Orange County executive explains Irene absence

Posted: 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.

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