Stephen G. Post
For a lot of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans, these are the worst of times. Nature’s superstorm Sandy has shown us who’s boss, and we are living with the consequences that are nothing short of devastating. Then along comes Wednesday’s nor’easter to dump snow, freeze unheated flooded homes, and interfere with desperately needed gas deliveries and grid repairs. The losses of life and property are staggering and can shake the foundations of faith and hope in everyday living. Communities on Long Island like Babylon, Lindenhurst, and Sayville are still really struggling, and the trauma is exacerbated by the same sense of abandonment felt in neighborhoods like Rockaways, Staten Island, Red Hook in Brooklyn and the Jersey Shore. Basic needs are not being met, and there is a case to be made that the institutions of state and national government have lacked foresight.
The shadowy side of human nature comes out under such conditions. There is anarchy here and there, looters abound, and sporadic episodes of violence arise at the gas stations as police stand guard. Tempers can get short, and arguments erupt. But for the most part, people are just crying out for help in their desperation, and they are frustrated and scared for their loved ones and for themselves. The hardest hit may hear that things will get back to normal, but not for them for a long while, and their very survival remains a question. READ MOREGiving When Storms Hit