Orange County executive explains Irene absencePosted: Updated:
County Executive Ed Diana (R-Orange) says he was on an Alaskan cruise with his wife during Hurricane Irene as questions have mounted over his whereabouts when the storm slammed the region.
"Did I want to be here? Absolutely. If I wasn't on the ship, I would have flown back, but I couldn't do that," he says. "And when I got to a location five days later where I could fly back, they were still canceling flights to the Northeast."
Diana says he was in constant contact with a team of emergency officials by phone and computer as the storm's floodwaters ravaged countless homes, farms, roads and railways.
On Wednesday, Diana toured hard-hit Sloatsburg, where portions of Metro-North tracks are destroyed.
Diana says he expects Metro-North will get money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help make repairs.