City gets it right with Irene
Aug 31, 2011 | 2566 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Flooding on the N line in Brooklyn.
Flooding on the N line in Brooklyn.
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What a difference nine months and the benefit of hindsight can make.

In direct contrast to the way the city handled the blizzard that brought New York City to a grinding halt during Christmas of last year, the Bloomberg administration went into no-nonsense proactive mode with Hurricane Irene.

And as a result, the city was much better equipped and prepared to handle what could have been a terrible disaster.

We heard some grumbling that taking the unprecedented action to shut down the entire mass transit system at noon on Saturday was overreacting, but shutting down the system proved to be a necessity, as this photo of flooding on the N line in south Brooklyn that was sent to us by the MTA press office proves.

Besides, it was a weekend and many people who may have had to work were likely excused, as businesses were shut down. And by shutting down the system entirely, it no doubt made it possible for the MTA to get the whole system up and running, for the most part, by the Monday morning rush, as the agency didn't have to deal with stalled trains on the tracks or subway cars stuck in flooded train yards.

In fact, if the mass transit system wasn't ready for the morning rush, for many folks across the city that would have been the most disruptive effect of Hurricane Irene.

Likewise, ordering the mandatory evacuations of several low-lying areas in the city may have been harsh, but it sent the message to residents that this storm wasn't anything to be taken lightly, and if you chose to stay in potentially dangerous parts of the city, you had better prepare for the worst.

In the end, thankfully, Hurricane Irene didn't completely live up to its hype in New York City, but if it had, the city would have been able to cope.

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