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Letter to the editor

Wayne Blanchard, PhD

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Does not include NH contractor landslide death, two OH highway deaths and one Puerto Rico flood death. Has 37 NJ deaths whereas NJ Medical Examiner lists 38; 53 NY deaths whereas we tally 64-66 from locality breakouts; and has 13 PA deaths whereas AP has 16 and we show 14-16, depending on the final determination of two fire deaths under investigation.

In dispute. According to Times Ledger, Queens. “Howard Beach senior drowns in non-flood zone.” 11-2-2012: “Neighbors of a Howard Beach woman who drowned during superstorm Sandy…described the storm surge as reaching the second floor of homes…`All of a sudden, it was upon us and it was too late’ [one said]. “As the gushing water filled the streets, residents said they heard their elderly neighbor [Ms. X.] yelling Monday evening, but the current was too strong to rescue her. `We heard her screaming for help, but no one could get to her…the water was unbelievable’.” However, according to DNAinfo.com New York (“Hurricane Sandy’s Death Toll in New York Climbs to 41.” 11-9-2012), “Ms. X., 85, who was found dead inside XXX-25 98th St. in Queens by firefighters on Oct. 30, was…determined to have been the result of natural causes, the source said.”

Reclassified Dec 3 by the NJ Office of the State Medical Examiner, case number 16120788, as not Sandy-related.

Not confirmed as hurricane-related – under investigation.

“Among those who have been removed from the list of Sandy victims are Mrs Y, 75, who died in her Gramercy home on Second Avenue in Manhattan after power for her respirator shut off Monday night during the storm.” (DNAinfo.com New York. “Hurricane Sandy’s Death Toll in New York Climbs to 41.” 11-9-2012.) When one reads the earlier DNAinfo article on her death (Patrick Wall. “Kips Bay Great-Grandmother Dies After Sandy Cuts Power to Oxygen Machine.” 10-31-2012 – quoted from in the New York section below.) it does appear that her death was hurricane-related. According to Larry Neumeister of the Huffington Post (“Hurricane Sandy Deaths: Storm Was Cruel to New York’s Elderly.” 11-3-2012.), Mrs. Y “died from an apparent heart attack” Mrs.Y was still listed as a hurricane fatality in this Nov 13 update: MyFoxNY.com (Luke Funk) “Sandy deaths across Tristate region.” 11-13-2012 update. At: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/19951582/sandy-deaths-across-tristate-region

Star-Ledger, NJ. “Remembering New Jersey’s 40 victims of Hurricane Sandy.” 12-2-2012. Not on State list sent to us Nov 20. But, a call to Hunterdon Co. Med. Exam. Office, Nov 21 confirms as hurricane-related accident. An emailed list received Dec 3 has the following listing, which we believe refers to the Z death.: Male, blunt trauma to the head, Main St., Asbury [Huntington County], NJ. Tree fell on decedent.

A missing person found on Nov 11 in the “northern district,” with no indication of death causation, according to VDEM Public Information Officer, Nov 20.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.2012.0116

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