Facing Sandy’s Lingering Dangers in the Midst of Winter’s Cold!

posted by Sarah N Worthy IATTWJ Member @ 7:00 AM
December 4, 2012

        Toxic mold, pollen, other  air pollutants, rampant rats, loose electric wires, peeling lead paint exposed from drying out old houses, poisoned drinking water, un-repaired sewers and increasing injuries among workers trying to clear trash and rebuild––are just some of the ills Hurricane Sandy leaves behind.  Now her victims must face these dangers amid cold winter weather.

In ‘Health Crisis In Sandy Disaster Zones: Cold, Mold Loom As Hazards In Rockaways, Staten Island, Elsewhere’ David B. Caruso writes:  “City officials estimate at least 12,000 New Yorkers are trying to survive in unheated, flood-damaged homes.

“Uncounted numbers of families have returned to coastal homes that are contaminated with mold, which can aggravate allergies and leave people perpetually wheezing. Others have been sleeping in houses filled with construction dust, as workers have ripped out walls and flooring.”

Caruso tells the story of 57-year old John Frawley, who shivers in his home which is still without power.  As Frawley lost his car and all his winter clothes to Sandy’s wrath, he spends winter nights in a pair of donated snow pants, continually coughing hoping it doesn’t affect his chronic heart condition.

Now that the storm is over,  Brooklyn’s Red Hook waterfront park is clouded with gasoline and chemical smells everywhere.  The flooded soccer field sits between a old lead smelter and an abandoned plastics plant.  Sandy has also flooded the Gowanus Canal Superfund site and its toxic gunk fills the air too.

Another poisonous air element Sandy left in her wake is exposed lead paint.  In ‘Hurricane Sandy Pollution . . .’ Lynne Peeples acknowledges: “peeling lead paint, moisture-induced mold and mysterious mixes of chemical products. The risks for children could linger for months, even years, according to experts.”

As Tim Wall analyzed in ‘Sandy May Leave Toxic Legacy’ for discovery.com:  “The aftermath of Sandy may be around long after the rubble has been cleared and power has returned. The storm’s torrents may have washed high levels of hazardous pollutants from cities and farms into waterways.”

Marcia McNutt, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) told Wall:  “  . . . this superstorm can have a longer-term effect in the large pulse of sediment and associated pollutants swept into our waterways.” A USGS worker adds:  “When looking at long-term water quality trends and year-to-year variation, this hurricane could be a defining event for the past few decades . . .”

Americans in New York and New Jersey are crying out for help, but few among us are listening.  Wholesale Christian Bibles reminds:  “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts,  . . . show mercy and compassions every man to his brother (Zechariah 7: 9).”  We must listen to Him now while we still have life on earth!

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