NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How vulnerable is NY when our National Guard is missing?

Two weeks ago, while we were being bombarded with rain from our nor'easter, the storm that brought the most rain in over 100 years to the city, did you ever stop and wonder how well equipped we were should you need rescuing, or should the water cause structural damage to roadways or how your community would be evacuated had the water levels started rising? The National Guard is one of the state's rapid response assets that can send trained Guard members and equipment into areas should the Governor declare a 'state of emergency'. Back in our little rain storm many states in the northeast were declaring state of emergencies to mobilize response units. Rep. Vito Fossella even went so far as to petitioned FEMA (helluva job on Katrina!) to declare portions of the district federal disaster areas.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer sent 3,200 National Guard members to potential flood areas. On Saturday he said the storm could cause the most flooding New York has seen since a December 1992 nor'easter, which washed away beach and sand dunes, knocked out power and left thousands of people temporarily homeless, their houses standing in feet of water. [via CNN]

These are the same National Guard members in New York and many other states across the country, that the President has commandeered for his own purposes and sends to Iraq to do what they are supposed to be here doing. Maybe you see where this is going;

"If Long Island were hit with a major hurricane, debilitating shortages of equipment could potentially slow response by the New York Army National Guard and put lives in jeopardy. New data from the Guard shows that the vehicles needed to traverse water-logged streets and to transport medicine and supplies after a natural disaster are in short supply. Only 35 percent of the Guard's authorized Humvees and cargo trucks, for instance, are currently available in New York. Radio equipment is at less than half the authorized levels."


"The thing we'd need the most, we have the least of," said Rep Steve Israel (D-Huntington), who released the data yesterday. "That's the most distressing element. In my district on Long Island, it's not a matter of if, but when a hurricane may strike. A fully staffed and equipped National Guard is the difference between a smooth recovery and another New Orleans." [Newsday 3/23/07]

From the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) comes some realities about just flood possibilities should we have another rain storm or worse, a nearby hurricane landing.

But in 1893 a hurricane came ashore in Jamaica Bay, near where JFK airport sits today. A cluster of saloons, casinos and resort hotels on a sandy spit of land called Hog Island was completely washed away. Even the island disappeared.

A few miles west of the hurricane's eye, almost every building on Coney Island was destroyed. There was extensive flooding in Brooklyn and wind damage to many of the city's innovative new skyscrapers, including the just-finished Metropolitan Life building.

Meteorologists estimate that the 1893 storm was only a category 2 hurricane.

"A 2 in New York City is bad news," Coch said. "A 3 is a disaster and a 4 is a catastrophe." [via MSNBC]

Rep. Vito Fossella our mission has been 'accomplished' in Iraq. Isn't it time to ensure that our state National Guard members come home and stay home. Support New Yorkers, keep our National Guard in New York, or at the very least in our own country.

update: cross posted over at The Albany Project.

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