POV: Lessons from Irene and Lee

In the span of a few short weeks, the Capital Region was hit with an earthquake, two tropical storms and a tornado. These alarming natural disasters left some wondering, “What’s next? The frogs and locusts?”

The body blows our area took from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, a week later, has had a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.

Many people sustained catastrophic damages to their homes and businesses.

Communities across Upstate New York have been torn apart by the devastation.

My office was impacted by these disasters not only by the effect on the constituents I represent, but also as one of my staff members lost their home and was forced to move because of flooding and water damage.

As the recovery continues, it’s critical that our state continues to do everything in its power to help our neighbors rebuild.

In the past few weeks, many have been working on several fronts to help flood victims rebuild and get back on their feet.

Along with the Governor’s efforts, I’ve called on his office to commence an evaluation of how prepared New York was with regards to Irene and how effective its response was in mitigating the storm’s impact.

Before Irene landed, most people believed New York City was going to take the brunt of the storm. Obviously, that didn’t happen and our area ended up getting hammered by Irene’s fury.

Perhaps New York attempted to do its best but hindsight is 20/20, and it is important that we evaluate how New York prepared and responded to this horrific situation.

That is why I believe it is important for Governor Cuomo to issue a public report so New York and its communities can better prepare for emergency procedures if we are ever faced with a disaster like this again.

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