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Relief from Hurricane Sandy slow for some
Erica Taylor and a friend are overwhelmed by the task of cleaning up her water logged apartment, home to seven children in the Rockaways section of New York.
November 3rd, 2012
08:41 PM ET

Relief from Hurricane Sandy slow for some

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

(CNN)  - One side of the Rockaways in New York received national attention soon after hurricane Sandy tore a path of destruction. Over 100 homes in the ocean front community of Breezy Point burned to the ground.

But, residents on the other side of the Rockaways are asking why it took almost a full week for a full scale relief effort to reach them.

[2:05] "I seen the Red Cross van came in and they didn't have anything on the van actually. No band aids, nothing, no water... nothing to help us, just driving through," said Lenny Theophile as he washed away salt water and mud from his first floor apartment.

It wasn't until Saturday morning that residents of the low income community on the east side of the Rockaways saw a well organized relief effort taking shape. Erica Taylor looked shell shocked as she and a friend cleaned out a wrecked apartment that was home to seven children.

[2:58] "I can't do this. I need to get out of here. I need help. I gotta get out of here. This is horrible. Did you see my room?"

People here complained that their better off neighbors in Belle Harbor and Breezy Point received help almost immediately while they were left to fend for themselves for several days. On Saturday, FEMA teams and other relief agencies were fanning out through their neighborhood.


Filed under: Soundwaves
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Trish

    I think some people are missing the big picture... especially about those who were or weren't in mandatory evacuation zones. When you're flooded out, you have no electric, no gas, no means to cook, and the food spoils. Also, it is not safe to eat from cans and plastic when it has been covered in muck, sewage and whatever else. Look at the bigger picture... no matter how much you stocked up, much of it is wasted and not suitable for eating or drinking. Wake up!!!

    November 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CommonSenseMother

    We have not learned anything from Katrina. It's every man for themselves. When they tell you to get out, get out. The government is NOT going to help you right away, maybe in a few weeks/months. But right now in the moment, don't count on it. The government told people to stock up for 3 days, when they should have said 2 weeks. It should have been common sense looking at the size of the storm bearing down on the coast. Now this is worse than Katrina because of the cold. There needs to be many organized groups in charge of the rescue and clean up effort. They are still building parts of New Orleans, does that tell you how quickly the government works??

    November 4, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joeymom

    Why is this taking so long? We are not a third world country! PEople are told to prepare for 3-4 days, but it has been nearly a week... and personally, why would it take 3-4 days, when we knew for a good week ahead of time that this storm was coming and people would likely be in need? This. Is. SHAMEFUL. We can helicopter in fully armored SEALs to a rooftop in a third-world country, but we can't seem to get National Guard folks into a hurricane- struck zone with food, shelter, fuel, medicine, ANYTHING? Even just hands to help would have been huge.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Actually, after Katrina the government advised people should be able to survive 6 weeks without help in the event of a disaster. Clearly most of these people have not done so. I live in Florida. My brother lives here too. We are up to about 8 weeks worth of food and supplies in stock, to include food for our pets. It is not difficult to do if you get a little here and a little there over time.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. SB

    If the relief efforts are like this from the organizations at home imagine what would have been the help provided abroad. It is a waste to donate anything to these relief organizations.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. amarjeet

    Juliana ex-Mayor of NY is more worried of Libya 4 dead than those dying in thousands NY for their myopic planning & neglect when he was Mayor in 2001. He neglected to protect Sub Ways from flooding and with dewatering equipment during heavy rains & storms havoc as well Disaster Plan for Sandy like Storms havoc. Not only NY all Sub ways need solution to water dewatering as a part of solution to this great safety hazard. Giuliani assertion in NY public address for President Obama to resign are not worthy of him as he never criticized once G.W. Bush for lack of proactive and positive action to prevent 911 as well unpreparedness for other actions and lack of exercises for his command during emergency. He had to huddle in Primary School in visiting state and VP Cheney was feeling odd to work from underground command post which he never visited earlier. At such situations, President is never criticized but offered solutions for future as well cooperation to accelerate present solution for convenience of people of America. Sandy Super storm has given evidence of absence of Disaster Plan by Governors despite ominous weather forecast and warnings of impending devastations. Giuliani claim for Obama resignation at this juncture is very unfortunate and reflects bad & more on him for his lack of vision & leadership skills.US has to have solutions to subways water dewatering immediately, restoring power, and serving food, giving medical cover and rescue operation to protect bewildered people of America in States of East Coast. It is constructive actions which are needed not criticism and is a failure of States Governors requiring Emergency by WH to deploy Army Resources for normalizing human life in East Coast States in addition to National Guards troops. Sub Ways could also be used as public shelter as per military history of WWII in EU.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. liberal disease

    government is not the answer, Obama, Bloomie both big gov types and it is failing badly.. where is Obama, Vegas, Ohio?
    who knows?

    November 4, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Woody Stemms

    It's a bad situation, no doubt about it.

    But, Ms. Erica Taylor, the woman in the photo, made it worse for herself.

    Has she ever heard of "birth control", much less tried to use it?

    If she didn't have 7 fatherless kids, her burden, and our burden, would be lighter.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I suggest that we focus our energy on helping rather than commenting on the effectiveness of individuals and institutions. There is a time for that, but what people need now is your help. Everyone can do something if you really apply yourself.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
      • ForGoodOfAll

        I agree, Steve.

        November 4, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Marion

      Where does it say anything in this article that the seven children are "fatherless"? Just because she is shown with a "friend" helping her clean up does not mean she is a single mother or that the children are fatherless. That is quite an assumption on your part....and quite obviously racist

      November 4, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • scrabster

      Wrong, Steve this is the prefect time to note that most of this woman's problems are self indicted. An inability to exercise self control, like all stupidity should be painful. I know that as a leftist you wish for irresponsible behavior to never be shown as self destructive, but the adults still standing know better.
      .

      November 4, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike in Indy

    Is it possible, or even reasonable for us to expect all the agencies involved in relief to be able to help millions upon millions of people in the days or weeks after a natural disaster? I can understand the frustration by victims of the storm but it's going to take time.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Yes it is.
      It is called PRO-ACTIVE-PLANNING FOR THESE DISASTERS..

      I have donated to the Red Cross many times..An empty truck?????..Out for a scenic ride??
      No band-aids..No Water???
      Get someone in charge who knows how to organize and get things done!!
      Have we learned nothing from Katrina???
      It is not up to the Red Cross to take a tour..It is up to the Red Cross to hand-out much needed items and help the people!!
      The mayor is the one to blame for not making sure every part of his city was attended to..
      YES–YOUR MAYOR...YOUR VERY OWN MAYOR THAT WAS ATTENDING TO MATTERS OF A MARATHON!!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Pete

        A lot was learned from Katrina. Ensure you plan for your own needs in advance. FEMA did a million times better for Sandy but it will never be possible to get to everyone's needs as quick as desired. This would be the case with unlimited money and resources as at a point adding more people into an area makes things worse. There area areas that did not get addressed as quickly as others and hopefully all these are getting taken care of.

        November 4, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Of course it is, as long as FEMA is not involved, just look at how fast temp shelters, food and water reached Haiti.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. REDFIRESTORM

    CNN BREAKING NEWS: A significant subtle shift in the composition of the voting electorate through the course of the past four years - undetected by the media and general public -was recently uncovered. This change will give Team Romney good cause to smile, and MSNBC to go into "Code Blue," on election night. Governor Romney and Paul Ryan both have the choice of staying home, sip on Mai Tai and just enjoy the show. CNN knows the change but will probably keep it a secret until the last minute. Hint: National 15% who voted early: R52 - D45. These are not predictions. POTUS approval rating (white): 38%. Good luck POTUS, and go to hell punk.

    November 4, 2012 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
    • eastcoast Mike

      This is not the time or the place for your tired, inaccurate political nonsense.....

      November 4, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      Spoken like a heartless, souless, piece of ss-hh-ii-tt Republican! How do you sleep at night when there is so much hate and filth inside of you? SHAME!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Are you also a believer in the nonsense about weather modification and the storm being pushed around and regenerated?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Marion

      Oh, it's you again. Allow me to ask you why you think that CNN has not reported that "38%" of WHITE MALES are against Obama? Been listening to only faux news and Rush? Why don't you tell us what the percentage was of WHITE MALES who were against Obama was when he was elected in 2008??

      November 4, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. QuietStormX

    I mean this storm was forcasted well ahead of time for people to vacuate unpretected areas. They were given plenty of time to prepare or vacuate. People are acting like someone is suppose to show up overnight with things they need? No! It was so much damage that it it going to take a long time. Things have to be made and if they should allow those so close to the water or beach.

    November 4, 2012 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
    • East Coast

      I must agree. We had enough supplies for every man, woman and child in the home. We had days of notice and time to evacuate if necessary. If I had seven children, I would have been out working for days. These people sit there and expect someone to come, pay for everything and make it all better. Relief came to those who had their homes BLOWN OFF THE MAP. It looks like she has a home, four walls and she's not going to starve anytime soon. Give me a break. Where is her first aid kit? She needs band-aids? Unreal what people expect in their entitlement mentality.

      November 4, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
      • lonewolf

        So where is your proof that they did absolutely nothing? Where is your proff that she and her family lived with a entitlement mentality?They like most people in the NY and other east coast areas were totally unprepared, so do all these other folks also live with an entitlement mentality? I suspect no, that this was just your knee jerk response to seeing a minority family hurting and crying out for help. I certainly have seen a lot of white folks doing the same. People on the east coast unlike the gulf states are not used to dealing with disasters such as a hurricane. We deal with it almost yearly. But one thing I can tell you is after one hits you see folks of both colors looking for help from the FEMA and State Government. Some who really need help and others who absolutely do not! You also see private sector contractors ripping off the government and the people.

        November 4, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
        • clarity

          Good lord! Immediately someone out there has to turn this into a racist thing. EVERYONE needed to get out of there, and it will take time for those who stayed. Where's the proof? Really??

          It was all over the news to evacuate ahead of time. If you didn't see that, then you got problems man. And all you have to do is read the article above to know she still has her house and is asking for band-aids. Read it and you will find it.

          But, if you're looking for racism so much, then why don't you ask Obama why he's being so racist by helping the 'whitey' before the black folks? After all...that's what you're saying, right?? Everyone attacked Bush for not doing enough. So, go yell at Obama, now! They're not moving any faster.

          The fact is government is not your god, or your daddy, or your personal daycare. Self reliance, and people coming together to help each other is the best way of working. The private individuals will kick butt over government any day.

          November 4, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
        • Sue

          Lonewolf, they were totally unprepared. That is the point. The government can not come in and swiftly rescue anyone when there is this much devastation. They should have been prepared for basic survival: food, water, and cold gear. There is no excuse for anyone to have been caught off guard since NOAA tracked the storm quite well and everyone had 3-5 days notice. Nothing was learned from Katrina.

          November 4, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Been there

    I have been down this road myself although not to the extreme devastation like these poor folks who have been to hell and back. I can understand their frustration, being over whelmed with the task in front of them, the lack of everyday basic needs and what they see as a hopeless situation. BUT they need to stop whining and complaining and get to work and start putting their own lives back together. Use your head! If you can't get out, how do they get in? One of the stupidest things I heard a reporter ask an official was why they didn't have the aid stations in place before the storm where they knew it was going to hit. Okay so lets put the aid stations in the path of the storm and have that wiped out also! OMG! Really? Unfortunately things take time to get totally organized no matter what kind of planning is done, that all can change in an instant. Why? Because that is life. Stop blaming everyone in the government, local, state or federal. I have dealt with FEMA personally, 15 years ago. Wasn't then and isn't now a speedy process but it does happen. OH and when I was living though my devastating experience it was the middle of January with 7 ft of icy flood water in my home and 25 degrees during the day. Was it cold? Yep! What did we do? What needed to be done!! If we had waited for the Red Cross or FEMA we would have waited to long and lost our home. People need to help themselves and the rest will come. God bless all of those effected by this storm. You will survive and learn from this.

    November 4, 2012 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
    • SK-B

      Our entire basement and first floor of living space was flooded by Irene. Fema set up an emergency center, but refused to come to the house when I told them that the fieldstone basement was caving in, and asked them to advise me what I needed to do. The FEMA workers were basically reading scripts instead of listening and offering appropriate help, and they seemed to have not real interest in helping people who needed them, just there to put in their hours.

      The Red Cross showed up on the street a week after the flood, and all they wanted to do was to have us answer a questionnaire so they could turn in their quota.

      The United Way published a web address for people wanting to volunteer or needing help, but when I looked at it, there were endless online forms to fill out and supposedly they would get back to you later. I did not have time to fool with bureaucracy when time was of the essence to get the house dried out and prevent mold.

      But neighbors showed up immediately, even strangers asking: "How can we help?" On short notice, we were able to assemble a dozen or so volunteers for a mucket brigade to carry the heaving, stinking mud out of the basement.

