/ "Super"storm Sandy
The last thing I want to do is trivialise the catastrophe and I'm aware that it has the largest diameter on record but do we really need to call it a Superstorm. We all know what hurricane means.
Could have been worse, could have been a super duper storm.
Not the largest diameter, Google 'typhoon tip'
It's still pretty big though
I get where you're coming from, part of the story is because it has hit new York one week before the election. But i accept its not just that, its scale and behaviour has been unusual, and a 14 ft storm surge through manhatten is a serious matter.
I think the 'superstorm' title is in part because its no longer a hurricane, but just calling it a storm doesn't convey its scale
> I think the 'superstorm' title is in part because its no longer a hurricane
Yes, it is like the concept of a "supergroup" in rock music. Not necessarily the biggest or most "effective", but comprising several elements each of which is pretty major in its own right.
Why do you measure the strength and size of the storm in terms of loss of life?
Isn't the "comparatively" low casualty rate due to the fact that the authorities this time took much greater precautions ordering mass evacuations in terms of millions of people from low lying coastal areas prior to the storm?
The warnings were very stark, and in this case accurate, anyone ignoring them was a fool.
But they were poor brown people and weren't surrounded by 24 hr cable news crews, so - you know, the don't count as much... :-(
Plus as Trangia's pointed out deaths in the coastal US were largely mitigated against as a result of the warnings and evacuation procedures put in place in order to mitigate against such catastrophes. In fact in well predicted events like, Sandy just gone, there's considerable evidence to say that most deaths are usually as a result of personal stupidity rather than the weather itself. As people are usually well warned in advance and advised what to do and what not to do to protect themselves. I read an article about it in the run up to Sandy hitting New York but ironically enough it's now unlinkable as the website in question's datacentre is in Manhattan and offline.
I'm not sure that anyone has claimed the reporting was ideal but to say it wasn't reported on because they were brown is just silly.
Or the US learnt lessons from Katrina... honestly do people have no idea how poor NJ is? Its one of the most down trodden states in the US..
Go to Camden NJ and then see how many white faces you see..
I was impressed by the mayor of New York's address when he said 'and don't forget your pets' :-)
> Or the US learnt lessons from Katrina...
It's notable that Chris Christie, Republican Governor of New Jersey has been very complimentary about FEMA - it does sound like a lot has been improved upon since Katrina. Christie is usually fiercely critical of anything associated with federal government, but he now seems to be a big fan of what can be done.
To me, the statistic that stands out most is the number of people without electricity - 8 million or so. That's 1.5 times the population of Scotland. The logistical exercise to get that sorted must be enormous.
I'd like to add to this if I may. I know at least a dozen people that were badly affected by katrina and only 2 of them are coloured, and they've told me that there were fairly equal proportions of ethnicities affected. Something the conspiracy theorists frequently fail to pick up on
I'm not sure anyone suspects a conspiricy, do they ? just lazy journalism (its so easy to just re-transmit English language news feeds from the US than to send a reporter to e.g. Bangladesh)
Re the super storm or whatever you wish to call it:
Do you think people might wake up, change their behaviour, or will we all carry on regardless?
It simply highlights how powerless and insignificant we are when compared to nature.
> I'm not sure anyone suspects a conspiricy, do they ?
And you know, or at least I presume you know, exactly what I meant - that the plight of the poor, the powerless and the marginalised is normally under reported. Look at the situation in western Burma currently for example (well rather don't "look" as there isn't too much on TV news about it, "read" on the inside pages of the quality newspapers and news sites.
In New Orleans actually there isn't - the city is majority black and the african americans are disproportionately poorer. But I do take your point, *poor* people suffer disproportionately in natural disaster - compare Japanese earth quakes to the Haiti one. Japanese earthquakes are very severe but the buildings are just so much stronger, so there are less casualties.
New York has just had the shit kicked out of it, 8m arer without electricity, the transit system is down, Wall Street is closed and a presdiential election is on hold.
