Gary Szatkowski, who was a leading federal forecaster in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy, appealed to New York politicians because they claimed that forecasters were unable to predict the times and intensity of Ida’s threats.
“The politicians are wrong,” said Szatkowski during an interview on Friday night on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith”. “There have been a lot of warnings, there have been a lot of predictions, a lot of warnings about Ida as it got into the region with the potential for heavy rain.”
At least 13 people were killed in the New York City area when the remains of Hurricane Ida hit the city with record rains and floods. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated on Friday that city officials had no idea what would hit New York on Wednesday night.
“Here’s what we didn’t know we would have literally shocking and unprecedented rainfall,” de Blasio said during a media availability. “We had a one-hour period on Wednesday night that set the all-time record for a single hour in history, the recorded history of New York City, and no one expected that.”
Szatkowski referred to precise predictions made by meteorologists and weather experts before the storm for dangerous, even fatal rains in the New York area.
He also noted that New York officials could simply “look west” to see what was happening and issue warnings to residents hours before the rain hit the city.
“There was flash floods, torrential rains, water rescues first in Pennsylvania, then in Philadelphia itself, and then in New Jersey, and then it came to New York City, and there are hours and hours you could watch this come towards New York City, and be prepared and you know what’s going to happen, “said Szatkowski, a former National Weather Service meteorologist.
Mayor de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment