Those suffering from Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast were dealt another bad hand by the nor'easter that added to the East Coast's misery Wednesday and Thursday. There are many who lost their homes and all possessions still in desperate need, nearly two weeks after the storm's wrath.
Although Pennsylvania wasn't as severely impacted as our neighbors to the East in New York and New Jersey, the megastorm did cause major power outages for utility customers. It's a tribute to the officials and work crews at PPL, Met-Ed and PECO for realizing the severity of the storm and having emergency plans in place well before it hit landfall.
Sandy was indeed an historic storm, one which Met Ed regional president Mike Doran said was more damaging than Hurricane Irene, the tropical cyclone that struck the East Coast in late August of 2011, or the ghoulish Halloween snowstorm two months later. Doran said crews replaced twice as many poles, cross arms and transformers as they did following Irene, which became the fifth costliest storm in U.S. history.
Peco officials called Sandy, which pounded southeastern Pa., the worst storm in terms of outages in the company's history.
While the utility workers deserve kudos for working 24/7 to get power restored to its customers, there were some individuals whose initial reactions were mind boggling.
In the midst of New York City's initial suffering, Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually held off for days before agreeing to cancel the New York City Marathon. It's true that the event would have brought needed money into the city coffers but holding a sports/entertainment event in the streets of devastated neighborhoods where people were still in danger and bodies were were still being pulled from the debris defies common sense.
When residents saw a newspaper photo of huge generator trucks sitting idly in the park in anticipation of the race being run, while millions were still without power, it created a firestorm against city officials, especially Bloomberg. When the criticism got too much to endure, the besieged mayor finally canceled the race.
While Bloomberg's idiocy was for inaction, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews' callous comments about the storm during election night were pure lunacy. In his closing commentary following the re-election of Barack Obama, Matthews was ecstatic.
"I'm so glad we had that storm last week because I think the storm was one of those things. No, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics," Matthews stated.
How could anyone be so enamored with Obama's re-election that he would be thankful for a killer storm that's responsible for scores of U.S. deaths and the sufferings of millions of others? New Yorkers were rightfully outraged by the insensitive comments.
Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro reacted by calling Matthews' comment "a stupid statement from a stupid person. What it says to me is that he shouldn't be listened to because he doesn't speak with any kind of common sense."
Although Matthews walked back his statements with an apology the next night, his original words aren't easily forgotten. His outburst of gleeful emotion for Barack Obama winning a second term trumped any misery that Americans were feeling.
Now that's disgusting, even for a self-centered and cheerleading liberal commentator like Matthews.
By Jim Zbick