Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall

What worked. What didn’t. What’s next.

More than six months after Superstorm Sandy caused $50 billion in damage, questions still remain regarding the region’s infrastructure, its disaster response capabilities, and what the future holds.

Seeking answers and conversation about the storm and recovery efforts, New Jersey and New York public television stations teamed up to broadcast a special multi-platform live Town Hall event. Hosted by Mike Schneider, managing editor of the NJTV’s news program NJ Today with Mike Schneider, expert panelists fielded questions before live studio audiences at Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre in West Long Branch, NJ and the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City next week.

Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall aired live on Thursday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. on WHYY-TV in Philadelphia; NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network; THIRTEEN in New York City; WLIW21 on Long Island; and their websites, in collaboration with media outlets WNYC at 93.9FM and AM820, New Jersey Public Radio, The Star-Ledger and, NJ Spotlight, NJ News Commons and The New York Times.

Topics of discussion included: infrastructure: maintenance, parameters for the future and how New York and New Jersey’s infrastructure compares to other regions; building codes in the post-Sandy era; the storm’s environmental consequences: what can we fix, what may not be reparable; storm response: the effectiveness of Sandy response by FEMA, the government, the utility companies and the region overall; economic ramifications: who is paying the debt the storm left behind, government funds versus constituent responsibilities, and looking to the future: the region’s ability to plan ahead for extreme weather.

Guest panelists included experts in an array of fields, from infrastructure and engineering to climatology and charities. The live program also featured reporting from various locations across New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. Lauren Wanko from NJ Today with Mike Schneider, MetroFocus’ Rafael Pi Roman, and Long Island Business Report’s Jim Paymar will revisit communities and individuals that they covered when the storm hit in November, continuing their in-depth reporting from the worst hit towns and cities. Other special reports came from WHYY, The Star-Ledger and WNYC.

Panelists at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey
– Richard Constable, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
– Nicole Gelinas, Searle Freedom Trust Fellow, Manhattan Institute
-Vivien Gornitz, Special Research Scientist, Columbia University
-Ralph LaRossa, President & COO, PSE&G
-Mayor Matt Doherty, Belmar, NJ
-Patrick Murray, Director, Monmouth University Polling Institute
-Peter Reinhart, Director, Kislak Real Estate Institute, Monmouth University
-Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy of New York
-Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken, NJ

Panelists at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in Manhattan
– John BoulĂ©, VP, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ret. Col. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
– John Cameron, Chair, Long Island Regional Planning Council
-Bud Griffis, Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction, Polytechnic Institute of New York University
-Joe Nocera, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times
-Richard Ravitch, Former Lieutenant Governor, New York
-Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of New York City

On Twitter #sandytownhall.

  • Don Tancredi

    As an out of state home owner who pays as much tax as a resident of NJ there is no help for part time residents as far as I know, No grant money, on nothing. We are treated like second hand citizens, Why is that? I am in Ventnor NJ
    Thank You Don Tancredi

  • Joan Richie

    It is unconscionable that homeowners are being treated the way we are by both being strung along by local governments clearly unable to help much after so much loss, as well as by fellow citizens who weren’t affected who don’t feel we deserve any help. 2nd homeowners are even most ignored, even though the same taxes were paid all these years. 2nd homes aren’t some gift, it takes hard work to have one & deserves to be treated as such.