Report: Mayor Bloomberg Dumps Blizzard Reputation With Storm “Heroics”


bloomberg1Note to pols: Too much is better than not enough. Or as mom always said, better safe than sorry.

Those words of wisdom are political winners.

Sure, Irene wasn’t quite as advertised. Plenty of New Yorkers grumbled that mandatory evacuations and constant warnings were an extreme overreaction, but history will remember Hurricane Irene as a victory for Mayor Bloomberg.

He was the one who evacuated low-lying parts of the city, who was on TV seemingly at every moment warning, cautioning and coaching New Yorkers on how to deal with what was touted as a killer hurricane.

The foresight and hustle won kudos – some begrudgingly.

In sharp contrast to the bruising Bloomberg took as the city struggled to dig out from the debilitating post-Christmas blizzard, Hizzoner was lavished with praise yesterday from even his toughest critics.

“I’m not a critic today. I’m a fan,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who last spring conducted what some called the “Mother of all Hearings” into the city’s disastrous blizzard response.

“I’m sorta disappointed. I emailed some of my colleagues today and said, ‘Damn! I missed my opportunity to have the Mother of All Hearings, Part II.'”

Last winter, elected officials from across the city said they spent the days after the blizzard fielding furious complaints from constituents and getting no response from the administration.

This time they were invited to frequent conference calls and meetings ahead of the storm.

Top city officials responded to emails and calls as the winds and rains pelted the city.

And by yesterday, James said that when she notified the administration of downed trees in her central Brooklyn district, “they responded with the cavalry.”

Maybe it was a little too much, some acknowledged.

Maybe some New Yorkers were inconvenienced by the forced evacuation or alarmed by the panic.

Surely many are steamed at Gov. Cuomo and the MTA for yanking the crucial lifeline of the city’s public transit system for nearly two days, but, this time, no one could complain that their mayor was AWOL.

“He wanted to go from bozo of the blizzard to hero of the hurricane,” said Baruch College political science Prof. Doug Muzzio.

Instead of swooping back into the city from Bermuda as Bloomberg did just before the blizzard, New Yorkers could barely turn on their TVs over the weekend without seeing the mayor giving a briefing or inspecting the troops.

“This was Michael Bloomberg saying, ‘You know what, nothing else is going to happen on my watch,'” said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), who helped evacuate thousands of people from his Coney Island district.

“Some people are going to say he overreacted, but you know what? It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}


  1. Three cheers for Bloomberg. He did the right thing, which proves that we can all learn from past mistakes. If Irene had behaved as the weather forecasters thought it would, the evacuations would have saved many, many lives. We should all be grateful to HeShem that it wasn’t necessary. We should also be grateful to Mr. Bloomberg for doing the hishtadlus that would have helped cope. BTW, I am not a New Yorker, but I have many friends who live there.