      The day after the flood, in addition to people we knew, a woman came by, helped clean mud for several hours, and left before we could get her name or thank her. A van pulled up and three young guys got out to help. They had just come from another flooded area where they were helping. For the next 3 days, they returned each day, worked hard including carrying soggy, stinking furniture to a dumpster, leaving at the end of each day exhausted and covered with stinking mud.

      A small church got a couple of truckloads of shovels, fans, gloves, cleaning supplies from their out of state affiliated churches, and offered whatever help they could to anyone who needed it. They did not preach one word – they witnessed the love of Christ by action.

      The bureaucracies were pathetic excuses for what real community is about. The real help came from people acting directly from the heart.

      SK-B
      Brattleboro, Vermont

      November 4, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Dickie

      I totally agree. I have not heard one person say in all the interviews, "Thank God I'm (we're) alive". I am so tired of hearing the whining and crying. We have had all kinds of horrible weather in the south. Maybe we're just a stronger bunch of people. We survived and came back better!! Get busy and help yourselves!! Don't wait on the government.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. OldGuy

    Relief comes slow huh? Maybe if the union types didn't try to turn away help from non-union utility workers coming to help, it might go a little faster. You reap what you sow.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
    • exactly

      what a bunch of idiots, unions calling relief workers scabs..... they are SLIME!!!!

      November 4, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. solaris

    The truth is New York City and NJ are coastal areas which are densely populated Given this geographical fact such a hurricane was going to come sooner or later which will cause heavy damages to a lot of people . It will also require costly rebuilding given that the property values are very high . If the residents of this area are not prepared to accept this reality, they have no one else to blame. If you live close to the sea, you can get hit by a hurricane at any time .

    November 4, 2012 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Johny Rich

    You are lucky there is FEMA to care. IF this was a republican country, your only hope is the local chapter of the Mormon church. Maybe they will come and convert you after you're dead.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Sroz

      After 9/11, the Southern Baptist relief team, which is organized and ready to move on a moment's notice, sent in volunteers to clean the apartments of residents who were near Ground Zero. They did this free of charge because they cared. During Hurricane Katrina, they sent groups to take care of children while their parents stood in lines for food and water. There's a place for everybody to help when people are hurting.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. josh rogen

    I love how everyone jumps to defend FEMA's short coming since to do otherwise might hurt our chances to suffer 4 more years of Obama.

    November 4, 2012 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Shadowreign

      Josh, Perhaps if you had even one iota of knowledge about how FEMA operates, you might not sound like such a moron. I worked for the agency for over 10 years......back before it was absorbed into DHS. Yes, now that DHS is calling the shots, things work slower and there is more beauracy....what else do you expect when an agency absorbs another for the sole reason of gaining thier budget?

      The simple fact is that FEMA is prohibited BY LAW from responding without a request from the State Governor's Office through the STATE Emergency Management Agency. Even then, once that request is received and approved, FEMA must direct supplies and relief efforts where the STATE says to. So if you want to blame someone, perhaps you should educate yourself (start by reading The Stafford Act....it's what dictates what FEMA can and cannot do) and then place blame squarely on those agencies which direct FEMA and tell FEMA when and where to send supplies and relief......IN OTHER WORDS, YOUR STATE AGENCIES AND YOUR STATE GOVERNOR.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Maps

        I think you are correct in all you say, yet they blamed Busch for Katrina's slow response. I haven't heard Kanye West go on TV and say Obama hates black people yet. So I know what you think about Moose1, but he has a point, and it's hard to ignore. Don.t misunderstand me Knaye's an idiot, and people need to start looking out for themselves.

        November 4, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  16. RetiredAllen

    With thousands of square miles decimated, all power down, thousands of building totally destroyed and millions of people displaced people still expect "the government" or some other charitable organizations to organize millions of pounds of relief supplies, figure out all the logistics, with thousands of helicopters, trucks, ships and any other mehtod to show up and have it all fixed and open in a couple of days... especially their life and problems. Especially the ones who totally ignored every warning to evaculate, because "...it wouldn't be that bad". Perhaps next time you will listen to the national weather service crying "wolf".

    November 4, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      We seem to be able to come up with relief supplies for other countries. How about our own for a change?

      November 4, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
      • Lee

        We are responding to this disaster but some things take time. The damage here is very very widespread and even our resources are insufficient to reach everyone immediately. Apparently that is what everyone wants but it simply cannot be done.

        November 4, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Duuuuurp

        Say it with us.... SU_PER_ST_ORM

        idget.

