By Jonathan Anker
updated 4:24 PM EDT, Thu November 01, 2012
New Yorkers have enough to worry about above ground. But below, the city's massive rat population may be on the move after Sandy, adding another potential concern to residents' long list of post-superstorm challenges.
But for all we hear about New York's legendary sewer-dwelling armies of rodents, is this really likely to happen? Millions of rats flushed from their subterranean habitat?
Dr. Rick Ostfeld is a senior scientist who specializes in both disease ecology and rodent population dynamics at New York's Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. We asked him about the potential for a rat infestation and where these rats may go next if they've been flooded from their homes.
HLN: Do you think this will actually happen? A broad dispersal of the rat population?
Dr. Rick Ostfeld: I think it’s quite likely that rat populations that inhabited low-lying areas of NYC (sewers, storm drains, subways, etc.) will be massively affected by Sandy. Some individuals likely will be killed, but rats are excellent swimmers and climbers, and I expect them to disperse widely over the next few days to weeks. Some might return home when the floodwaters subside, but others will set up shop in some new place.
HLN: Is it possible to know how many rats may be living around NYC? Best guess?
Ostfeld: No one has done the type of study needed to make a good estimate -- this would involve capturing, marking, and recapturing rats all over the city, a rather tall order. But my understanding is that there are at least as many rats as there are people in NYC.
HLN: Where will these rats try to go?
Ostfeld: Initially to higher ground. Unfortunately, much of that higher ground consists of stores, apartments, warehouses, schools, and other places where we don’t want rat companions. We can expect a phase of dispersing, wandering rats followed by their establishing new colonies and social orders. The wandering phase, which could take weeks, presents a problem as the animals mix with one another (increasing risk of disease transmission to other rats) and look for food, often near people.
by Joel B. Pollak 1 Nov 2012
How desperate is hurricane-ravaged New Jersey? Not desperate enough to suspend a union monopoly that keeps the state in the bottom ten states for economic competitiveness (and #48 for business friendliness). Relief crews from Alabama who were specifically called to New Jersey found themselves diverted to Long Island, NY after they arrived because they use non-union labor. Alabama is a right-to-work state. WAFF-TV of Hunstville, AL reports:
Crews from Huntsville, as well as Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can't do any work there since they're not union employees....
Understandably, Moore said they're frustrated being told "thanks, but no thanks."
With so much at stake--and lives still in danger--it would seem logical to tell special interests to step aside.
On Wednesday, while visiting cleanup efforts in New Jersey in the company of Gov. Chris Christie, President Barack Obama vowed: "We are not going to tolerate red tape, we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy."
Unless, of course, that red tape is enforced by Obama's union cronies. Then stranded residents have to wait.
Here is a photo of the devastation of the town the crews were to have assisted--Seaside Heights, NJ:
STATEN ISLAND NEEDS HELP, THEIR NOT GETTING AID WITH THE DEADLIEST ZONE AND MANY DEAD. SO FAR 19 BODIES FOUND.
By Jeff Black, NBC News
Staten Island, just a ferry ride from Manhattan but often seen as the neglected stepchild of the New York metropolis, apparently was the city's deadliest zone in Superstorm Sandy – accounting for half the human toll.
On Thursday the bodies of two young boys who were swept away from their mother’s grasp during the storm surge were recovered, NBC News reported. A missing husband and wife were also found dead Thursday, NBCNewYork.com reported.
That brought the toll on the island to 19, NBCNewYork.com reported. On Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Superstorm Sandy is responsible for the deaths of at least 37 New Yorkers.
Indeed, Staten Island, which took a direct blow from Sandy, is a scene of immeasurable misery and utter devastation, with homes obliterated, others off their foundations in addition to widespread flooding.
"The city of New York right now is talking about getting water out of the Battery Tunnel and preparing for a marathon," U.S. Rep. Rep. Michael Grimm said. "We're pulling bodies out of the water. You see the disconnect here?"
NYPD officials have denied to NBC News that Staten Island’s working class neighborhoods have come after wealthier areas.
“We are heading into the area where there is major destruction now,” Red Cross spokeswoman Anne Marie Borrego told NBC News late Thursday.
The Red Cross, Borrego said, has five emergency response stations set up at New Dorp Lane in the borough and the organization’s New York CEO, Josh Lockwood, is on the scene.
While looking over the wreckage of his cousin's house on Thursday, Tom Monigan talked about his cousin George Dresch, who died in the surge of water with his daughter Angela, 13, on Staten Island. George Dresch's wife Patricia was reported to be in critical condition at the hospital.
"Not in a million years, did I expect to see this," Monigan told NBC News. "This is unbelievable, I mean for George to lose his life and his daughter and his wife to be in the condition she's in it's a sin, it's unreal, I can't believe I'm looking at this. Terrible."
