View Full Version : Isolated NYC borough says that help is slow after Sandy.

November 2nd, 2012, 09:16 AM
Isolated NYC borough says help is slow after SandyLoading...

4 hours agohttp://por-img.cimcontent.net/api/assets/bin-201211/aa34-Superstorm-Sandy.jpg (http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-general/news-general-20121101-US.Superstorm.Sandy/)Eileen Miley takes a break from cleaning her home that was destroyed by floo... (http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-general/news-general-20121101-US.Superstorm.Sandy/)

NEW YORK — The mother grabbed her two boys and fled their home as it filled with water, hoping to outrun Superstorm Sandy.
But Glenda Moore and her SUV were no match for the epic storm. Moore's Ford Explorer stalled in the rising tide, and the rushing waters snatched 2-year-old Brandon and 4-year-old Connor from her arms as they tried to escape.
The youngsters' bodies were recovered from a marsh Thursday — the latest, most gut-wrenching blow in New York's Staten Island, an isolated city borough hard-hit by the storm and yet, residents say, largely forgotten by federal officials assessing damage of the monster storm that has killed more than 90 people in 10 states.
"Terrible, absolutely terrible," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said as he announced the boys' bodies had been found on the third day of a search that included police divers and sniffer dogs. "It just compounds all the tragic aspects of this horrific event."
The heartbreaking discovery came as residents and public officials complained that help has been frustratingly slow to arrive on stricken Staten Island, where 19 have been killed — nearly half the death toll of all of New York City.
Garbage is piling up, a stench hangs in the air and mud-caked mattresses and couches line the streets. Residents are sifting through the remains of their homes, searching for anything that can be salvaged.
"We have hundreds of people in shelters," said James Molinaro, the borough's president. "Many of them, when the shelters close, have nowhere to go because their homes are destroyed. These are not homeless people. They're homeless now."
Molinaro complained the American Red Cross "is nowhere to be found" — and some residents questioned what they called the lack of a response by government disaster relief agencies.
A relief fund is being created just for storm survivors on Staten Island, Molinaro and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Friday. And Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator Richard Serino planned to tour the island.
Four days after Sandy lashed the East Coast with high winds and a huge storm surge, frustration mounted across New York City and well beyond as millions of people remained without power and motorists lined up for hours at gas stations in New Jersey and New York.
In the city's Queens borough, a man was accused of pulling a gun Thursday on a motorist who complained when he cut in line at a gas station; no one was injured. And as the Friday morning commute began, long lines at gas stations in suburban Westchester County snaked along expressway breakdown lanes and exit ramps.
There were hopeful signs, though, that life would soon begin to return to something approaching normal.
Consolidated Edison, the power company serving New York, said electricity should be restored by Saturday to customers in Manhattan and to homes and offices served by underground power lines in Brooklyn. More subway and rail lines were expected to open Friday, including Amtrak' New York to Boston route on the Northeast Corridor.
But the prospect of better times ahead did little to mollify residents who spent another day and night in the dark.
"It's too much. You're in your house. You're freezing," said Geraldine Giordano, 82, a lifelong resident of the West Village. Near her home, city employees had set up a sink where residents could get fresh water, if they needed it. There were few takers. "Nobody wants to drink that water," Giordano said.
"Everybody's tired of it already," added Rosemarie Zurlo, a makeup artist who once worked on Woody Allen movies. She said she planned to temporarily abandon her powerless, unheated apartment in the West Village to stay with her sister in Brooklyn. "I'm leaving because I'm freezing. My apartment is ice cold."
There was increasing concern about the outage's impact on elderly residents. Community groups have been going door-to-door on the upper floors of darkened Manhattan apartment buildings, and city workers and volunteer in hard-hit Newark, N.J., delivered meals to seniors and others stuck in their buildings.
"It's been mostly older folks who aren't able to get out," said Monique George of Manhattan-based Community Voices Heard. "In some cases, they hadn't talked to folks in a few days. They haven't even seen anybody because the neighbors evacuated. They're actually happy that folks are checking, happy to see another person. To not see someone for a few days, in this city, it's kind of weird."
Along the devastated Jersey Shore and New York's beachfront communities, a lack of electricity was the least of anyone's worries.
Residents were allowed back in their neighborhoods Thursday for the first time since Sandy made landfall Monday night. Some were relieved to find only minor damage, but many others were wiped out. "A lot of tears are being shed today," said Dennis Cucci, whose home near the ocean in Point Pleasant Beach sustained heavy damage. "It's absolutely mind-boggling."
After touring a flood-ravaged area of northeastern New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie said it was time to act, not mourn.
"We're in the `triage and attack phase' of the storm, so we can restore power, reopen schools, get public transportation back online and allow people to return to their homes if they've been displaced," he said.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood planned to visit Christie's state Friday.
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday announced the federal government will be providing rail cars to help NJ Transit get train service up and running. The governor said 25 percent of the system's rail cars were in yards that flooded.
LaHood's schedule has not yet been released
In Staten Island, police recounted Glenda Moore's fruitless struggle to save her children.
Kelly said the 39-year-old mother "was totally, completely distraught" after she lost her grip on her sons shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. In a panic, she climbed fences and went door-to-door looking in vain for help in a neighborhood that was presumably largely abandoned in the face of the storm.
She eventually gave up, spending the night trying to shield herself from the storm on the front porch of an empty home.
Associated Press writers Cara Anna and Karen Matthews in New York, David Porter in Moonachie, N.J., and Wayne Parry in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., contributed to this story.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