It is kind of newsworthy. So is Haiti, but it is possible to run both stories
In the same way if the Thames Barrier was breached, the Underground flooded and London went into darkness then on the news it would probably come in above the dog that says sausages or the Dancing with X Factor in Their Eyes result . *
*Except on Channel 5
honestly do people have no idea how poor NJ is? Its one of the most down trodden states in the US..
Umm not at all really. It has the second highest median income of any State.
I guess what Ben was getting at is that by calling it a 'superstorm' there is an implications that is its perhaps worse that a hurricane, needing a new category to label it
In fact, in terms of intensity, the winds were barely hurricane force and it was downgraded to a tropical storm when it made landfall. It was very big, and that Counts for a lot, google hurricane severity index, but even then it was not unprecedented in this regard either.
Compared to other cyclones such as hurricanes katrina, camille, Gilbert and Mitch, and a whole lot of pacific typhoons, it was either smaller or much less intense, or both.
It was unusual in hitting so far north, and Turning directly inland, and the sight of manhattan shut down like that is clearly newsworthy. It brought the worst storm surge in new York ever, and has caused loss of life and vast infrastructural damage.
Like i said, I think the label is almost as a result of weather pedantry, in that it was downgraded and so no longer officially a hurricane, but just calling it tropical storm sandy doesn't seem to do it justice. But then the networks pick up on it and as it is a catchy title it gets used widely and risks giving the impression that this was a whole new level of severity of storm, when it wasn't. Like i said upthread, google typhoon tip, *that* was a storm....
There has only once been a landfall of a cat 5 hurricane that was cat 5 at that point; even katrina was 'only' cat 3 when it hit new orleans. seeing what a sub-hurricane storm did to NY, the consequences of that are too horrendous to even contemplate,
Have you been to Camden, Trenton? rural south NJ? I'm guessing a no..
But hey lets not let actual real life experiences shade opinion...
> Have you been to Camden, Trenton? rural south NJ?
Well yes I have but carry on... Try Louisiana or similar if you want to see downtrodden.
Poorest city in the US... Camden, NJ.
2 in 5 live below the poverty line.. but hey median state income is high... therefore its not downtrodden...
It's not always size that matters, there are so many factors that influence how much of an impact a storm has.
My grandparents and aunts and uncles spent Christmas day under a table sheltering from Cyclone Tracey, that was a piddly little storm if you're using Typhoon Tip as your comparison point. It doesn't mean it's effects were any less devastating.
More so than Camden and other south NJ towns.. I didn't think so. Both are in a pretty bad way but I'd say Camden is actually worse..
The murder rate is shockingly high, the city hall has white crosses outside for every person murdered that year.. there's a lot of crosses..
A lot of deserted houses, a huge poor black community, lots of homeless people. Huge unemployment rate, huge drugs problems.. hence its down trodden..
Just to make the point, the median household income in NJ's poorest county is almost identical to the median household income in the whole of Mississippi. If a storm is going to hit somewhere in the US that is well-able to cope, the Eastern sea-board is that spot, and that includes NJ.
I was skyping with a friend who lives just outside Camden when they get the call to evacuate.. they didn't as they have a strong house. But the response was for all levels of society, rich poor, white black.
South NJ is one of the poorest areas in the US, its cities are a mess. yes the state has money from NY.. which basically dumps its litter in NJ, the giants are based their too, so the North gets cash that way. The south is different. The contrast either side of the Ben Franklin is stark, Philly one side, Camden the other.
I've ran in a fair few states in a fair few rough cities, Camden is the worst I've seen, and that includes New Orleans.
If you say so. Possibly of interest
This was the comment.. I think that's not the case here.. everyone got help hence so few deaths so far. South NJ has lots of poor black americans.
yes, that was the point i was making about the hurricane severity index, both size and intensity count equally.
had to google cyclone tracey, 70% of darwin's buildings destroyed! good grief, that must have been grim to experience. your family must have some stories to tell about that, hope they were all ok
tracey seems to have been an outlier at the other end of the scale from sandy- very small, but very intense, compared to sandy's much less intense, but very large
but even then, sustained wind speeds over 1 minute were 'only' (!)125mph, whereas in tip they were 190 mph; and the storm covered an area equivalent to half the continental USA. Thank goodness nothing like that has ever hit a heavily populated area,
I was replyign more to the handwringers, but yeah, there was a good explanation of what happened and the storm cats on R4 this morning - interesting stuff.
