Snarled City

On Wednesday, it took me about two hours to get to the office, and return home, mostly walking.  Yesterday, with the alternate bus and subway service, I was able to ride most of the way, but it still took two hours each way.  Con Ed says they’ll restore power in lower Manhattan by Saturday, and with that, hopefully, we can get trains over the Manhattan Bridge.

Still, I’m lucky I don’t drive, or else my life would be overtaken by the search for gasoline.

I was transfixed by the network news last night: I’ve seen disaster reports from other parts of the world often enough, but not from my own backyard.  A woman from Staten Island, which got hit badly, complained that her neighborhood was not getting help from the city.

But as far as I can tell, the city’s plans emergency plans did not include bags of goodies for people whose houses had blown away.  You were encouraged to stay with friends on higher ground, or failing that, go to a shelter.  But if you own a home, fixing the damage is your own responsibility, with the help of insurance, or possibly federal disaster relief money.

Most of the residential areas subject to flooding in NYC are occupied not by the very poor or the very rich, but by middle-class homeowners.  Their woes may be just beginning.