November 2nd, 2012, 12:20 PM
That is the most horrific story I've seen so far. She is probably wishing she was washed away with them. Nothing will comfort her. I don't know if she has other children, but if not, I don't see how she'll get past this. I hope she's incredibly resilient.

Another woman watched her eighty-nine year old mother drown as they were trying to escape their flooding home. As lucky as I am, it's too much even to hear these stories anymore. I don't have the emotional strength other people have. If anything like this happened to me I wouldn't want to live. I guess you don't know until it actually happens.

November 3rd, 2012, 04:02 AM
Too many sad stories to tell!! Reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina.

November 3rd, 2012, 12:21 PM
I don't hear that the LES is getting anything SI isn't. They just happen to be within walking distance of less effected (ie, not blacked out) areas.

November 4th, 2012, 11:34 AM
I am not sure that is true; I have been away for most of the past two weeks and missed the storm, but I understand Red Cross and FEMA help did not arrive on Staten Island until Friday. I am not sure when the red cross arrived at the LES

Either way, your other point is well-taken. Staten Island is isolated and, well, and Island, and in more need of assistance than the LES. Sections of it were devastated and, again, if reports are true, Red Cross / FEMA support did not arrive until well after most residents lost access to power, food, water, and infant supplies. Most of the people I spoke to who live there felt forgotten about.

I used to live in Staten Island going back about 15 years ago, and I can tell you it was than the forgotten borough, and most of the people who live there feel like they are pretty much on their own during times of crisis. The place is a disaster during snow storms for instance, last place to get plowed out, and roadways remain obstructed for longer periods of time than in other borough, and the electricity stays out longer. There is a real and understandable resentment of city government there.

November 4th, 2012, 01:47 PM
You get what you pay for.

November 4th, 2012, 02:12 PM
I am not sure what the means; Staten Island's city and state tax rates are no different than those of the other boroughs. The point is, that at least in my experience, they get a lower priority in government services than the other boroughs in times of crisis.

November 4th, 2012, 02:47 PM
Property taxes on houses are much lower than on condos and coops. This, coupled with the isolated nature of their location and the relative sparseness in their population density is going to lead to slower response to emergencies and fewer services in general.

November 4th, 2012, 03:12 PM
Property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property. as well as local tax rates. Tax rates in NYC are uniform throughout the boroughs; meaning the tax rate in SI is no different than in Manhattan or any other borough. The variable is the assessed value of homes. If Staten Island property taxes are less than other boroughs (and with the exception of Manhattan and other affluent areas of the city, that is arguable) it is because SI properties are worth less than those in other boroughs. For instance Manhattan condos have higher market value than SI houses.

So if your argument is that SI should receive lower city services priority than areas with higher assessed home values (which is the driver of property tax deltas within the city), would you make the same claim for other lower valued property areas within NYC including those in lower income sections?

