I have children who reside all along the eastern border of the United States: FL, MD and NYC, so my concern about Sandy’s path, size and strength gives me cause to worry, as any mother would. I’ll be in touch with everyone for the next few days.
From the reports on TV and in the news, this storm or super-cell is no joke.
Here’s the very latest from Huffington Post:
Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard’s largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall.
Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York – putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.
Ed Note: Below are live updates on Huffington Post as of 11:37 am today.
From HuffPost New York:
Even before the superstorm fueled by Hurricane Sandy has hit New York City in earnest Monday, parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn have experienced flooding.
At a press conference Monday morning, Governor Cuomo said the storm surge in New York is already at Hurricane Irene levels.
According to The New York Times, “Forecasters are expecting a 6-to-11-foot surge to hit the city at high tide around 8 p.m. [Monday] – the highest surge of the entire storm cycle.”
The super storm has left between 20 and 30 percent of Cuba’s coffee crop scattered, a potentially devastating loss for the country’s economy. Reuters estimates coffee production dropping to its lowest point in a century despite President Raul Castro’s efforts to improve Cuban food production and to decrease reliance on imports. More here.
President Obama will deliver a statement after his Situation Room briefing on Hurricane Sandy, at 12:45pm.
Check in here for all of our information on how to stay safe during Hurricane Sandy.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of satellite images of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene, courtesy of NASA.
Vern Gillmore, 80, isn’t just sending money or supplies to help those affected by the Hurricane Sandy megastorm — he’s delivering himself. The Utah man was deployed Monday as part of the Red Cross’ nationwide initiative to help a small portion of some 50 million people who could be affected by the storm.
Read the full story here.
Far Rockaway, New York — The southernmost of the two bridges linking this thin peninsula to the rest of New York City remains open, but high winds and flooding are making crossing the bridge an increasingly hazardous undertaking.
For now, the wind is coming in short bursts, rattling cars but not pushing them. The real threat is the water spilling over from an angry and roiling Jamaica Bay. This reporter watched as a New York City Department of Transportation car briefly hydroplaned on the main north/south thoroughfare, Beach Channel Drive. The car drifted like a canoe into another lane before its wheels found purchase again.
This reporter, also driving on the road, then followed the city car as it retreated back over the bridge to the relative safety of Brooklyn.
Ben Hallman, HuffPost
|@ WSJweather : NHC 11am #Sandy update: Sustained winds up to 90mph, pressure down to 943mb. Still 260mi from NYC.|
|@ WSJweather : Folks, just to summarize what we’re seeing here, #Sandy is in the process of intensifying — perhaps more than earlier forecasts showed.|
Portions of AC boardwalk destroyed, debris floating “uptown.”
|@ eyewitnessnyc : Atlantic City’s public safety director says most of the city under water #SandyABC7 #Sandy|
|@ NYTMetro : Breaking: Holland and Brooklyn Battery Tunnels to close at 2 pm, Gov Cuomo announces. #Sandy|
- Sandy or Frankenstorm? Either Way, It’s a Big Deal (forbes.com)
- Hurricane Sandy may unleash historic floods in NYC (msnbc.msn.com)
- Hurricane Sandy sinks a ship off Carolina coast (fsn.typepad.com)
- State: Sandy might be strengthening (darientimes.com)
- Sandy Gains Power and Aims for Northeast (kcrg.com)
- Hurricane Sandy Barrels Northward, May Hit New Jersey – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Hurricane Sandy update: Cuomo orders NYC tunnels closed, fears storm surge (newyork.newsday.com)
- Superstorm Set to Batter Atlantic Coast (news.firedoglake.com)
- NYC offers storm challenges above ground and below (miamiherald.com)
- Eastern seaboard of the US braced for storm surge as Hurricane Sandy approaches (dailyrecord.co.uk)
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry marked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a searing monologue about what she saw as the country’s failure to learn from the disaster on Monday’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”
Harris-Perry was in New Orleans filling in for Maddow, who was on vacation. Hurricane Irene had made it impossible for her to fly to New York, but the Tulane professor called the arrangement “strangely apropos,” seeing as it was the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
She criticized the country’s lack of progress on the vulnerabilities that Katrina exposed, namely the inadequacies in public infrastructure and the racial and economic disparities that made the hurricane so devastating. She recalled, “We watched as Americans were abandoned on the rooftops of their homes, and we realized that our system could not even get water to the people of a major American city for days.”
“Whatever momentum our renewed sense of responsibility brought has been halted by this recession,” Harris-Perry said. She cited cuts to the social safety net, and opposition to environmental regulation and infrastructure as examples of the government actively working against that progress.
Harris-Perry said that while Hurricane Irene showed that people have learned to prepare for short-term disasters, the long-term lessons of Hurricane Katrina have fallen by the wayside. “Six years later, the long-term lessons about public policy, mutual investment is what we as a people are still refusing to learn,” she concluded.
