Straub: Post 9/11, East Coast better prepared for storms like Sandy

Published On: Oct 29 2012 04:07:47 PM PDT   Updated On: Oct 29 2012 06:11:49 PM PDT
Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A New York native, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Sandy as it bears down on the East Coast, where many of his family live in the storm's path.

Straub's son and daughter live on the East Coast and said they're doing fine, but it's his sister who will experience the hurricane's raw power as she lives right on the coast in Connecticut, where the power shut off and sewers shut down as the storm approached the coast Monday afternoon.

Straub himself has seen his fair share of hurricanes over the years.

"The last hurricane that went through they actually had fish swimming down the street and the kids were in boats and stuff like that," he said.

This time around, especially in his sister's case, he feels his family will weather the storm and be fine.

"We've been through these before on the East Coast so I think we've gotten much better at preparedness now," he said.

Straub has been texting his sister all day to check on her condition.

"The surge, the tide surge could be the highest in, like I said 70 years, so that would be bad, that would be really significant for flooding and a lot of property damage," he said.

The chief of police is no stranger to dealing with hurricanes, having served as a first responder once in New York City as a hurricane hit during a U.N. General Assembly and again in White Plains, NY when a hurricane triggered tornadoes and micro-bursts.

"The coordination and the collaboration amongst first responders on the East Coast has gotten so much better," Straub said, adding that was due to both the aftermath of 9/11 as well as the frequency of hurricanes along the eastern seaboard.

"You wouldn't have seen that years ago, it was kinda like 'Well we'll see what happens and then deal with it' whereas now we'll shut down the subway if we didn't have to shut down the subway no harm no foul," he said.