The fact is that people who live there are in dire need of assistance, and until recently, were not receiving it. Property taxes should not be a consideration when deciding where to dedicate what Govt. resources in times of crisis. That decision should be made on the basis of need.

November 4th, 2012, 03:52 PM
I'm not saying they should get less service. I'm saying they do get less service. It's just the way things are.

November 5th, 2012, 04:25 AM

Staten Island Residents Say Official Hurricane Sandy Response Has Been Slow And Inadequate

by Chris Kirkham and Saki Knafo

(see article for video) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/04/staten-island-hurricane-sandy_n_2070682.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york&ir=New%20York)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- When the storm hit, Philip Ferrante's house was spared. But his neighbors down the street weren't so lucky, so he bought a vanload of supplies with his own money and began driving around.

At an evacuation shelter at a local high school, the staff was made up of a janitor, a few teenagers and a school administrator. "There was no plan," he said. So he began giving people jobs and blasting out help requests on Facebook. "The community was unprepared, and so were the state and the federal government," he said. "Nobody knows what to do and how to do it efficiently."

Ferrante is one of many who have taken the rescue and recovery efforts into their own hands, and he feels that the official response to the storm has been slow and inadequate (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/staten-island-red-cross-hurricane-sandy_n_2065209.html). On the south shore of Staten Island and in other areas of the borough where the storm has destroyed houses and taken lives (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/hurricane-sandy-staten-island-devastation_n_2058707.html?utm_hp_ref=staten-island), most people seem to share this view.

Official help has arrived in the last couple of days, but many residents say it's not enough and poorly organized. (Ferrante said he recently saw someone from FEMA holding up a map and asking a police officer where the disaster was.) Staten Island is only 20 miles by car from Manhattan, but information about what's happening in this devastated section of New York City has only recently begun to emerge. According to the last official count, at least 19 people have died (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/hurricane-sandy-death-toll-41-new-york-city-hard-hit-staten-island-acocunts-nearly-half_n_2067333.html) in Staten Island and hundreds of families are without homes. Seemingly on every block, there are harrowing stories of survival.

Five days after Sandy hit, Pedro Correa stood in a field of reeds and debris, careful not to trip over the remnants of his ruined home. All around him were decks, sheds and roofs that had been ripped apart and flung into the empty marsh. He motioned to the recognizable bits of his neighbors' houses: "That roof is Adam's; over there, my buddy Pete; and that's my friend Vinny."

Correa and his lifelong best friend, Robert Gavars, had evacuated but went back home Monday evening to refill the generator, which they had hoped would stay on to pump out floodwaters from the basement of Correa's house.

At 7:30 p.m. it was barely raining, Correa recalled, and there was about an inch of water on the ground. Within 15 minutes, the two were knee-deep in water; in a half hour, they were soaked up to their chests.

They quickly realized the house was starting to buckle under the pounding from the ocean, so they ripped the legs off the dining room table and used it as a raft, paddling away from the house. When the table started to sink, they grabbed onto a piece of the neighbor's roof, which had come dislodged under the surge.

They rode the roof toward higher ground, as pieces of siding and refrigerators floated by them. When the roof got tangled up with debris, they ferried one another to dry land using beams of wood that floated by. A half hour later they made it inside a nearby home, shivering and exhausted.

A few miles away, in Midland Beach, a young man from Montenegro came home the day after the storm to caved-in walls, a wood floor that squished under his weight, and mud that spattered every surface of his apartment within a foot and a half of the ceiling.

Frank, who didn't want to give his full name, said that he and his wife had bought the home for $300,000 seven years ago. Just this year, they put on the finishing touches, furnishing the entire living room and painting the little bedroom pink for their first child.

Frank, along with his wife, daughter and his parents, all fled their home last Sunday afternoon. But on Monday, his parents -- like Correa -- went back to see if the property was okay. As the water began to rise, they tried driving away, but the car stalled in the flood.

Frank was on the phone with his mother and told her to get out of the car and walk to higher ground. Then the line went dead. Frank called 911, but said the dispatcher told him there was nothing they could do to save his parents.

The next morning, as he swam down what used to be his street, he found his parents alive in the apartments of two different neighbors. As it turned out, his parents had taken his advice and left the car. But just at that moment, a wave came and swept his father away.

