Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Federal Government took advantage of the massive destruction and damage to our infrastructurehere in the Northeast in the wake of Tropical Depression, “Sandy”? The I-95 Corridor in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland has taken an enormous hit on all forms of Public Transportation. The State of New Jersey’s rail system is in total disarray with dislodged track; washed out rail beds; and many bridges compromised. New York City’s Subway system, south of Twenty-third Street, has been exposed to salt water flooding. Miles of underground Electrical lines and Communication lines were similarly exposed to salt water flooding. Water and Electricity don’t mix well; Salt Water and Electricity creates a total disaster. The Shoreline Communities from Delaware to Rhode Island have been altered by Tidal Surge, and, in some cases, irrevocably changed. The interior ponds, creeks, lakes and rivers became part of their communities by overflowing their banks.
All this Storm damage is in the Public Domain, and, if there were ever an opportunity for the Federal Government to do some good, this situation is begging for action. A conservative estimate puts the dollar value of such aide at $600-$800 million. Based on the residential losses, alone, this investment of Federal, State, Local, and Private funding would immediately put 1.5 million households back on the tax roles by providing new employment. Half of these full employment jobs would carry over into permanent, career positions. The remaining half of this workforce would be available to tackle other infrastructure projects such as: rebuilding the Electrical Power Grid in the Northeast Corridor; rebuilding Dams and Levees sufficient to contain water in know flood plains; and, complimentary alternative energy projects. All this would be in addition to rebuilding the East Coast Shoreline in ways that would be more environmentally beneficial.
The application of money towards repairing and rebuilding will spill over to the infrastructure needs of areas well to the West of our Shoreline. This particular Storm spawned blizzard conditions in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Western New York, and Eastern Ohio. The three to four feet of snow from this blizzard was of the wet, heavy sort, and has downed trees and Power Lines, bringing damage and destruction to these interior areas. This brings an opportunity equal to, if not greater than, the Auto Bailout, and could provide an even larger “jump start” to the economies of many more Communities, States, and Regions.
If, through Climate Change, the Nation is in for a long run of these Mega-Storms, we need to get all our elected Officials onboard with this idea. These are the types of Public projects the Government handles well, so let’s light a fire under their butts. Letter writing, e-mailing, and petitioning go along way in making an impression and getting positive action. I, for one, do not care to hear the standard stalling rhetoric that always makes the Washington, D.C. crowd sound as if they really don’t give a damn when it comes to saving our Economy, our Society, and, ultimately, our Nation.