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Thread: Hurricane Sandy--THE Perfect Storm?

  1. #61
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Sounds good.

    Does NOT sound good .

    Power equipment continues to sit in Central Park days after marathon canceled

    Dan Brinzac
    At least five generators still remain in Central park after the New York City Marathon was canceled last Friday.

    What a run-around!

    The city left more than a dozen generators and other pieces of heavy equipment -- desperately needed by cold and hungry New Yorkers who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy -- still stranded in Central Park yesterday and this morning.

    Five light towers, that can expand up to 30 feet in the air, were sitting unused on the east side of Central Park near 72nd Street today, as horrified passersby demanded to know why the equipment hadn’t been deployed to devastated neighborhoods.

    The towers are owned by the New York City Parks & Recreation Department and a leasing company, which identified their machines as rented to the New York Road Runners.

    “People could really use this equipment right now,” said Upper West Side resident Jamie Traffert, 29, as she jogged by the unused light stands.

    “Well it’s not doing anyone any good around here. Seeing how there are still blackouts in parts of the city, it makes no sense to let them go to waste [here].”

    There were 115,000 New York power customers still in the dark today, compared to 145,000 yesterday, according to Mayor Bloomberg.

    “It's still a lot of people without power,” the mayor conceded.

    Stashed near the finish line of the canceled marathon yesterday were 20 heaters, tens of thousands of Mylar “space” blankets, jackets, 106 crates of apples and peanuts, at least 14 pallets of bottled water and 22 five-gallon jugs of water.

    Dan Brinzac
    Portable lights sit in Central Park today.

    This while people who lost their homes in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Staten Island were freezing and going hungry.

    Michael Murphy, of Staten Island, who had no power and no heat, said yesterday: “We needed 100 percent of the resources here.”

    “If those generators were here, we maybe could have had some light for the cleanup effort,” he said. “Those generators would really have come in handy.’’

    Larry Gold, 61, of Rockaway Park, who has difficulty breathing, can’t use his oxygen tank without electricity.

    “I need power to breathe,’’ he said.

    Mayor Bloomberg today admitted that some generators might have been left behind this weekend. But he assured New Yorkers that all available equipment would be put to use immediately.

    “I’m not looking at any one generator,” Bloomberg said.

    “We needed a 100-plus generators. We believe that we either have them, or that they’re on their way -- some provided by the Army Corps of Engineers, some provided by FEMA, some provided by private contractors, some that the city had.”

  2. #62
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003



    I knew this would happen, and sadly I think Bloomie knew it too.

    Unfortunately, he can't say "even if we cancelled, this stuff will never get there because of these slow moving idiots, yadda yadda yadda...". It would be the truth, but good luck getting ANYTHING out of the "idiots" later.

  3. #63


    I'm sure there are more than a few civilians that would happily make the trek to the Park to retrieve those generators at their own expense. Dammit just get some of those homes humming again. Especially those with illnesses, and the elderly.

    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

  4. #64


    Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

    Team Rubicon

    Doctors Without Borders is also in the area.

  5. #65
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    Wb, Zip!

  6. #66
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    The Free Republic of the Rockaways

    Where the storm never ends, anarchy reigns, and people find their own ways to survive.

    By Mark Jacobson

    In the immediate run-up to the presidential election, there was much punditry as to what effect Hurricane Sandy would have on the outcome. Could it be that God, usually thought of as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, by virtue of His impish sense of humor, had decided to withhold the presidency from the Mormon asset column? After years of skulduggery and billions in super-PAC spending, the storm was throwing a last-minute monkey wrench into the race. Yet out here in Rockaway, New York’s hurricane epicenter, November 6 was not merely the thankful culmination of the desultory exercise of whatever is left of American democracy. It was Day Nine of the Sandy epoch, a wholly new kind of time.

    It is a continuum that invents its own progressive reality, as witnessed by the ever-growing trash pile in the Jacob Riis Park parking lot. Giant dump trucks were lined up in front of the old bathhouse built by Jimmy Walker in 1932 for “the recreation of all New Yorkers,” ready to deposit their loads. Each truck was piled high with 36 cubic yards of what used to be people’s worldly possessions. With each cubic yard weighing 600 to 700 pounds and the drivers averaging four runs each day, that added up to slightly over 100,000 pounds, or 50 tons per truck per day (they’ve collected nearly 480 million pounds so far). There was plenty more to pick up, as revealed by a drive across the peninsula’s ethnic full spectrum, from Breezy Point’s cop-and-fireman gated paradise in the west, to the diverse old-school nabe around Beach 116th, out to Far Rock’s hard-knock world in the east. When the moon and the tides conspire to send fifteen feet of ocean water smashing across a less-than-a-mile strip of sand to meet a near-equal torrent from the bay, treasure can become trash in an instant. The lot behind the apartment houses at Beach 105th Street was filled with a hundred vehicles aimed at crazy angles like a freeze-framed *bumper-car ride.