His mother, who does not know how to swim, managed to cling on to the car door as the water lifted it off the street. Forty-five minutes later, a neighbor pulled her out of the waves.
His father was swept all the way down the block, where another neighbor tore off a curtain and dangled it out the second-story window. Frank's father climbed up to safety and spent the next 15 hours wondering if his wife had somehow survived.

A few days after the storm, Frank walked through his ruined home with a paper dust mask on his face. "Nothing exists," he said. In the baby's room, the crib was in pieces and the pink walls were streaked with muck. "I wanted to do it perfect," Frank said. "It was my first child."

Across the street from the marsh where Correa surveyed the remains of his house, Ferrante pulled up to a row of apartments. A middle-aged woman came out and said she was in need of some pillows.

A hundred feet away, a concrete slab was strewn with debris. The homes were gone, but an outdoor swimming pool and a wooden stairway had survived. Flying from the stairway in the dark was an upside-down flag, a signal of distress.


November 5th, 2012, 04:37 AM
A Dispatch From Staten Island

by Michael Morgenstern

Five of us went to Staten Island on Saturday, and I'd like to report back. I can only relate the small picture we got from the ground, hopefully it will inform people who want to help out.
Four things to know:

They don't need canned goods right now, at least where we were. Food distribution outlets were overflowing cans and perishable cooked food. They need trash bags, shovels, wheelbarrows, masks, work gloves, and other implements for clearing out houses.
There is work. You will not be a bother to anyone or interfere with efforts if you arrive in a car and start asking to help. Be creative and persistent. The main (and most important) work to be done is gutting houses and removing drywall before it grows mold.
This map is a good starting point, but use your own ingenuity.
Come early! It's a dawn to dusk workday.

We drove in over a Verrazano Bridge that was virtually empty due to New York's gas shortage. To our shock, the $13 toll was still being levied. We dropped some supplies at the Crossroads Church and walked to the water.

Line for gas



The area around New Dorp Cedar Grove is a middle-class neighborhood at sea level, and what we saw there was pretty bad. Not nearly as bad as the worst of Katrina, but it rivaled the devastation in many parts of New Orleans. Some houses had caved in and some were blown as much as 150 feet away, while others looked sturdy and unaffected. There is no electricity, so residents arrive at the crack of dawn and work until evening, trashing soaked drywall, insulation, and possessions before they grow molds. Yesterday spirits remained incredibly high, and there was a tremendous feeling of community and collaboration.


Possessions on the street

We encountered a vast, semi-organized tangle of aid. Some groups were very well-organized: churches, army trucks filled with soldiers. Mostly, efforts seemed independent; one group we met called themselves the "people with silver tape on their arm group."

Our first task, assigned by someone who may or may not have been in charge of something, was to fill a shopping cart with food and walk it to people who could not get to the food distribution tables. Only one person took a hot meal; everyone else had already been fed or was racing against the sun to finish work.

We dropped the shopping cart at another food distribution center five blocks away and walked door to door, asking people if they needed our help. An older Russian couple and their son enlisted us in ripping out drywall and throwing it away. Parts of the insulation were dripping wet, even days after the flooding. The conversation dipped (descended) into politics for a while and we had a healthy (long) political discussion. The family was touched by the help, and we found it surprising that they hadn't been offered any yet given how many crews were there working.

We walked further down the street past a giant overturned hot tub and a dumpster entirely full of drywall and furniture ("that's my basement," said a man to us). We joined the People With Silver Tape on their Arm Group in clearing out a basement.

Hot tub

On our way back to the car we noticed a small sign that said "food and clothing." We walked in and entered a recovery wonderland -- a restaurant cleared of tables and chairs, piles of hot food lining the edges and heaps of clothing filling the space. The lawn outside was covered in bags of clothing, which we brought in and sorted into coats, mens' clothes, womens' clothes, etc. I tried to separate the gigantic mens' clothes pile into sub-piles and gave up after a few minutes. I had received a few requests for information about where to donate and asked the owner of the restaurant if he was accepting donations; he responded, "No, please, give the money to the community."