        November 4, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  17. XXxxMacleodxxXX

    Where you at Kanye? These people not black enough for you to fight for??? or just too white???cowardly trash

    November 4, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  18. lizzytalorburton

    Obama took the photo op in NJ and off he went to party and campaign in Las Vegas AGAIN!!!

    He's an egomaniac, only wants to win the election, he doesn't care about that poor woman with her 7 beautiful children, in an unbearable situation with all kinds of water damage and ruination. And the guy who said why did she have 7 children, he was wrong to say that. A lot of people have big families. The storm is hurting a lot of people and they should have gotten help by now from a country as rich as ours. We need new leaders, vote Romney please !!!! We need someone who will work harder to help us not hurt us like Obama does. Obama caused more trouble than any President we ever had. Please do the right thing on Tuesday, we need a real leader, otherwise we won't have a wonderful country anymore.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • bklyngrl

      Obama has caused more trouble than any other president? How about the war we got into because of weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist? How many Americans died in that unnecessary war?

      Obama took his photo op and went back to campaigning. I guess that is better than buying $5000 of supplies and handing them out to your supporters to give back to you so it looks like they contributed.

      This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with people coming together to help their neighbors in need.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
      • RJ

        I wish there was a 'like' button here...

        November 4, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
      • XXxxMacleodxxXX

        I like to defer my failures on idiots before me as well....makes me look more manly .......

        November 4, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • ?

      Romney plans on getting rid of FEMA.

      November 4, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  19. bklyngrl

    As someone who lives in a neighborhood that was ravaged by the storm, this story is a little misleading. It was not just the low-income areas where the response is slow. I live in one of the middle-class neighborhoods and today was the first day that anyone from FEMA showed up. We had over 9 feet of flooding in our area and some of us still do not have power. From what I understand from my friends that live in Breezy, the response there has been slow as well. Breezy as well as Belle Harbor *should* have been the ones to receive aid first as those areas were hit the hardest.

    To the Mom commenter, not all of the badly damaged areas were evacuated. Breezy was evacuated and because of that, from what I understand, there were no lives lost. Areas like Gerritsen Beach, which is surrounded on 3 sides by water, was not evacuated.

    Also, the aid that is being offer from FEMA is limited. In most of the areas impacted, homeowners cannot obtain flood insurance because they are too close to the water. FEMA will not cover any damage in basements as it is considered storage area. The basements in the neighborhood where I live are street level and most people use it as an additional bedroom–none of the damage will be covered.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • XXxxMacleodxxXX

      FEMA is a supplement of the federal to reassure your states emergency relief plans....blame your state

      November 4, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
      • bklyngrl

        To reassure my state? Do they give NY a pat on the back?

        November 4, 2012 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
        • Shadowreign

          The simple fact is that FEMA is prohibited BY LAW from responding without a request from the State Governor's Office through the STATE Emergency Management Agency. Even then, once that request is received and approved, FEMA must direct supplies and relief efforts where the STATE says to. So if you want to blame someone, perhaps you should educate yourself (start by reading The Stafford Act....it's what dictates what FEMA can and cannot do) and then place blame squarely on those agencies which direct FEMA and tell FEMA when and where to send supplies and relief......IN OTHER WORDS, YOUR STATE AGENCIES AND YOUR STATE GOVERNOR.

          November 4, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Insuranceguy

      So you say you can't get flood insurance because you live to close to the water? Uhh.. thats why the government makes you get flood insurance in identified flood zones.. And there is no Private Flood insurance.. All flood insurance is through the Government...facilitated by your insurance agent.. so.. BKLYNGRL.. shoosh... time to be quiet now...

      November 4, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
      • bklyngrl

        Actually, your community needs to participate in NFIP in order to get flood insurance. If you don't live in a participating community, you can buy PRIVATE flood insurance, which is usually called "excess coverage." Thanks for your expertise.

        November 4, 2012 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Le

      But I saw on the news a man from Breezy who was too busy having a hurricane party to evacuate. They are fortunate no one died, but not because they didn't evacuate. I read that is a community of a lot of firefighters and policemen, so perhaps they knew how to act DURING the emergency but sorry, it sure sounds like a lot of arrogance BEFORE the hurricane. People wanted to stay and "protect" thier house- Really?? who thinks they can stand up to a hurricane??