    They’d never go again. And even if they could, there was no gas, of course. Not that this was any fault of a Far Rockaway resident named Sadiq. Originally from Georgetown, Guyana, Sadiq had spent the better part of the previous weekend trying to import a large quantity of what he called “motion lotion” in 55-gallon drums from Scranton, Pennsylvania. “I thought I would be the big-time petrol black marketeer. But we had a lot of leakage. Our drums were faulty.” Originally, Sadiq planned to sell his gas for $20 a gallon, but had second thoughts. He felt ashamed and couldn’t bring himself to “take advantage.” He wound up giving the fuel away to fellow livery-car drivers, most of whom had spent the week waiting in endless lines on the other side of the Marine Parkway bridge.

    “Still no heat, no power, no ATM, no food in the store, no A train to get off the island, perpetual cold and darkness, no word when any of it will change,” said Almamy Seray-Wurie, summing up the situation as he waited at the Conch Playground on Beach 49th Street for what he called “the daily handout” of box lunches, clothing, Pampers, and bright-blue Marathon Recovery Bags left over from the canceled road race. At least he is used to it, said Almamy, who now lives in the former Edgemere projects after fleeing the decadelong civil war in his home country of Sierra Leone. “I am a refugee. I am accustomed to waiting in lines.”

    This didn’t mean Day Nine of Sandy Time was exactly like Day Eight. Natural disasters work on a separate calendar, depending on the degree of the damage caused and the type of people affected. As the aftermath of Katrina demonstrated, help and mercy are not always meted out equally. In 1970, half a million people died in the Bhola Cyclone and all they got was George Harrison and the Concert for Bangladesh. On that account, Rockaway, a.k.a. “the Irish Riviera,” home to perhaps the highest density of first responders anywhere, has been lucky. Things could have been a lot worse. Last Monday, soon after the storm hit (officially starting Day One of the Sandy clock), the almost routine heroism associated with the FDNY was on display when a stretch of primarily mom-and-pop stores on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 113th and Beach 115th Streets burst into flames, a conflagration people in the Rockaways think began when employees fleeing the storm left the oven on in a pizza shop.

    “It was insane, coming down the street in a boat in ten feet of water to fight a fire,” said firefighter Thomas Fee, who as a member of Swift Water Team No. 6 was soon on the scene. “We didn’t have our usual gear. We thought we would be pulling people out of the water, so we had this thin plastic foul-weather stuff on,” he said, drawing a diagram to show how he managed to crawl through the openings in the “****ing roaring” buildings, eventually reaching 22 people trapped on rooftops and leading them to safety.

    2 3 4 5

  7. #67


    Moved thread to News & Politics. Added tags

  8. #68
    Forum Veteran Daquan13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    East Boston, MA.


    Long Islanders fume over utility's storm response

    Email Story Print

    6 hours ago

    A crew with Salt River Project of Arizona (SRP) works on replacing a pole on...

    HICKSVILLE, N.Y. — Priscilla Niemiera has a message for officials at the Long Island Power Authority.
    "I'd tell them, get off your rear end and do your job," the 68-year-old Seaford resident said. Well, she would if she could get in touch with anyone.
    Over the last two weeks since she lost power from Superstorm Sandy, she says, "every time I called they hung up on me."
    While most utilities have restored electricity to nearly all their customers, LIPA still has tens of thousands of customers in the dark.

    The company said that the storm was worse than anyone could have imagined and that it didn't just damage outdoor electrical lines; it caused flooding that touched home and business breaker boxes. It acknowledged that an outdated computer system for keeping customers notified has added to people's frustration.
    But some say the government-run utility should have seen it coming. It was recently criticized in a withering state report for lax preparation ahead of last year's Hurricane Irene and for the 25-year-old computer system used to pinpoint outages and update customers.

    "It's antiquated. I think they're negligent," said Phil Glickman, a retired Wall Street executive from South Bellmore who waited 11 days to get electricity back.
    LIPA has restored power to more than 1.1 million homes and offices. About 19,000 customers were still waiting for the lights to come back early Tuesday.
    The utility says there also are some along Long Island's south shore and Rockaway Peninsula that had water damage to electrical panels and wiring, so their service can't be restored without an inspection and possibly repairs.

