State report suggests how to prepare for next Sandy

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A commission created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo released suggestions today about how New York should prepare for future storms like Hurricane Sandy.

The governor appointed the Moreland Commission in November to evaluate how the state could be better equipped for another superstorm.

Introducing the report, Cuomo said New York State needs to be more ready for the next floodwaters.

“In the past, so much of the discussion on disaster preparedness was hypothetical,” he said, adding, “We don’t have to assume. We had a hurricane. … We saw what happened.”

Cuomo said he wanted a briefing before the State of the State address, which he will deliver Wednesday.

The Commission presented a report to the governor that primarily focused on utilities, which Cuomo said were one of the main problems following the storm.

During Sandy, 2.1 million people lost service, compared to Hurricane Irene, when 1.1 million lost service.

About 90 percent of Long Islanders were left without power, and in the Rockaways, some people only got power back last month.
 
“The duration of it was painful,” Cuomo said today at a panel where the report was presented.  

The Commission recommended streamlining the utility companies’ ownership for a quicker and more efficient response.

According to The New York Times, other suggestions from other panels convened will include turning the shoreline into oyster beds as well as storm gates that would cost billions of dollars. 

The Long Island Power Authority was largely criticized by the panel presenting the report. They did not communicate well with the public and were still using a computer system from the early 1980s, co-chair Benjamin Lawsky said.

“This was really one of the truly terrible failures where people just did not know what the future held for them,” Lawsky said.



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