Why do you keep picking elements of a state to represent an entire state?
Therefore its a poor state. Yes the New York bordering areas have money, the south is poor. The south was where the storm hit.
> Therefore its a poor state.
"There is someone on minimum wage in Mayfair, therefore it's a really poor area"
the medians include the rich north. When talking about how there are no poor black communities its pretty important to actually understand what the regions hit are actually socio-economically like. They are poor black communities which were hit. Some of the poorest in the US.
Cumberland County must be one of the poorest counties in the USA, it is certainly downtrodden. it looks a nice area but spend time in areas like Millville and you realise its not.
What is this, poverty top trumps?
Read it again and think a little more.
Do you see where you went wrong?
Can you see where you are both going wrong..?
They learnt lessons on how to act pre and post hurricane. TBH its exceptional so few were killed and a huge credit to the responses on the various bodies involved. Some tragic stories coming out, but all in all I think they got out of this as well as they could have hoped. They could never prevent such a storm surge.
The lab I work at in Virginia (delmava penisnula) was recently rebuilt to the new regulations required by any federal funded building in coastal areas to cope with such surges, and its fine despite being inundated by the sea.
Interesting that the NY marathon is still planning on going ahead...
I understand what you are saying, because it is not complicated. I understand medians etc. You have not actually answered the straightforward question that I asked you, in any meaningful way. Your posts have a real "Four Yorkshiremen" air to them. We get that you have spent time in these impoverished parts of New Jersey. Some may even salute you for it. Your subjectivity is really not doing you any favours in this bizarre and pointless argument, and I know you are (or at least once were) above all this sort of nonsense.
Pretty sick of the anti-US sentiments constantly aired.. just huge amount of ignorance and preconceived ideas. It is downtrodden, which is what I said and MG disagreed using median stats. Go there, or just read about the place.
Either way the poor black areas were helped, they weren't in Katrina. The differing responses are due to lessons learnt not the preferred status of one group of people..
> Pretty sick of the anti-US sentiments constantly aired.. just huge amount of ignorance and preconceived ideas. It is downtrodden, which is what I said and MG disagreed using median stats. Go there, or just read about the place.
"It" being Camden (or similar towns) or NJ? I have never disagreed with you about Camden but you can't extrapolate from that to NJ as a whole, any more than one (or several) poor person in a rich neighbourhood makes the whole neighbourhood poor. And drop the anti-US and ignorance lines - I almost certainly have deeper connections to the US than you.
I just think NJ is downtrodden for vast swathes of the state. That's my experience, and not just camden (Camden was just the extreme example). However it borders two major cities in NYC and Philly so you do have the nice suburbs and areas of high wages. But its that bad in NJ that you cannot hold a federal funded position and not live within the state. That fact highlights that they want people who earn to reside in the state and not in the more affluent states surrounding it.
It has large poor black communities and this thread, and a few on UKC on the past few days, have suggested that the lack of deaths was due to the ethnic make up. Much of the delmava area was also hit, same with DC. Baltimore isn't a great area either, but luckily it missed the worst. There are plenty of poor areas in that Atlantic coast/NE region. But the lack of deaths was due to early actions and lessons learnt from katrina. You can try to argue all you want to detract from that.
But the US is like Europe, Mass is incomparable to TX in many ways so I'm not sure knowing the US is that much of a thing as I find I know TX (and even TX varies drastically E>W), and OK is as different to Maine as France to Portugal in many ways.
I also do wonder how much Obama is using this well and saw Sandy as a great opportunity to save his presidency. After the Benghazi contraversy (going Las Vegas), he stayed, oversaw and has now toured the damaged areas. Romneys carried on campaigning, BO hasn't mentioned the election yet, even Christie is now lavishing praise on him.
Bush's response to 9/11 gave him a huge basis of support, almost unheard of levels, Americans like a strong leader and I reckon BO's response could save him as Romney tbf had turned around the election and now stands a real chance of being elected.
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