    At its peak, the storm knocked out power to 8.5 million customers in 10 states, with New York and New Jersey bearing the brunt. Those outages have been nearly erased, though Consolidated Edison, the chief utility in New York City, has cited problems similar to LIPA's, saying about 16,300 customers in flooded areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island can't get service until their internal electrical equipment is repaired, tested and certified.

    Niemiera, whose finished basement in Seaford flooded, said her house needs to be inspected and she can't get any answers. "I think LIPA should be broken up into small companies and it shouldn't be a monopoly anymore because this is every single time we have a disaster. And then they raise the rates. We're paying very high rates. We're paying high taxes, high electric. Everything," she said.

    LIPA, whose board is chosen by the governor and lawmakers, contracts with National Grid for service and maintenance. Last year, its board chose a new contractor, New Jersey's Public Service Enterprise Group, which will take over in 2014. Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the storm response of all New York utilities in the region, saying their management had failed consumers.
    Asked Monday about LIPA board vacancies he hasn't filled and whether he takes responsibility for what's happening there, Cuomo called the authority a holding company that became "an intergovernmental political organization." He said National Grid was the actual Long Island power provider, one of the monopolistic state-regulated utilities. "They're going to be held accountable," he said, citing lack of communication and preparation and even proposing they consider rebates instead of rate hikes.

    A state report criticized LIPA in June for poor customer communications after Irene last year and for insufficient tree trimming. The Department of Public Service noted major problems in telling customers estimated power-restoration times, faulting its computer system, which a consultant had found deficient back in 2006.

    LIPA acknowledged that customers aren't getting the information they need, partly because of the system, which it is updating. Authority officials said the new system will be operating next year.
    "It is a huge computer system. After Irene we immediately accelerated that process, and even at that it is still an 18-month to two-year process," LIPA's chief operating officer, Michael Hervey, said Monday. "We would have liked to have had it up and running for now, but it's just such a large magnitude computer system that it takes that long."

    Hervey said the company will be working with remaining customers over the next several weeks as they get their homes repaired. "They can't be safely re-energized from an electrical standpoint," he said. "We are ready to service those areas, but they are not ready to take it right now."
    John Bruckner, president of National Grid Long Island transmission and distribution, said he had about 15,000 people working on restoration, including 6,400 linemen from all over the U.S. and Canada.

    Matthew Cordaro, co-chairman of the Suffolk Legislature's LIPA Oversight Committee and a former utility executive, said Con Ed and Public Service Electric & Gas New Jersey did a good job responding to the storm, and LIPA didn't.

    While a storm of that magnitude would challenge any electricity provider, he said LIPA is probably one of the most poorly run utilities and has a "crazy" public-private organizational structure that's fraught with problems and raises questions of accountability.

    In New Jersey, post-Sandy recovery moved ahead, with Gov. Chris Christie announcing that the odd-even system of gas rationing would end starting Tuesday. The head of NJ Transit said a severely damaged rail line could be up and running more quickly than what had been estimated.
    Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

  9. #69


    LIPA, JCP&L, and all the utilities have been giving lip service for over a week. Granted with PSE&G & a few others there are only a few hundred left each now, but if you're one of those few hundred you don't want to hear the updates anymore because they all sound like lies. My sister and her husband just got theirs back Saturday, and they didn't even have flooding.

    They all keep referring to Sandy as "unprecedented, which is true, but if Floyd in '99, the early 2000's storm, & Irene weren't a warning to get your act together MAJORLY, nothing will be.

  10. #70


    I always knew you can find the best seashells after a big storm, but this is even better.

    And this
    Last edited by mariab; November 17th, 2012 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Add link

  11. #71


    US Geological Survey - aerial views Long Island and Queens Barrier Islands

    The Post-Storm Oblique Aerial Photography link opens a map with a red stripe from the Carolinas to Massachusetts. Zoom in on an area until the blue (pre-storm) and red (post-storm) dots resolve. Dots link to hi-res photos.

  12. #72


    Another map-changer, like '62.

  13. #73
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    A Much Criticized Pocket of the Rockaways, Built to Survive a Storm


    Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
    Daria Mainetti and her husband, Phil Coxon, live in Arverne by the Sea,
    a community in the Rockaways that was not damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

    The morning after Hurricane Sandy battered the Rockaways last month, Phil Coxon, 70, who lives just off the water there, walked out his front door, “and it looked like any other day,” he said.

    Sure, there had been some street flooding from encroaching sea waters, but nothing like the torrents that rushed head-high through many neighborhoods elsewhere on the Rockaway Peninsula, turning the area into a near-wasteland of flooded and wrecked homes and submerged cars.

