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NJ Transit needlessly lost $100 million of government equipment in Sandy. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-13 12:38 AM
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NJ Transit needlessly lost $100 million of government equipment in Sandy.
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Edited on Sat Jan-12-13 12:49 AM by No Elephants
Because they modeled the storm incorrectly on computers, they moved the equipment to low lying areas.

Hmmm. I wonder who sits behind the desks where those bucks ultimately stop?

Maybe the desks of the two guys who got a boost in the polls after they toured the disaster area together?

By Ryan McNeill and Janet Roberts

NEW YORK | Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:12pm EST

(Reuters) - New Jersey Transit incorrectly used federal government software that otherwise could have warned officials against a disastrous decision to leave hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment in a low-lying rail yard before Superstorm Sandy struck, a Reuters examination has found.

The agency based its decision, at least in part, on software provided by the National Weather Service that allows users to simulate an approaching hurricane and show areas vulnerable to flooding from storm surge, according to Sandy-related forecast documents obtained by Reuters from New Jersey Transit. Exactly how the agency used the software is unclear because the agency declined to answer any specific questions.

Reuters asked for the documents that New Jersey Transit relied upon in deciding to leave the trains at its Meadows Maintenance Complex in Kearny, New Jersey. Among the documents was a screen-shot of storm prediction software that indicated the user had the storm traveling northeast, away from the New York area, while moving at the wrong speed.

As a result, the software predicted surges that were about half the levels actually forecast - errors that underestimated the threat to the Meadows complex.

New Jersey Transit takes issue with the findings. But a Reuters analysis shows that had the software been used to produce surge estimates similar to forecasts, agency leaders could have seen a different picture. The result would have pointed to potential inundation of a large portion of the rail yard, mirroring the flooding that ultimately occurred.

Other metro railroads in the region moved their rolling stock to rail lines and yards on higher ground.

National Weather Service meteorologists in two different offices with oversight of New Jersey agreed that the wrong settings were used.

Geez. if i ever caused anyone to lose $100 million, I'm pretty sure I'd be not only fired, but probably dead--and my litlle dog, too.

So, is anyone in the New Jersey or in National Weather Service supervisory posts relating to New Jersey going to get fired?

And what kinds of safeguards are going to be put into place in the 50 states and the National Weather Service to avoid something similar in the future?

Or is Christies just going to keep yelping that New Jersey teachers have *gasp* health insurance? (I bet the Governor does, too, as well as a higher salary--and helicopters and limos to take him to a Little League Game, a Governor's mansion, free family travel abroad for "trade missions," etc., but, in his mind, that is probably very different. After all, he and his family deserve all that, while teachers don't deserve any of it because.........well, they just don't.)

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