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Long before Sandy, NY lawmakers mostly ignored reports warning of superstorm

Three state reports since 2005 and a 1978 law warned New York that a storm as big as Sandy was coming, and compelled politicians to prepare.

A Democrat and a Republican who wrote the reports say those and other warnings have routinely been ignored shortly after the shock of a disaster hits and political pressure fades.

The state's longest serving homeland security chief, Michael Balboni, says the first thing to be cut from tough budgets is disaster preparedness.

The early warnings required action to maintain the gasoline supply, provide temporary housing, restore power quickly, and warned subway lines would be flooded and the Rockaways would be hit hard.

Those are also among the daily crises that confronted Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the storm.