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Hurricane Sandy and the Election


FreeThinker

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I know it is crass to think of politics at a time like this, but I just had a horrible thought watching the reports on MSNBC about Hurricane Sandy moving up the east coast and making landfall in New Jersey. The forecast is that this could be a historic storm as the hurricane collides with a strong cold front moving in from Canada and the Midwest. Everything in the northeastern United States, from Ohio to New England will be affected with heavy snow and hundred mile-per-hour winds.

I know it is difficult to think of politics in the face of such misery and destruction, but the long-term affects of this could be devastating for the country. These are mostly Democratic states and the weather may be a big help to the Republicans in their voter-suppression efforts in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The storm is to hit on Tuesday, a week before the election and may last for days. Certainly, voter turnout in this area will be lower. Low turn-outs usually benefits Republicans. Plus, lower income people, who tend to vote Democratic, live in areas that will probably be more adversely affected by the storm and thus, even less likely to vote.

In a close election, this situation could easily flip Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire to the Republicans.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think the Republicans could squeak through because of the storm.

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As someone that has been through a few hurricanes, the really frustrating thing about them is their unpredictability.

In 1969 we had the storm of the century. Camile was the worst hurricane that anybody had ever seen. It was stronger than Katrina- there just wasn't as much population back then.

From 1969 to 2005 we had dozens of hurricanes and probably twice that many near misses but none of them were in the "killer" category.

After Camile, everybody evacuated. But as the numbers of weak storms and near misses added up, so did the complacency. Another factor was media hype. Every time the media hyped a storm as horribly dangerous and it turned out to be a pussy-cat, people grew less and less careful.

When Katrina hit, it was a huge, slow moving storm. It wasn't as powerful as Camile. It was so slow moving that it took almost 36 hours plus for it arrive and pass over. The whole time you were being punished by a cat 3 hurricane and the tornadoes that it spawned. It was a perfect storm of complacency. Nobody was really prepared for Katrina and its aftermath and we got our asses seriously kicked.

120 miles inland in Jackson, the power grid was so screwed up that it took two weeks (or more) just to get the power back on. Some of the small towns on the coast were just plain gone. Many roads were washed away. There was so much timber down that you couldn't even see I-49 or I-10 from a helicopter.

With most hurricanes, you won't remember their name. They are all hype and bluster. With others, you will never forget.

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For my area, 35 miles northwest of Philly, it will most likely be a very wet and windy Noreaster, no snow.

Wildwood, NJ is expecting to get hammered. During the summer, a lot of the beach's got washed away a few miles down along the shore. They were going to start bringing that sand back this week. Throw in a full moon, which means high tides, and they are looking at some major flooding issues.

Recently I was watching a program on The Weather Channel and starting with this winter, they are going to start naming the major winter storms. I don't recall what the four things they will be looking at to name the storm. Most likely, a storm won't get the name until after its hit.

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This is the current timeline track for Hurricane Sandy from the NHC at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday 10/27. If this timeline is accurate, Sandy will be out of the region at least 5 days prior to the election.

hurricane-sandy-timeline-from-nhc.jpg

Colin :icon_geek:

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My concern is for the long-term flooding and power outages which will last for days after the storm. Certainly trees will be knocked down, bringing down power lines for hundreds of thousands of people, and flooding may leave people homeless for days.

I am also concerned that Republicans will politicize the Federal response and criticize whatever FEMA and the President do in response to the storm.

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