    Sure, the howling winds snapped one of Mr. Coxon’s shingles off, but nothing like the widespread wind damage to homes and stores farther away, in areas that still resemble a war zone.
    Mr. Coxon and most of his hundreds of neighbors suffered no real flooding or damage to their homes. They live in a newer area called Arverne by the Sea, a vast $1 billion oceanfront development between Beach 62nd and 80th Streets that is home to over 1,000 families and is one of the largest residential development projects underway in New York City. It has also been much criticized, for its size, its ostentatious appearance and the quality of its housing.

    In the days after the storm, things seemed almost idyllic within much of Arverne’s 117-acre footprint, compared with the mess and chaos in the rest of the Rockaways. Mr. Coxon said he was not surprised.

    “I bought into this place because of the way it was built,” said Mr. Coxon, a marketing consultant who moved into his $700,000 townhouse in March, with his wife, Daria Mainetti, after living 20 years in Jackson Heights, Queens.

    The development lies within evacuation Zone A, but Mr. Coxon and many of his neighbors ignored the city’s order to leave. While power remained out for more than a week, they formed group patrols to deter looters.

    Arverne by the Sea has been controversial dating well before 2004 when people started moving in, including a longstanding criticism that the houses were of poor quality. It was the mantra of many dyed-in-the-wool Rockaway-ites that these pretty, modern homes were really flimsy matchboxes that would blow over in the first big storm.

    But the development, which is eventually expected to include 2,300 two-family houses and condominiums, also weathered Tropical Storm Irene last year.

    “I heard it all from the beginning, people saying, ‘Ah, they’re building junk,’” said Gerry Romski, the development’s project executive. “But bottom line: Our system worked, because we planned from the very beginning to withstand this kind of thing.”

    “We’ve already seen interest from Breezy Point residents whose homes were destroyed – looking for something safer,” Mr. Romski said, referring to a Rockaway neighborhood several miles to the west that was particularly decimated by the storm.

    Mr. Romski said that a heavy-duty, sophisticated drainage system, designed to handle flood surges, was instrumental in mitigating flooding. The system — which features underground chambers, wide street mains and storm drains on each house property — connects to large sewer mains that the developer installed in public streets that they rebuilt around the project site, as part of an agreement with the city, Mr. Romski said. Also helpful was a natural buffer of sand and beach grass that was maintained near the boardwalk. It also helped that much of the boardwalk in front of the project stayed intact to break the roaring surf, unlike the long stretch west of 88th Street that was obliterated.

    “Even back in the planning phases, there was talk of global warming and rising sea levels and all that,” Mr. Romski said. “We knew we’d have to engineer it specifically, and go above and beyond the building requirements, to make it hurricane-proof.”

    Instead of overhead power lines, the developer put in underground utility lines, and installed submersible transformers, Mr. Romski said. Homes in the development got power back sooner than much of the rest of the Rockaways, parts of which still remain in the dark. Water never rose to the electrical meters, and the developer hired electricians to inspect the homes, to make sure they were able to receive power.

    Before building, the developer raised the entire area with a half-million cubic yards of fill, essentially raising the entire neighborhood five feet higher than it had been, said Michael Dubb, principal of the Beechwood Organization, a partner with the Benjamin Development Company in developing the project along with Denise Coyle, principal of the Benjamin Companies.

    The development’s houses are built with steel framing and are covered with cement-composite shingles. They rest on concrete-slab foundations rooted with wooden pilings, and have hurricane-grade windows, said Mr. Dubb, as he surveyed the streets on Wednesday.

    “I built houses in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew, and I knew I had to build this while keeping in mind the possibility of serious hurricanes,” he said.

    The development’s performance is particularly intriguing because of the curious role it has in the Rockaways, where it strikes a contrast against the modest houses, rustic bungalows, public housing projects and faded high-rises around it.

    The Arverne complex resembles a sleepy development in the Carolinas, rising slowly like a bouquet of fake flowers — a utopian set from “The Truman Show.” Its micro-neighborhoods have names like Ocean Breeze, Palmers Landing and the Breakers. And its newly mapped streets have names like Spinnaker Drive. Its white picket fences, ornamental trellises and rooftop deck railings and fencings are made of plastic.

    “But look how sturdy it is, said Mr. Coxon, standing on his fourth-floor roof deck and looking out at the now-calm ocean. “It did what it was supposed to do.”

  14. #74

  15. #75
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New York City


    Those are some seriously ugly properties. Most apparent to me is the lack of even a single tree. I never understood how subdivision developers always without exception clear cut everything on the land before they build. I bet you could train a monkey to use autocad to mark trees that could be left untouched while building properties around them and raise property & resale values by a significant amount

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