Cuomo's 'Climate Change'-Linking 'We Didn't Have Hurricanes' Statement on Sandy Collapses Easily Under Scrutiny

In a Thursday afternoon item carried at the Los Angeles Times via reporters Shashank Bengali and Joseph Serna (HT NewsBusters tipster Gary Hall), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo claimed that "When we built New York, we didn’t think about floods, about storms. We didn’t have hurricanes and floods. ... Extreme weather is here to stay. Climate change is a reality. Political gridlock has held us back too long. ... Maybe Mother Nature is telling us something. One time, two times, three times. There are places that are going to be victimized by storms. We know that now."

Let's review a little history -- history anyone in the establishment press could have found in the Google News Archive and Wikipedia as I did. What I found demonstrates how extreme and outrageously untrue Mr. Cuomo's "we didn't have hurricanes and floods" claim really is.

Sept 13. 1960 -- "Wind, Seas Batter New England Coast"

Uh, Governor Cuomo, New Yorkers certainly were thinking about floods in 1960 -- and that was for a hurricane which didn't even hit the city directly.

Later, the report tells us: "Weather observers said Donna's path was roughly that of the great 1938 hurricane -- which claimed nearly 600 lives in New England and inflicted up to half a billion dollars in damage."

Then there's this from Arthur Everett at the Associated Press on October 16, 1954 -- "Hazel Pounds N.Y with Vicious Winds; 18 Dead Counted in Dying Storm's Battered Wake"

Hurricane Hazel, one of the country's most dangerously erratic storms, rocked New York with 100 mph winds last night.

... It was the third hurricane to hit the northeast in six weeks.

What was that about "one time, two times, three times," Mr. Cuomo? What was "Mother Nature" telling us 58 years ago?

A New York Times story a few days later told readers that Hazel had remained ferocious several hundred miles inland, hitting "Toronto and its northern outskirts today" with "eighty-five persons dead, 1,500 families homeless and $100,000,000 property damage."

Oh, and what about that 1938 Hurricane? In September 2011, The Learning Network at the New York Times told us the following:

On Sept. 21, 1938, a giant hurricane roared up the Eastern Seaboard, causing extensive damage and loss of life on Long Island and much of New England, not relenting until it had crossed into Canada.

... The hurricane is estimated to have killed 700 people and caused damages, which, adjusted to today’s dollar, would equal $40 billion.

... the New York Times article about the 1938 hurricane reported, “Lashing widespread areas along the Atlantic seaboard that were already suffering flood conditions from days of drenching rain, a tropical hurricane passed along the coast from Cape Hatteras to Nantucket yesterday to cause scores of deaths and incalculable property damage.”

The article summarized the worst of the damage: "New London, Conn., was in darkness last night from the failure of its electric light system; a serious fire which had destroyed an entire block in Bank Street was still raging, and National Guardsmen were patrolling the streets. Providence, R.I., was almost as hard hit and was also in darkness … at Westhampton, L.I. … 50 substantially built summer cottages were swept into the sea."

A Wikipedia entry on Sandy tells us that it may not even have been a record-setter:

The storm surge, which occurred at high tide, pushed water to 13.88 feet (4.23 meters) at Battery Park, New York, beating the previous record of 10.02 feet (3.05 m) set by Hurricane Donna in 1960 in the same place. However, a storm surge of 13 feet (during low tide) was also reported at Battery Park during the 1821 Norfolk and Long Island hurricane, which occurred before records were officially kept.

In sum, Mr. Cuomo, we've seen lots of hurricanes and other extreme weather hit New York and the Northeast, including an arguably more severe hurricane which occurred over a half-century before the Industrial Age began, and several which occurred within a very tight time frame 75 years ago. Your assertion that "We didn’t have hurricanes and floods" is risible rubbish tailored to promote a statist agenda which will only become a reality if flat-out-deceptions such as yours are allowed to stand.

Not around here, pal.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.