      November 4, 2012 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  20. common sense

    This is a tragedy, there is no way around that. It's unfortunate, but this kind of journalism is the worst. If they can't help everyone at once, who do they help first? Makes more sense that the people who pay the most taxes get aid first. It's not like its a life or death situation for anyone yet. Go without power for a few days. If you didn't stock up on food, well you are just plain dumb. Don't expect the government to do everything for you.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  21. Marketsharetax

    I am surprised by comments the majority makes. Wait 2 week for any help? I have watched the video here how one man who was prepaired, he was saving people from their houses by using his canoe. Where was FEMA at that time? Where was national guard? where was red cross? Those organizations should be part of the military forces, they should have access to the best technology, best knowledge. They should react at least as fast as freeway police in this country. They knew about the huricate 8 days prior to the landfall, why did not they deploy heavy equipment in the right place and time? The way United States handles nature disasters is shamefull.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  22. Chad Nel

    Ha ha, serves these people right for voting for Obama. Maybe now they'll cast a vote for Romney. He would have prevented this tragedy; He has a vision for this country. Obama has done so much damage with his socialism, such as this disaster. We need a person like Romney who can prevent these tragedies.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • bklyngrl

      Romney, the one who wants to cut FEMA funding? That same Romney? Doubtful this will change anyone's vote to him.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • jarrett622

      Please explain to me how Romney would have prevented this hurricane or the damage hurricanes cause. There *really* are some very stupid people out there.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  23. Alfed

    Im not the first one to say the New York area populous have been out of touch with reality for years with substantial buidling codes allowing construction in flood zones. The elected officals in the N.Y. area should be required to visit the Gulf coast before they take office to learn how to prepare for a potential hurricane, and learn elementary construction techniques for high winds! Has anyone in N.Y. heard of natural gas powered generators. This is what happens when you have complacent elected officals with no common sense.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      there is a lot of this country at risk – on the coasts and inland as well. it is not easy for politicians to tell people they can't live someplace anymore, or if they do, they do so at their own risk. it is time for us to start having some adult conversations with each other – not accusing or judging, just grown-up.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  24. YoureAbadMom

    Theres a level of stupid in this country thats never going to be pacified. Before posting comments about these ppl who are suffering a natural catastrophe thats straight out of a Discovery Channel documentary, realize that there are a lot of kids who WERENT in a mandatory evacuation zone, who are now in houses that dont have power. Some are missing school because its still closed. They are not going to have heat tonight while temperatures are in the 30s. Their parents, who in many cases are already suffering because of the economy, still cant go to work because where they work has no power. Not every casualty of this tragedy is the result of some dare-devil who hung out by the beach to watch a storm.
    I truly believe thats theres a lot of callous ppl commenting here that would benefit from a severe ass beating. Who takes advantage of such a situation to post a "ha-ha" comment about innocent ppl suffering to recover from a storm like this? You're pathetic...

    November 4, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      It is time now to help and show compassion. And we should remember that a city without power or other basic services is uninhabitable. It's going to take a very long time for some areas to be restored. That means a large number of people will have to be resettled elsewhere, just as in Katrina. It is a very hard thing, but true. We need to start having that conversation soon.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
      • RJ

        Im not sure who you are or what your deal is, but your comment reflects a general misinterpretation of the situation at large. Not everyone who is affected by this lives in an unworkable city & therefor needs relocating. The majority of the area affected with no power here is on Long Island; where my family lives. Its just a matter of time before the power goes on and gas gets to the stations. Theres no need for ppl to relocate except in smaller pockets of certain communities along the south shore. You're comparison to Katrina to this above comment is non-sensical and it might serve you well to acquire a greater understanding of the particulars before chiming in like that. I also doubt you're feeling a whole lot of more compassion for where I grew up and have family living than me. I think you are confusing compassion with impotence... when ppl from our own country are making disparaging remarks about ppl who are suffering quietly for the MOST part, they should be told to shut up. So take your hippie comments elsewhere.

