New York State Governor is a competent politician who during his first term has deftly handled the ups and downs of budget balancing and bi-partisan bickering. He’s also gotten point for the way he handled Hurricane Sandy and for showing leadership and seriousness during such a major crisis. That’s why his most recent comments about the storm are so crazy. He made the comparison between Sandy and Hurricane Katrina with a straight face. Look, Sandy was a heavy-hitter and hit large parts of the NY area with a rock-solid uppercut.
There was loss of life, loss of property and loss of peace of mind. Tragic without question. But Katrina is different. That was a defining storm, a true difference-maker. A horrific moment in American history with a legacy (racial and socio-economical) that will stretch out for years to come. Katrina is different and really it’s disrespectful to suggest anything other than that.
From The NY Times:
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, making a case for tens of billions of dollars in federal aid, declared on Monday that Hurricane Sandy had been “more impactful” than Hurricane Katrina, the deadly storm that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Hurricane Sandy, which arrived in New Jersey and New York on Oct. 29, “affected many, many more people and places than Katrina,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters at a news briefing. He said the comparison between the two hurricanes “puts this entire conversation, I believe, in focus.”
Mr. Cuomo said the recent storm would cost New York State nearly $42 billion, and he huddled in his Midtown office with the state’s Congressional delegation, as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester County executives, to strategize on lobbying Washington for financial assistance.
Mr. Cuomo acknowledged that more people had been killed by Hurricane Katrina, but said that Hurricane Sandy had had a greater economic impact because of the dense population in the New York City area. He said Hurricane Sandy had destroyed or damaged more units of housing, affected more businesses and caused more customers to lose power.
Mr. Cuomo said he believed it would cost nearly $33 billion to pay for storm cleanup, including more than $15 billion in New York City, and an additional $9 billion to prepare for future storms. Aides to Mr. Bloomberg said he was expected to meet with House and Senate leaders on Wednesday.
Some of the amounts in the aid request were staggering: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which totaled its damages at $4.8 billion, said it would cost $600 million just to repair the South Ferry-Whitehall Street subway stop in Lower Manhattan.