"You can replace this stuff, but it's what happens to people," Monigan said, "it changes their life forever and it's terrible. People are worried because they don't have electricity, Jesus, this is the real deal right here."
Rescue workers who are part of a task force of searchers gathered on Staten Island on Thursday have fanned out with maps to search the hardest hit areas in the city. Large trucks and other equipment with Homeland Security decals began arriving late in the day on Sunday.
Phyllis Puglia didn't lose any family members, but she did lose lose virtually everything else. "I want to go home," Puglia told NBC News' Ann Curry. "But there's no home. I can't go home and that's killing me. That's breaking my heart.”
Oct 30, 2012
NEW YORK – Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, battered the nation’s eastern seaboard on Tuesday, swamping New York City streets with record levels of floodwater, blacking out power to millions of people and bringing transportation to a halt through much of the region.
At least 13 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy, which dropped just below hurricane status before going ashore in New Jersey on Monday, according to officials and media reports. More than 1 million people across a dozen states were under orders to evacuate as the massive system continued to plow westward.
3.1 million without power; sustained winds at 80 mph; transportation crippled
By M. Alex Johnson NBC News updated 30 minutes ago
Hurricane Sandy began breaking up as it hit the New Jersey shore Monday evening on what's expected to be a destructive path across the Northeast, killing two people, plunging more than 3 million into darkness and crippling transportation across a huge swath of the Eastern U.S.
Sandy made landfall at Atlantic City, N.J., about 6:45 p.m. ET, throwing off sustained winds of 90 mph, NBC New York reported. By 8 p.m., its center was about 5 miles southwest of Atlantic City and about 40 miles northeast of Cape May, N.J. Maximum sustained winds had fallen to 80 mph.
The National Hurricane Center re-designated Sandy as a "post-tropical cyclone," saying it was rapidly losing its tropical characteristics as it merged into an enormous nor'easter. While it was still packing hurricane-force winds, the worst appeared to be over, said Bill Karins, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel.
At least three people were killed Monday:
The National Weather Service predicted "historic and life-threatening coastal flooding" through Tuesday morning, with the greatest danger coming at high tide. That was coming as early as 8:53 p.m. ET at the southern tip of Manhattan, which is known as the Battery, to as late as midnight ET in Stamford, Conn.
As Hurricane Sandy nears the East Coast, residents face rising water and strong winds. The federal government announced its offices would be closed Tuesday, and many school districts, trains, bridges and Wall Street operations were canceled Tuesday ahead of the storm.
NEW YORK — Hurricane Sandy wheeled toward land as forecasters feared Monday, raking cities along the Northeast corridor with rain and wind gusts, flooding shore towns, washing away a section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and threatening to cripple Wall Street and New York's subway system with a huge surge of corrosive seawater.
The storm picked up speed in the afternoon and was expected to blow ashore in New Jersey or Delaware by the evening, hours sooner than previously expected. Forecasters warned it would combine with two other weather systems - a wintry storm from the west and cold air rushing in from the Arctic - to create an epic superstorm.
By midafternoon, the storm was 55 miles southeast of Cape May, N.J., its winds at 90 mph. It had speeded up to 28 mph and had begun the turn toward the coast that forecasters had feared.
From Washington to Boston, subways, buses, trains and schools were shut down and more than 7,000 flights grounded across the region of 50 million people. The New York Stock Exchange was closed. And hundreds of thousands of people were under orders to move to higher ground to await the storm's fury.
More than 1 million people lost power as the storm closed in.
In New York, waves splashed over the sea walls at the southern tip of Manhattan, already at Hurricane Irene levels Monday hours before the worst of a mammoth storm was to hit the nation's largest city with a wall of water that could reach 11 feet.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed two key tunnels to downtown Manhattan after the city shut its mass transit system, stock exchanges, schools and Broadway and ordered hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes ahead of Hurricane Sandy's storm surge. While light rain fell steadily and New Yorkers still bustled on the streets, Cuomo warned residents to get out of the way.
"Don't be fooled, don't look out the window and say, it doesn't look so bad," Cuomo said. "The worst is still coming."
Because of Sandy's vast reach, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 500 miles from its center, other major cities across the Northeast - Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston - also prepared to for the worst.
"The days ahead are going to be very difficult," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said. "There will be people who die and are killed in this storm."
Federal government offices in Washington, D.C., will be closed to the public on Tuesday, as Hurricane Sandy threatens to cause extensive damage to the area. Amtrak also said it has canceled all Tuesday service in the Northeast due to high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy.
hurricane "sandy" a super-storm created by haarp
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