View Full Version : Superpower: America’s Now a Third World Country...

09-04-2011, 11:44 AM
For what seemed like five endless days last week, my life consisted of an unpleasant struggle to survive. There was water to be hauled in buckets from a communal tank and charcoal for cooking to be scavenged.

My handful of conveniences – a fridge, a hairdryer, an iron and a lamp – were powered by a petrol-fed generator tethered to my kitchen by a spaghetti-like arrangement of extension leads.

And that roared around the clock at a decibel level that the handyman who hooked it up compared to a small jet taking off. Of course, if I lived in one of the impoverished Caribbean or South American countries I cover as The Mail on Sunday’s New York correspondent, none of this would be any surprise.

But my ‘Third World’ living conditions were the result of Hurricane Irene hitting the insanely archaic, unco-ordinated and ineptly managed infrastructure of the New York commuter belt.

Far from being the ‘storm of the century’, by the time Irene reached the New York area in the middle of last Saturday night, it was downgraded to a gale. The rains were drenching but the maximum wind speed was 60mph.