The Politics and True Threat of Hurricane ‘Sandy’

By Shepard Ambellas
dev-test.intellihub.com
October 26, 2012

VIRGINIA — Mitt Romney cancelled one of three campaign stops this Sunday in reaction to the recent weather threat presented by hurricane “Sandy” which is predicted to affect parts of the eastern seaboard, thus stopping Romney from appearing at the Virginia Beach rally he had previously scheduled.

President Barack Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy during a conference call with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Dr. Rick Knabb, Director of the National Hurricane Center, and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, in the Oval Office, Oct. 26, 2012. Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and Richard Reed, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, are seated at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Meanwhile, President Obama has already been briefed on the storm as of late Wednesday and east coast residents are urged to monitor local weather reports for what is being called a “super storm”.

With Sandy’s wide wind field of 550 plus miles merging with a polar air mass over the eastern US, things could get pretty rough.

The storm also has the potential to bring massive amounts of rain and snow.

An excerpt from the New York Times reads, “The storm is also expected to dump as much as 10 inches of rain in the area where it makes landfall and to create a significant storm surge that will lead to flooding throughout a large coastal area, perhaps most seriously in Delaware, forecasters said.

“We expect a long-lasting event — two to three days for most people,” said James Franklin, branch chief of the National Hurricane Center in a conference call on Friday. It is, Mr. Franklin said, “a very large system.”

On Friday morning, the hurricane tore through the Bahamas with 100-m.p.h. winds, after killing at least 28 people in the Caribbean. By noon, the system was moving north out of the Bahamas, as a Category 1 storm, with wind speeds of 80 m.p.h., Mr. Franklin said.

The hurricane is likely to turn northeast late Friday or Saturday, roughly parallel to the Carolina coast, forecasters said.”

This storm looks like it has the potential to knock power out in regions of the eastern US as most American’s are unprepared and will be blindsided by such an event.

Not to mention how a possible transportation shutdown could affect the economy.

Reuters reads (regarding the storm), “Its structure is evolving as we speak because it’s interacting with this weather feature at higher levels of the atmosphere,” said Todd Kimberlain, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

“The models are suggesting that the storm could actually become better organized or intensify a little bit, not due to the normal processes than we would expect for a tropical cyclone but more related to this weather feature,” Kimberlain said.

On its current projected track, government forecasters said Sandy could make landfall early next week anywhere between Virginia, Maryland or Delaware up through New York or southern New England.

In New York City, the global financial hub, officials were considering closing down mass transit before the storm hits.”

If mass transit shuts down in New York and other areas because of a “super storm” things could get hairy as people are already on the edge in many ways.

The US government has forecast warnings that hurricane Sandy will be more violent in nature then last years Irene.

The White House released the following statement on the 26th of October entitled, Readout of the President’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy reading:

“This morning, President Obama convened a call with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan to receive an update on Hurricane Sandy and ongoing federal actions to prepare for the storm as it continues to move toward the United States mainland.

The President directed Administrator Fugate to ensure that all available federal resources are being brought to bear to support state and local responders in potentially affected areas along the eastern seaboard as they prepare for the severe weather.

Impacts from the storm could be felt as early as this weekend, and FEMA is in close contact with state and local partners as the storm approaches.

At the request of states, FEMA is proactively deploying Incident Management Assistance Teams to multiple states up and down the Eastern seaboard to assist efforts as state and local partners prepare for the storm.

Because of the potential for significant power outages, FEMA is encouraging state and local authorities responsible for coordinating with local utility companies to do so ahead of any impacts. The President asked his team to continue to ensure there were no unmet needs and to keep him regularly updated on weather forecasts and hurricane preparations.”

FEMA has also made the following announcement:

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through our regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, continues to closely monitor Hurricane Sandy located in the eastern Caribbean Sea about 85 miles south-southeast of the central Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour, and remains in close coordination with state emergency management partners in Florida and the potentially affected southeast, Mid-Atlantic and New England states.

With hurricane season lasting through November 30, FEMA stands prepared and ready to support state, local, tribal and territorial partners in responding to storms. The agency has a federal coordinating officer and staff that are currently in Florida working previously declared disasters.  They continue to work closely with the state on recovery operations.

Regional Administrators and other senior officials in FEMA’s regional offices along the East Coast have been in contact with their state counterparts in order to ensure coordination for any emergency response. FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams are on alert for potential deployment to states in order to help with coordination, should emergency response assistance be needed or requested. At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories, including Atlanta, Ga. and Frederick, Md., if needed and requested.

“As Hurricane Sandy proceeds closer toward southeast Florida, residents should listen to local officials for updates and follow their instructions,” urged FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “As the storm moves northward, it serves as a reminder that we all need to be prepared for severe weather.  Now is the time to update your family communication plans, check your supplies, and stay informed.  A hurricane isn’t a point on a map – it’s a big storm and its impact will be felt far from the center. FEMA is in contact with states and tribal governments and stands ready to support their preparedness efforts.”

According to NOAA’s National Weather Service, Sandy is now a Category 2 hurricane expected to produce storm conditions along the east coast of Florida tonight and Friday.  Also, rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are possible across the Florida Keys into southeast and east-central Florida.  Tropical Storm watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service remain in effect in southeast Florida.  Tropical Storm warnings are in effect for Florida east coast from Ocean Reef to Flagler Beach and Lake Okeechobee.  A Tropical Storm watch is in effect for the Florida east coast from  north of Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach; for  the Florida Upper Keys from Ocean Reef southward to Craig Key; and Florida Bay.

FEMA urges residents in potentially impacted areas, including the Florida Keys, southern Florida peninsula to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and local news, monitor for severe weather updates and warnings, and follow instructions of local officials.  State and local officials make determinations and announcement about evacuations, and if local officials give the order to evacuate, leave immediately.  While the exact track of the storm is uncertain, according to the National Weather Service, storm conditions associated with Hurricane Sandy may impact additional states throughout the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast early next week.

While tropical storms are unpredictable, those in the possible path of the storm should be preparing. If you haven’t done so already, take the time now to put together a family emergency plan and emergency kit.  Some of the items in a basic emergency kit include: one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio; flashlight and extra batteries; and First Aid kit.  Having a kit can help you weather the storm.

Everyone should familiarize themselves with the terms that are used to identify a severe weather hazard.  A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.  A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

We urge coastal and inland residents to be familiar with flood and flash flood terminology and safety tips:

Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges, and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.  Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if local officials give notice to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Watch: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

Flash Flood Warning: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

More information about what to do before, during and after a disaster can also be found visiting ready.gov and listo.gov.  FEMA Applications for mobile devices are also available visitinghttp://www.fema.gov/smartphone-app.  Sharing information using social media tools is also a good way for residents to stay informed.  Follow FEMA online at http://blog.fema.gov,www.twitter.com/femawww.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.”

America, already in turmoil, does not need the added problems of a “super storm” to weigh in on an already dire situation.

Read More Articles by Shepard Ambellas

Shepard Ambellas is the founder & director of dev-test.intellihub.com (a popular alternative news website), researcher, investigative journalist, radio talk show host, and filmmaker. Follow Shepard on Twitter/NotForSale2NWO and on Youtube.com/user/NotForSale2NWO, please feel free to checkout SHADEtheMotionPicture.com (An Ambellas & Bermas Film).