It's a wonder that such a world can exist less than ten miles from lower Manhattan, though the juxtaposition must have been strange before the storm as well. The disparity in recovery efforts is sure to grow as time goes on. I suspect that even in a few weeks, attention to this disaster will wane and it will be even harder for many people to rebuild their lives, especially as New York City makes appearances to have moved on. One of the greatest difficulties in responding to a tragedy like this is finding money and hands when the memory of the tragedy has faded.
So for now, come help... and later, when the storm has been all but forgotten, let's help as well.


November 5th, 2012, 07:59 AM
It is almost as though people are forcibly being evicted from their homes!

People are now homeless, in dispair and want answers. Well, weren't they all told to get out of Dodge and try to seek shelter eleswhere before the storm came?!!

But it IS a nightmare to not only lose all your worldly posessions, but also, to be totally displaced from your home because it has been completely destroyed!

November 5th, 2012, 11:31 AM
While I don't consider property taxes to be so applicable to the subject of this thread (there are other issues at work here, and I agree that property taxes should not be the deciding factor in who gets emergency aid), the difference in property taxation between SI and Manhattan, for instance, isn't rate directly, but property class, and how that effects rate. Single family houses are a different property class than apartment buildings. Apartment buildings are taxed at a higher rate. So, since apartments are the predominant form of housing in Manhattan, whiles it's 1-3 family houses in SI, in point of fact, for the same assessed value, the properties in Manhattan pay more.

I also don't know if the SI and the Rockaways are getting less aid, or that they're in worse shape, need more aid than the rest of the city, and since their infrastructure was more vulnerable, they will just take that much longer to put back together.

Property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property. as well as local tax rates. Tax rates in NYC are uniform throughout the boroughs; meaning the tax rate in SI is no different than in Manhattan or any other borough. The variable is the assessed value of homes. If Staten Island property taxes are less than other boroughs (and with the exception of Manhattan and other affluent areas of the city, that is arguable) it is because SI properties are worth less than those in other boroughs. For instance Manhattan condos have higher market value than SI houses.

So if your argument is that SI should receive lower city services priority than areas with higher assessed home values (which is the driver of property tax deltas within the city), would you make the same claim for other lower valued property areas within NYC including those in lower income sections?

The fact is that people who live there are in dire need of assistance, and until recently, were not receiving it. Property taxes should not be a consideration when deciding where to dedicate what Govt. resources in times of crisis. That decision should be made on the basis of need.

November 5th, 2012, 04:20 PM
Manhatan is not the only other borough in the city, and single family homes are not the only type of housing in Staten Island. For instance, I used to live in a low-rise condo on the north shore. Middle and lower income areas in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx all pay relatively low taxes. Single family homes in Forest Hills and Bay Ridge for instance have comparable taxes to those along the more affluent sectons of the south shore of Staten Island.

This is not a Staten Island issue.

Of course Staten Island property taxes compare unfavorably to Manhattan, not withstanding your comment on property class, property values in Staten Island are far less than those those in Manhattan, so they should pay less.

Also consider, that apartment buildings are far denser in population than single family homes are. The per person tax allocation for apartments is less than it is for single family homes.

But you are right, this is all besides the point.

God forbid the DOT waive the bridge toll during this time. Really, you can't make this crap up.

November 5th, 2012, 08:23 PM
That toll is the MTA, not the city DOT. Talk to Cuomo.

November 8th, 2012, 01:42 PM
They should, at the very least, reduce and restrict it.

Say charge $5 for crossing, but only if you have 4 people in your car or 2 in your truck.

Reward people for coming in to help, but discourage solo-trekkers.

November 8th, 2012, 04:50 PM
I stand corrected. For some reason, I thought the VZN was DOT. Maybe I was confusing it with the ferry?

November 8th, 2012, 08:19 PM
(Also posted in Perfect Storm thread)

They are now saying that in SI, they no longer need coats and clothing, but what they do need is:

Cleaning supplies, including brooms, mops, etc., as well as bleach and other disinfectants
Garbage bags
Women's sanitary products
(My guess) Diapers and other baby products

Also volunteers to help clean up

November 9th, 2012, 07:34 AM
Gas rationing begins in NY; power outages persist

Email Story (http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20121107/US.Superstorm.Sandy/) Print (http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20121107/US.Superstorm.Sandy/print/)

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http://por-img.cimcontent.net/api/assets/bin-201211/035d-Superstorm-Gas-Rationing.jpg (http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-national/news-national-20121107-US.Superstorm.Sandy/)People wait in line for gasoline at a Hess station in Brooklyn, where gas is... (http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-national/news-national-20121107-US.Superstorm.Sandy/)

NEW YORK — A new gasoline rationing plan that lets motorists fill up every other day went into effect in New York Friday morning as a nor'easter that knocked out power anew to hundreds of thousands of customers erased some of the progress made by utility crews.