- Pastor Probes ‘Where Was God?’ In Katrina (huffingtonpost.com)
- Katrina’s Children – The Hurricane Through Children’s Eyes (freetech4teachers.com)
- Hurricane Irene was actually bigger than hurricane Katrina (csmonitor.com)
- We’ll Never Forget: Today Is The Sixth Anniversary Of Hurricane Katrina Hitting New Orleans (bossip.com)
- NASA Revisits Satellite Images of Hurricane Katrina – The Atlantic (news.google.com)
- President Obama on the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (whitehouse.gov)
- Melissa Harris-Perry and “The Help” (thefilmexperience.net)
- Melissa Harris Perry And Michael Steele Wage War On Crazy Internet Commenters (mediaite.com)
- Melissa Harris Perry Breaks Down The Help: ‘Ahistorical And Deeply Troubling’ (mediaite.com)
Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. The Washington Post reported this morning that FEMA will need more money than it currently has to deal with the storm’s aftermath and is already diverting funds from other recent disasters to deal with the hurricane, but Cantor’s comments suggest Republicans won’t authorize more funds without a fight.
Cantor took the position following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere in the spring and summer, and after last week’s earthquake, the epicenter for which was in his district, but the hurricane’s level of destruction is far beyond that of those disasters. Still, Cantor told Fox News that while “we’re going to find the money,” “we’re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so.”
Cantor referred a bill the Republican-controlled House passed that approves $1 billion in disaster relief, which was financed by a $1.5 billion cut from loan program to encourage the production of fuel-efficient vehicles. But the need in the wake of the hurricane will likelygreatly surpass $1 billion, and that spending package was supposed to be used for tornado recovery efforts, for which several hundred million dollars has already been outlayed.
- Cantor: No hurricane emergency funding without other cuts (dailykos.com)
- Hurricane Irene relief funding sets up budget fight – CBS News (news.google.com)
- Jonathan Richards: Lunch Money (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eric Cantor: Federal Hurricane Disaster Relief Would Have To Be Offset By Spending Cuts (businessinsider.com)
- FEMA Almost Out Of Money Due To Multiple Disasters, While Cantor Plays Politics With Disaster Funds (crooksandliars.com)
- Eric Cantor: Hurricane Relief Spending Means Cuts Need To Happen Elsewhere (mediaite.com)
- Eric Cantor: No Federal Relief For Earthquake Or Hurricane Damage Unless It’s Offset By Spending Cuts (outsidethebeltway.com)
This is the bridge before its destruction by Hurricane Irene.
- Historic Covered Bridge In Bartonsville Vermont Swept Away In Irene Flood [VIDEO] (businessinsider.com)
- 141-Year-Old Covered Bridge Washed Away In Vermont (buzzfeed.com)
- 140-year-old Bridge Swept Away (video) (weeklyworldnews.com)
- Covered Bridges Lost as Irene Brings Major Flood to Vermont (businessweek.com)
- Irene’s rains flood Vermont – CNN (news.google.com)
- Swept away. (theskidiva.wordpress.com)
- Vt. battles epic floods in wake of Irene (cbsnews.com)
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told voters in Florida Sunday that Hurricane Irene and the recent East Coast earthquake were just God’s way of telling politicians to reign in government spending.
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” Bachmann said during the speech in Sarasota.
“We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
At least 21 people died over the weekend due to the storm.
- Bachmann Plays Down Comments Linking Disasters and Deficits (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Michele Bachmann Says Earthquake, Hurricane are God’s Punishment to Politicians in Washington: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Michele Bachmann Says Hurricane Irene And Earthquake Are Divine Warnings To Washington (huffingtonpost.com)
- Michele Bachmann Outdoes Herself, Says Hurricane Irene Is A Warning From God! (lukewilliamss.wordpress.com)
- Michele Bachmann (R-Mars): God Sent Hurricane Irene to Tell Us to Cut Spending (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Wait–So Michele Bachmann DOESN’T Think Hurricane Irene Was A Sign From God? (businessinsider.com)
Glenn Beck called Hurricane Irene a “blessing” on his Friday radio show, saying it would teach people to be prepared for disasters.
As the hurricane barreled towards the East Coast, Beck said that it would be a valuable lesson for people who have not heeded his warnings. He said he has long told his followers to stock up in case of “global disruption in food.” He said that, even though people had mocked him for it, disaster preparedness was key to him.
“If you’ve waited [until now], this hurricane is a blessing,” he said. “It is God reminding you, as was the earthquake last week…you’re not in control.”
- Glenn Beck Explains Why He Views Hurricane Irene As A ‘Blessing’ (mediaite.com)
- Beck: Irene Is A ‘Blessing’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Glenn Beck: Israelis are ‘constantly talking’ (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Hurricane Irene and Hurricanes Past (freetech4teachers.com)
- Hurricane Threat Prompts Obama To Cut Vacation Short (huffingtonpost.com)
- Glenn Beck: Jewish People ‘Drive Me Out Of My Mind’ With Their Constant Talking (AUDIO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Glenn Beck: Israelis are ‘constantly talking’ (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Why Does Glenn Beck Hate the Victims of Natural Disasters? (radiodemagogues.wordpress.com)
- Hurricane irene is coming to America (milepostsproductions.wordpress.com)