        November 4, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  25. Steve

    In a disaster of this scale, there will always delays, confusion, and those who are overlooked. What encourages me is the level of cooperation between all levels of government, the good planning and pre-positioning of supplies that took place, and the fact that FEMA is on the ground quickly. This will be a long process and patience is going to be needed, but let's give credit to the response to date but also stay on top of it.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  26. Brad

    it makes since that the well off people get help first, after all, they put way more money and time into the funds that brought the stuff in. They are also the ones that will get things running the fastest. Help them first, and the others will get help quicker. It is just the way things work, and it is the way things should work.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I don't think that is it in this case, I think it is simply the scale of the disaster. Lots of poor areas have been helped, but it will take time to reach everyone.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers08

      Amen to that Brad.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  27. Tim

    You ppl are a bunch of nitwits and morons. Metro NYC has a population roughly equal to the states of Miss,. Alabama, and Louisiana combined. With the transportation system badly damaged, (the subway and road tunnels flooded) the only access to most of the city and nassau and sulfolk counties on Long Island are bridges which must absorb all traffic which would usually transit the tunnels , the Long Island Railroad and the Subway. The only resolution to this situation is time.

    November 4, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  28. Gonzo

    After Hurricane Andrew, the only category 5 storm to hit the US in the last 50 years, people in south Miami-Dade County were without power for two months, and without water for weeks. They lived in Army tent cities, and their food was Army rations. The temperature was in the mid 90s, with the usual Miami humidity. They had no hope of ever going home again, because their homes had been blown away. Some survived the 165mph winds holding on to the only thing that didn't blow away, their toilet. They made it through. One day at a time. Most of them are still around today. Faith and patience, New Yorkers. One day at a time! But definitely demand that your public officials act quickly. The squeaky wheel gets the grease first!!

    November 4, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  29. Moose1

    Help is slow coming because Barack-o and Michelle hate white people!

    November 4, 2012 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Shadowreign

      Moose, thank you for making it abundantly clear that you're a complete moron.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
      • ForGoodOfAll

        yes, and a filthy bigot as well...

        November 4, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  30. skastenbaumcnn

    Steve Kastenbaum here, the reporter who put this story together. I'd like to request that we keep this discussion free of politics. There are plenty of other stories on CNN.com where it is more appropriate to talk about the election. Please, have some respect for the people from all walks of life who lost everything including loved ones. Thank you.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Vet guy

      Of course this type of format allows anyone to contribute their thoughts so some comments need to be taken with a grain of salt...but reality and facts and critical thinking has certainly taken a back seat in the last few contentious years. 60 million people have been affected and the infrastructure that supports them and would allow for aid in all its forms hav been seriously compromised and yet instead of it being a wake up call about how difficult it is to get aid out in such a circumstance nd in future crisis the discussion degenerates into childish expectations or ideological fighting. If we do not mature as a country and if we do not have fact free ideology challenged we cannot govern ourselves.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers08

      Thank you, well said Steve.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
  31. joe

    Don't worry, Obama got his photo opportunity already. He will think of something to help you white people after Tuesday if he wins.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  32. Chazzo

    What the heck is she doing with 7 kids. What kind of moron has 7 kids?

    November 4, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      That's a bit judgmental, don't you think? They're not all hers. In the story I said seven children lived there. I didn't say they were all her children.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose1

      Who are you calling a moron? Each kid is a tit on the welfair cow!!! She's probably pregnant again as this is being written!!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
      • skastenbaumcnn

        Hey Moose, how about cooling it down for a moment. People died in this storm. It's not the venue for this kind of ridiculous rhetoric. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who lost everything except for the clothes on their back. Where's your heart? Perhaps you need to walk around some of the destruction to understand.

        November 4, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
        • ForGoodOfAll

          Yes, I agree with your post. Stop the bigotry and hateful comments about these fellow American families facing such a terrible tragedy. Think about the poor innocent children who are suffering. Some people have no sense of compassion, yet they identify with the so-called 'Religious Right'! Go figure...!!!

          November 4, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  33. Graham

    Barack Obama doesn't care about black people.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Who does? They suck!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
      • ForGoodOfAll

        Yup, another 'Religious Right' GOP voter, ha ha!

        November 4, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  34. geckoi

    I was without power for close to a month!!! Stop whining!!!! The people of NY and NJ are suck asses anyways! Sue happy idiots!

    November 4, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      Perhaps you should tour the damaged areas before making such comments. If you saw the enormity of the crisis right now you might talk in more civil tones.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
      • FrmerMArine

        Obama knew about hurricane Sandy days before it hit New York (and new jersey too) and he did NOTHING to stop it! How can we trust a man like Obama who IGNORES our national security and just ALLOWS a hurricane to hit our greatest city and some other areas? Vote Romney/Ryan 2012!

        November 4, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
        • Le

          Right! lol

          November 4, 2012 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
        • jarrett622

          What is it with you people who blame Obama for the weather? Are you all really that clueless? And what has politics got to do with this storm? Good grief. Get a grip people. People died, lost everything they owned and this is the best you can do. Jeez.