Police were at gas stations to enforce the new system in New York City and on Long Island. Drivers were out before dawn to line up for their rations.
"This is designed to let everybody have a fair chance, so the lines aren't too oppressive and that we can get through this," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The nor'easter brought gusting winds, rain and snow on Wednesday and early Thursday before it moved on. Snow blanketed several states from New York to New England and stymied recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy as additional storm-weakened trees snapped and more power lines came down.

Hundreds of thousands of utility customers, mostly in New York and New Jersey, have been left waiting for their electricity to come back on — and some are losing patience, demanding investigations of utilities they say aren't working fast enough.
An angry Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the calls for an investigation Thursday, ripping the utilities as unprepared and badly managed.
"It's unacceptable the longer it goes on because the longer it goes on, people's suffering is worse," he said.

Cuomo appears to be all by himself among the New York area's big three politicians. Bloomberg defended the city's power company, Consolidated Edison, and said it has done a good job in recent years. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praised the utilities, saying he expects all of his state to have power back by early Sunday.

The utilities have said they are dealing with damage unprecedented in its scope and are doing the best they can. And there is no denying the magnitude of what they have done: At the peak, more than 8.5 million homes and businesses across 21 states lost power during Sandy. Early Friday, there were more than 288,000 outages in New York and about 265,000 in New Jersey.

Some people have lived for days in the dark in temperatures near freezing.
"We lost power last week, just got it back for a day or two, and now we lost it again," said John Monticello of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. "Every day it's the same now: turn on the gas burner for heat. Instant coffee. Use the iPad to find out what's going on in the rest of the world."

The mounting criticism of utility companies came as New York City and Long Island followed New Jersey's lead and announced odd-even gasoline rationing to deal with fuel shortages and long lines at gas stations; the Federal Emergency Management Agency started bringing mobile homes into the region; and Cuomo said the storm could cost New York State alone $33 billion.

New Jersey did not have a damage estimate of its own, but others have put Sandy's overall toll at up to $50 billion, making it the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, behind Hurricane Katrina, which swamped New Orleans in 2005.
The gas rationing plan took effect at 5 a.m. Friday on Long Island and at 6 a.m. in New York City. Officials said it was imposed because something had to be done to ease the long waits for fuel, which they say has caused panic-buying and hoarding.

Bloomberg said only a quarter of the city's gas stations were open. Some were closed because they were out of power, others because they can't get fuel from terminals and storage tanks that can't unload their cargoes.

Gas will be available to drivers with license-plate numbers ending in an odd number or a letter on Friday. On Saturday, drivers with license plates that end in even numbers or zero can fuel up.

Buses, taxes and limousines, commercial vehicles and emergency vehicles are exempt from the plan, as are people carrying portable gas cans. Vanity plates that don't have numbers are considered odd-numbered plates. Out-of-state drivers are also subject to the system.
Bloomberg said the shortages could last another couple of weeks.

November 13th, 2012, 04:23 AM
Sandy Snuffs Out Century Old Lighthouse near Staten Island

by Branden Klayko

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lighthouse_down_04-550x278.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lighthouse_down_04.jpg)
The Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse before and after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

Staten Island’s Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse (http://www.uscg.mil/d1/antNewYork/lighthouses/OldOrchardShoal.asp) stood as a protective beacon in Sandy Hook Bat for 119 years, but has now been reduced to rubble atop its rocky outcropping after being slammed by Hurricane Sandy (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/49061). Built in 1893, the cast-iron lighthouse once stood 51 feet tall and had been listed on the National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage Program, but had been declared obsolete by the General Service Administration and sold at auction in 2008 for $235,000. The US Coast Guard confirmed this week that the stout structure succumbed to the storm. Light House Friends (http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=758) has more history on the Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse:

In the late 1800s when winter ice closed down Staten Island Sound, the waterway separating New Jersey from Staten Island, an estimated 15,000 tons of shipping were forced to use the narrow channel that ran along the eastern shore of Staten Island. In doing so, the vessels passed dangerously close to Old Orchard Shoal. A bell buoy and a lighted buoy initially marked this shallow area, but mariners considered these navigational aids grossly inadequate…After $60,000 was approved, construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1893. The new fifty-one-foot, cast-iron tower was cone-shaped, built in the “spark plug” style common among offshore lights in that region.

