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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: What Went Unreported on Long Island

Yes, we will all remember President Obama's marvelous photo op in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie immediately following the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. However, much of the suffering and chaos, including theft of generators and robbery, went unreported.

I received the following e-mail from my best friend, who lives on Long Island, concerning his efforts to keep his sickly 90-year-old mother alive:

"Finally got my power back yesterday [after 12 days without electricity]. Wasn't easy keeping my mother here at the house. Relied on a one burner butane stove to keep a bit of heat in her room. A friend gave me the stove and was an angel in getting cans of fuel.

At one point however,I was down to just a few cans, so went out to investigate shelters for the elderly with needs.

The Red Cross shelter at the local high school didn't know where they were, but they did exist, I was told. She made calls on my behalf, but only got recordings or unanswered phones.

I asked two cops sitting in a car. Their response: "We're not given that information. Call the precinct." Great advice if you happen to have a working phone - I did not. Cell service was virtually nonexistent as well.(I finally did get a call in. A recording to "call later'.)

I stopped at the Ambulance Rescue Squad. "We don't know about the shelters." Told them I would need them to transport, so they should know where to take her, but was told to call the police.

Finally got through to the town hotline. "Yes, we have four sanctuaries for the elderly." Where are they, I ask. "We don't have that information."

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