Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why Is Bloomberg Downplaying Sandy? (UPDATED)

At his 6:30 PM news conference on the city's preparations for Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg downplayed the significance of the storm, saying more than once that it is not as serious a storm as Hurricane Irene was last year.

Bloomberg says the storm is going to hit Maryland or Delaware, not New Jersey or New York City as some storm models are still showing.

He also said the storm is not going to be either a hurricane or a tropical storm, so the surge will be slower than it would be if it were a hurricane.

He said there are no plans for any evacuations of any low-lying areas in the city, though the city will monitor the situation and that could change in the future.

The key takeaway from the press conference:  "Monday will be a regular workday."  City offices are opened, schools are opened, everybody should expect to go to work.

Bloomberg is seriously downplaying the threat here, which is odd because some of the models of the storm track are taking this thing right to Sandy Hook or elsewhere on the Jersey Shore.

If the storm hits there, the storm surge in New York Harbor is going to be very heavy.

Many areas up and down the coast have been evacuated or will be evacuated by tomorrow.

The Director of the National Hurricane Center told reporters on Saturday that there is no way to avoid a huge storm surge event over a large area.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters wrote at 5:30 PM today that the surge may flood New York City subways.  

Masters also wrote that if the hurricane "hits near New York City, as the GFS model predicts, the storm surge will be capable of overtopping the flood walls in Manhattan, which are only five feet above mean sea level."

Bloomberg doesn't seem to be too worried about any of that as of tonight.

Bloomberg's fellow politicians around the area, including Governor Christie of New Jersey, have been ringing the alarm bells on this storm.

For some reason, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not.

Can't say why this is - perhaps he really does think the storm will hit well south of the city and we'll ride this out fine.

But as I wrote earlier today, it's not as if he hasn't ho-hummed a storm before, so I'm not sure I totally trust his judgment on this.

Time will tell.

But if it turns out he needs to evacuate everybody tomorrow, he certainly hasn't laid much groundwork for that action tonight. 

POSTSCRIPT: The Weather Channel hammered Bloomberg after his presser, saying they were shocked and baffled by the information he had given.  Jim Cantore questioned Bloomberg's judgment on the storm, saying he thought the city shouldn't let its guard down given the hybrid nature of this storm.

Glad to see I'm not the only one questioning Bloomberg's judgment.

Yeah, I get not overreacting to this.

But the downplaying he's done with this storm, saying basically Monday is just another workday, just bring an umbrella - well, we'll see how this turns out.

The mayor had better hope to hell whatever information he is getting is correct.

UPDATE - 10:21 PM: Eric Holthaus, a Wall Street Journal writer who covers weather and climate for the newspaper, tweeted the following: 

A NOAA analysis ranks 's wave/surge destructiveness at 5.7 on a 6.0 scale. I have never seen a value that high.

The "Hurricane/Tropical Storm" designation may not be around it by the time it gets here, but this is one powerful storm.


  1. What-Me-Worry-NYC-Mayor-Bloomberg --by NOT ordering coastal evacuations and the shutdown of schools and subways for the coming monster storm- is GAMBLING with the lives of New Yorkers. But what did you expect? Like Romney and his crew, Bloomie’s real god is money: making it, keeping it, and worrying about it - instead of valuing people. For if this hybrid perfect storm called Sandy- with a huge wind-field and sea water surge (which is different, much larger, and even more dangerous than a pure hurricane)....if it comes inland to the south of NYC, ( on a track heading to the northwest , into Jersey, from the sea , as is now expected )...THEN... that can cause an unprecedented, serious, and prolonged threat of major flooding along the NY coastline-- with enormous amounts of water being pushed straight up into New York Harbor and Long Island Sound from the southeast-- with no where to go, except the streets and subways. How long does it take to replace subway tracks corroded by seawater? You tell me. Just look at a map of the coastline. It's L shaped. And the corner is ...New York harbor. So when we push the water in there.. by means of a huge hybrid storm like this... coming inland from the sea to our south (which has never happened before with a tropical system!)... then WATCH OUT! This “left-hook” storm, coming in off the sea, can knock out New York City like never before. In addition-- we have higher tides from the full moon, and twenty foot waves on top of that and the storm surge! This is WORSE than Irene's potential flooding (which fizzled out). And this is without even considering the power outages and damage that can be caused by sustained high winds hitting our glass high rise buildings, and with many trees in the city still foliated. Wake up Bloomie, and PLEASE stop counting your cash. People’s LIVES are much more important than business being shut down in NYC for a day or two. We’re sorry to spoil your usual weekend vacations Mayor --but you can't stop and frisk THIS one, baby. If nursing home residents in the Rockaways are caught by rising waters, or if schoolkids are injured on the subway on Monday dear Mayor
    -as a result of your inaction- will you simply say that you are sorry? This is no timr for “busines as usual”!

  2. It's crazy - I just don't understand it. Nick Gregory tweeted the following:

    "Disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg's press briefing. Storm surge may each 8 ft with 10-20 ft waves on top. Rockaways set for major flooding"

    Bloomberg treated this storm tonight like it's little more than a passing shower.

    I hope he's right.

    Otherwise, people are going to get hurt.

  3. I can explain it, politicians are sociopaths & psychopaths. They claim a monopoly on the use of force/coercion within a certain geographical area. As for stanchaz relating Bloomberg's actions to Romney (war-monger/psychpath), Obama is no better. Left wing, right wing, same ugly fascist bird.

  4. Bloomberg is just of touch with reality. He has a complex in which he thinks he is god. The truth is that no one knows precisely where the storm will hit. So it is best to be cautious and prepared. Bloomberg with his unbridled arrogance thinks that he can predict and his predictions must be right. Bloomberg seems to have amnesia about the cowardly way he evacuated during the blizzard of 2010 and left it to his deputy mayor to mismanage the cities cleanup. Instead of admitting to his ineptitude he blamed the catastrophic failure on unionized sanitation workers who lifted their ploughs. Several people lost their lives as a result of Mayor Bloomberg's schism from reality and negligence. Unfortunately, he was not prosecuted for negligent homicide. He is a criminal.

  5. This may go down as the biggest cyclone in the past 50 years. Pressure is going to be atleast 940 mb. This is not a joke. There is a 10 percent chance this could reach cat 2 in the next 48 hours. Thats straight from NWS. Bloomberg should close for monday and tuesday and evacuate certain zones today. This is a once in a lifetime storm. Irene headed ne vs. sandy going due west into the elbow of the coast. I believe there will be gusts of 100 mph on the coast. I am a avid weather guy and usually I think storms are overhyped. Not this one!

    1. That's what I'm hearing from a lot of the weather people - this one really isn't hyped. And yet, because it has been downgraded, people, including our illustrious mayor and the geniuses around him aren't taking it very seriously. I still see patio furniture on the decks of my building. I am about to go to the desk guy and tell him he needs to get the people in those apartments to get the glass freaking tables off their patios now. 70 MPH winds are no joke!

  6. I'd really like to know where he got the info he is basing his decision on. With storm being "one we have never before seen" why would he gamble with the lives of such a populated city? What is Gov. Cuomo saying about this. Will go down as one of the biggest mistakes ever made.

    Kudos to Jim Cantore for his quick response in questioning this decision. A mistake that may very well have devastating consequences.

    1. I agree. My wife had a friend who texted this morning that she's not leaving Gravesend because she heard the landfall of the storm is Delaware.

      That Delaware landfall info was of course what Bloomberg said yesterday at his presser.

      My wife texted back: Don't listen to Bloomberg. Leave now before things get too crazy to get out.