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August 27, 2011 / Political Fluency

Category 1 Alarmism

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg made the unprecedented decision to shut down completely the largest subway system in the world. Other mass transit such as buses planned to be shut down along with bridges if the winds reach 60 mph or higher.

This is overcautious only in the sense of when the shut down took place – at noon on Saturday when it barely started raining in the city. The storm was scheduled to hit many hours later. And with the massive evacuations ordered, the city supplied buses  to those areas when the subway system would have still been needed to help. So what’s going on?

Two completely baseless and conspiratorial thoughts that I feel the need to share:

Is this the city’s excuse to either evacuate and/or keep track of the homeless who are in the subways? Shutting down at noon gives officials nearly 8 hours to patrol the various stops before the serious part of the storm begins to hit.

But the more likely observation – with transit service resuming Monday morning when the rain is going to stop at 7pm on Sunday – is that this is a dry-run for a real emergency response and evacuation of New York City. It’s a test to see how quickly major requests by the mayor or other authorities can get done if something were to happen on the 10th anniversery of September 11th or any other time.

Regardless, let’s hope our emergency response is top-notch.

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