers for that lack of performance our administration’s apology and my personal promise not to let it happen again."
The city came well prepared for this storm, although many felt that the level of preparation was overdone. Subways and buses were shut down. 370,000 residents were placed in mandatory evacuation zones. By Sunday, the city was the quietest that I have ever seen. With workers without public transportation, business openings were impossible.
Not to minimize the real damage that the storm caused or the personal misfortune, but in hindsight, where vision is 20/20, Irene has blown over and looks overblown...
Photo Notes: Top - various locations around Greenwich Village. Center - Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. Bottom - Washington Square North.
Related Posts: White by Design 3, We've Got Skiing Too, Friends Part 1 and Part 2, Brooding