[Via SI Live (http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/staten_islands_old_orchard_lig.html) and Working Harbor (http://workingharbor.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/old-orchard-shoal-light-is-no-more/).]

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lighthouse_down_02-550x412.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lighthouse_down_02.jpg)
Remains of the Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lighthouse_down_03-550x412.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/lighthouse_down_03.jpg)
Remains of the Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)


November 13th, 2012, 01:29 PM

I would have been more surprised if it HADN'T been destroyed!

December 7th, 2012, 05:22 AM
Staten Island's Hurricane Sandy Damage Sheds Light On Complicated Political Battle

by Saki Knafo and Lila Shapiro

On the southern shore of Staten Island, the remains of a street called Kissam Avenue stretch across the marshland, a trail of ruins leading to the sea. When Pedro Correa first drove down the street six years ago with his wife, their young son and a real estate agent, he was amazed that a street so secluded and serene still existed in a city of eight million people. It was early spring, and a cool, salty breeze was blowing in from the ocean, rustling the 6-foot-tall curtains of grass that lined both sides of the road. The house the Correas had come to see was about 50 feet from the beach, and it was a wreck -- it had been ordered in parts from a Sears catalog in the 1950s -- but Correa was a practiced carpenter and he allowed himself to fantasize about "the possibilities." He’d never imagined that his corrections officer salary could afford him a third of an acre, a deck with ocean views and an in-ground pool.

It wasn't until Correa began paying off the $375,000 mortgage on the house that his neighbor Charlie, a retired ferry captain, told him about the history of floods in the area. In 1992, a nor'easter had filled the homes around Kissam with more than 3 feet of black sludge, destroyed furniture and appliances, and pounded away at an old, wooden sea wall that ran along the shore. The storms of '94 and '96 did still more damage, and then there were the countless smaller floods caused by nothing more than the combined force of a high tide and a full moon.

Still, Correa wouldn't contemplate selling. When he was 15, he had quit high school for a job at a butcher shop to support his mother and three younger siblings after his stepfather died. In 2001 he drove his car into downtown Manhattan as the first tower fell, and in 2003 he drove a tank through Baghdad as insurgents mined the roads. When he came home a year later, some of the men who fought beside Correa in Iraq confided that they were taking medications to combat post-traumatic stress, but he didn't want to see a psychiatrist. He took a job as a corrections sergeant at Sing Sing, where he trained to be able to protect his prison staff in the event of a riot or a fire. Correa felt he could handle whatever came at him.

On the evening of Oct. 29, about three hours before a wave crashed over Kissam Avenue and tore 13 of the block's 17 homes from their foundations, Correa and his best friend, Bobby, stood in the kitchen cooking spaghetti and a sauce made from crabs they'd caught in the marsh the day before. Earlier that day, most of the people on the block, including Correa's wife, Jen, and two children, PJ and Alyssa, had followed the city's mandatory orders to evacuate, leaving only Correa and Bobby behind. At about 5:30 p.m., Correa looked out his kitchen window and realized that this storm was going to be worse than any he'd seen before. About 100 feet down the beach, whitecaps were curling over the top of the seawall. High tide would not arrive for another three hours, and already one of the block's only defenses against the weather was failing. So he and Bobby decided to finish dinner and leave.

They stayed just long enough to haul a generator into the basement and secure Correa’s tool collection. When they got back upstairs, Correa saw his car rolling past the window and wondered if he'd parked it in neutral. Then he realized that the car wasn't rolling, it was floating. Correa had always make it a point of pride never to run from danger, but as the surge ferried his car away, he knew that running was no longer an option.

full article at Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/staten-island-hurricane-sandy_n_2245523.html?ref=new-york&ir=New%20York&ref=new-york&utm_hp_ref=new-york)