This week, the City faced a very serious threat from Hurricane Floyd, which hit the five boroughs with heavy rain and strong winds as it became Tropical Storm Floyd.
We certainly all experienced a number of inconveniences and disruptions-from power outages to sporadic disruptions of the subways-but those kinds of problems are to be expected with a storm of this magnitude, which brought about five inches of rain and dangerously high winds. These problems were less severe than they could have been. Of course, nature helped, because meteorologists thought that the storm itself would be much worse.
But I'm pleased to say that because of the cooperation of so many people throughout the City-and because of the very effective work of the Office of Emergency Management, the New York Police Department, the Fire Department, the Sanitation Department, Parks Department, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and many, many other organizations-we weathered the storm with minimal damage. The people of the City rose to the occasion-as they always do-and dealt with the adversity admirably. I want to particularly commend the Board of Education for making the decision to protect children, to make certain that they were not in danger.
And I also want to single out for particular praise the Office of Emergency Management for their superb, virtually round-the-clock work over the last two weeks dealing with this emergency as well as the encephalitis situation. Their Emergency Management Center, which was unjustly ridiculed by some when it opened, has been instrumental in coordinating the City's response to these emergencies. That's why the center is now being recognized as a model for cities throughout the country.
I think the most important thing to learn from facing this crisis and every other crisis of any size that we face together as a city-whether it's the blackout during the summer or the cases of encephalitis that we are currently addressing-is that our response should be realistic and effective, and based on the best information available, taking necessary precautions but not blowing things out of proportion or generating hysteria.
That's how the people of New York City dealt with Floyd, that's the way we're dealing with encephalitis, and it's how we should aim to deal with any future problems that we face together. This is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
# # #