The Number One Cause of Death from Sandy in New York City Was Drowning or Storm Surge Related, Despite Misleading Reports

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Lydia Callis, Sign Language Interpreter and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, at 11 a.m. Press Conference on Hurricane Sandy, Tuesday, October 30, 2012

By Pam Martens: October 31, 2012 

Yesterday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg held two press conferences to provide updates on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  At both press conferences, the nature of the deaths from the storm in New York City received short shrift.  The Mayor appeared to be saying to reporters, nothing out of the ordinary there — fallen tree, downed power wire– move along. 

But then early this morning came the news that Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties, with a population of almost 3 million, had just 4 deaths from the storm while New York City, with a population of roughly 8 million, had a striking 22 deaths from the storm, according to the NYPD.  (The Mayor put the figure at 18 at his second press conference yesterday.) 

The New York Times ran a detailed story on storm-related deaths in New York City yesterday, going into great detail about the lives of the individuals they singled out for focus.  But the actual death count, when one looked carefully at the Times article, was just 8 individuals accounted for.  As for the major reason for the deaths, the Times said: “Most of all, it was the trees.” 

Having previously lived 40 years on Long Island, where massive oaks and maples dot the landscape, it seemed impossible that only 4 deaths occurred there (two from fallen trees) while New York City, where a sea wall surge of over 13 feet of water was reported, was experiencing more fallen tree related deaths than water-related. 

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