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Tuesday, September 27

On Considering a Move To the Mainland

It took me 3 hours to get to NJ on Friday afternoon on my way to VA for the march in DC. With no traffic, it would take less than an hour. Our hostess called us from VA thinking we were in NJ somewhere and I told her that we were still in Brooklyn overlooking Coney Island. We had the top down on the car and were working hard on our suntans though. We crawled over the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island and then spent far too much time in that tiny island -about 2 hours breathing truck fumes.

The problem with the NY Metro area is that we have all these bridges and tunnels. It's a huge series of bottlenecks. We cannot escape Long Island unless we go through NYC to NJ or take a ferry from eastern Long Island to Connecticut. It's no wonder that I don't go anywhere by car except New England.

When hurricanes or nor'easters are coming our way, we raid the supermarkets and gas stations and then hunker down while those on the coastal areas move inland. The problem is after about 10 miles or so of going inland, you are not going inland anymore as the island is only about 20 miles wide. Fortunately hurricanes are rarely over cat 2 because the Atlantic is cooler up here -70º in summer.

Gawd forbid we ever had to actually evacuate this island. There are something like 8 million of us here. I have suggested that Guylanders and New Yorkers have cyanide pills on hand in the event of an incoming nuke, catastrophic hurricane, tidal wave or powerplant meltdown.

So far, it's mostly the millionaires that have used FEMA money as they insist on building their mansions along the coastal areas and are so shocked when the ocean encroaches their "cottages" and breaches their barrier islands which shouldn't have any construction because they are about 2oo feet wide, if that. Coastal erosion is a fact of nature.

Of course the rich don't die in a storm because they helicopter or sea plane to one of their other homes. Yet the Army Corps of engineers are always dredging the bottom of the sea for them or importing sand using tax payer dollars. You don't see any poor people living on the water in these parts. Perhaps they did at one time... but they couldn't go back after a huge storm or maybe they drowned. Coastal areas are for the rich.

I found an interesting book Against the Tide online and chapter 3 deals with one of Long Island's barrier islands. Excerpt of interest:

But for many environmentalists and coastal scientists, West Hampton Dunes is a dismal example of what happens when people disregard the realities of the coast, build on an unstable landform, and then try to avoid the inevitable consequences by armoring the beach. To suit their own purposes, they jettied inlets rather than letting them close naturally to restore the natural flow of sand. When erosion worsened, as it inevitably would, they built groins. When the groins made the problem even worse, they turned to federal, state, and local governments-that is, to the taxpayers. The taxpayers, in turn, find themselves committed to spending tens of millions of dollars to protect the property of people who, in many cases, had every reason to know that they were building or buying in an unsafe place and who, in most cases, were already eligible for additional assistance from the federal flood insurance program. According to initial estimates, the eventual cost of the project works out to about $300,000 per house in the damaged area-about what it might have cost then to buy them out.
I don't know what my point is exactly. I just know that it costs taxpayers a lot of money to take care of those who live in low lying areas. As for NOLA, they ought to get Netherlands engineers in there to oversee the rebuilding of the levees once and for all. Enough is enough. Others ought to reconsider their choice of living so close to the gulf considering we are now in a 25 year cycle of stronger hurricanes. Well that's my opinion, I could be wrong, but then again, I would love nothing more than to live by the sea, but my rationale kicks in, and I realize that I couldn't afford the consequences. I'm still waiting for my rationale to kick in regarding living in an area that cannot be evacuated in an emergency come hell or high water. I've got Arizona on my mind.

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