          November 4, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
        • ForGoodOfAll

          total b.s.

          November 4, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  35. Texas Coastal Resident

    Hmmm. Some of us in Texas were without power for 2 weeks after Ike. These people are a bunch of whiners. They should have prepared. They should have listened to the warnings. Granted, I was greatly po'd that it took so long for my power to be restored after Ike. BTW, I am white and relatively affluent, as is my neighborhood, so the fact that I did not have my power restored quickly or receive a lot of government attention had nothing to do with race or affluence. Rather, it was based on the biggest bang for the buck. These whiners should get over it and cope. They will receive aid in due course.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  36. TJ

    It's true they didn't help the less well off sections of the Rockaways quick enough and I have been complaining about that, but they have also been ignoring the entire South Shore of Long Island, and there are plenty of well off people living there who still need help.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  37. David

    @Mom, whether or not they chose to evacuate affects only their survival during a storm. What we are talking about here is people trying to rescue their homes from flooding, or repair a roof to avoid further damage, or have money to replace a destroyed refrigerator so they can store and eat food, etc. That has nothing to do with whether they evacuated. To see that it took 5 days for aid to arrive seems like a lot to me... how about you?

    November 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  38. DaniellaJ

    Where is their savior Pres. Obama? When this happened with Hurrican Katrina Pres. Bush was practically burned at the stake. Where is the president's blame now? Hypocrits.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Humanity4All

    Living by the coastline does carrry risk. You should always make sure you have a insurance to cover the worst situations like this one, besides government help.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  40. REDFIRESTORM

    THE ANGRY BLUE SEES RED - ROMNEY AND RYAN SMELL LIKE MISTY ROSES IN NEW ENGLAND STINK - CNN BREAKING NEWS: Netanyehu reported to Gallup on 11/03 that Gov. Romney swept all American ex-pat votes - according to CNN estimates, Israeli Americans represent 20-25% of all ex-pat registered voters. Gov. Romney and Paul Ryan expanding the map and closing in on once-considered "safe" blue states from east to west overnight. There is no stopping the rage of Romney Fire anymore. POTUS base crumbling and falling into deep depresion fast as America gets ready to douse the Democrat fire with gasoline on Tuesday - BENGHAZI AND GOOD NIGHT IN TUNISIA.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Peter

    Many of these areas were "Zone B", meaning not evacuation. Where is all the outrage? 6 Days after the event, in very accesible areas, and people are left to fend for themselves. What, no cries of racism, since areas like Howard Beach and Staten Island are predominatly white? What gives? During Katrinae, where people were ordered to leave, the administration was accused of all kinds of things when the efforts were slow. This is not even close to Katrina, yet FEMA seems MIA. Accountability goes both ways.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vet guy

      The difference is that besides Bush being a total fool on so many other accounts...his crony politics had incompetents right from the beginning screw things up and h ignored even preliminary planning even after being warned ..so your knee jerk reaction probably aided by watching Fox News has no place in reality

      November 4, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
      • Peter

        Oh, I get it, because people like you didn't like his other policies, evrything he did must have been badly motivated. On the other hand, since you like Obama's other policies, whatever else he does is OK. I'm knne jerk though. LOL. I drove right into one of those neighborhoods ywo days ago just to pick up my daughter's friend so she could get some relief. People were out there directing traffic by themselves. It was like a scene from some sort of Zombie Apocalypse movie. Where is the government? The one you put count on to do everything? Why couldn't they drive into that neighborhood 6 days later? You and people like you are the biggest hypocrites, actually nitwits, on earth. Who would you taher trust, a person that is a millionaire that doesn't hide it or the one who is a millionaire who acts like he just came off food stamps. " I'm one of you" LOL What a bunch of roobs. BTW, I have not watched a program on Foxnews in my entire life. I makie my opinions baded on my life experiences. I was taught at a young age personal responsibility and to make it on my own, not on the backs of others. I served my country and I don't expect it to have to serve me my whole life for it. I made my own decisions and live with them.

        November 4, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  42. Mom

    If it was an area of mandatory evacuation, people should not expect help when they did not evacuate as required. One dumb decision means they need to deal with it. If it was not such an area, then it's truly just sad that help is slow to come.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      Yes, I agree with your viewpoint, Mom. I feel sorry for the poor children, though...

      November 4, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
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