Update On Hurricane Sandy City Recovery And Assistance Operations - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Update On Hurricane Sandy City Recovery And Assistance Operations

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$500 Million for Major Repair Work

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Comptroller Liu have announced a $500 million emergency capital spending plan to make critical repairs to public schools and public hospitals damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The City already has authorized $134 million in spending following Hurricane Sandy to provide emergency services and recovery and relief programs. Those expenses include:

$20 million for the Department of Transportation to repair the Battery Park Overpass

$1.7 million for the Department of Transportation to repair the Whitehall and St. George ferry terminals

$12 million for the Department of Sanitation Office of Emergency Management to remove debris

$2.5 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Human Resource Administration for food and water distribution.

$2 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for the delivery of maintenance, repair and operations supplies for response operations

$5 million for electrical plumbing and water line inspections for homes in Staten Island and Queens

$1.1 million to the Office of Emergency Management for additional ambulances

Sunday Work Total

On Sunday alone, 20,000 City workers and City-funded contractors were at work to continue Hurricane Sandy relief operations, including debris removal, storm clean-up and facility rehabilitation.

Department of Buildings Application & Fee Waiver

As part of the City’s ongoing recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg signed an emergency order today waiving application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work until further notice.

Buildings with significant structural damage in need of demolition, alterations or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived.

In addition, all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived until further notice for any building damaged by the storm.

Walmart Foundation Donation

The Walmart Foundation donated 500,000 bottles of water and 5,000 blankets to the City’s food and relief centers. The Foundation has also provided transportation and logistics assistance to help locate and transport power generators to those in need.

Food, Water & Supply Distribution at City-Run Resource Sites

The City has opened food and water distribution sites in the hardest hit areas and are staffed by City employees, volunteers, the Salvation Army and National Guard. Locations and hours: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html.

From Thursday, November 1 through Sunday, November 11, the following have been distributed:

Approximate 2 million meals

More than 577,000 bottles of water

More than 155,000 blankets

1,248 cases of diapers

183 cases of baby wipes

670 cases of baby formula

8,500 units of new underwear (kids and adults)

3,840 thermal blankets

1,552 winter hats

389 scarves

2,586 socks

8,550 blankets

4,000 hand-warmers

6,252 D batteries

9,972 C batteries

335 cases of garbage bags

3,399 flashlights/lanterns

476 cases of toilet paper

837 cases of bleach

20,000 cases of Ziploc bags

6,000 masks

10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes

1,500 work gloves

878 bars of soap

140 cases of toothbrushes

750 units of toothpaste

584 bath towels


The City continues to coordinate canvassing operations to check on homebound New Yorkers. Volunteers have canvassed more than 18,400 apartments and reached more than 19,700 people in NYCHA properties, rental buildings and single-family homes.

Power Washing

Teams of FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection and other City agency workers continue power-washing streets in areas that experienced flooding and accumulated sand and other debris as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

The teams operated today in the zone between Beach Channel Drive south to Rockaway Freeway and east to west from Beach 73rd Street to Beach 94th Street.

Power Customers Out

Total Con Ed customers without power: 17,441

Total LIPA customers without power: 29,387

NYC Rapid Repairs

Mayor Bloomberg announced NYC Rapid Repairs, a new program to send teams of contractors and City inspectors to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy:

Under unprecedented partnership with FEMA, City will coordinate all repair work

Crews work to quickly and efficiently repair damaged homes

Homeowners can sign up on nyc.gov or 311 to secure; they must also register for a FEMA ID number from disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-3362

Rockaway Ferry Service

Seastreak began ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan beginning today:

Ferries depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan

Free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown

Service runs from 5:45AM and depart regularly until 9:20 AM

Regular service resume at evening rush hour

One-way fares will cost $2.00

The Economic Development Corporation installed a temporary landing in the Rockaways to accommodate the temporary ferry service.

NYCHA Facilities

The City has assessed all NYCHA housing in Zone A and found no major long-term structural issues. All NYCHA buildings flooded in the storm have been pumped dry.

Power has been restored to 390 of the 402 buildings that were impacted by the storm.

Heat and hot water have been restored to 290 of the 386 buildings that were impacted by the storm.

NYCHA has set up warming centers in Red Hook and additional warming centers are being established. NYCHA staff and volunteers have been providing blankets to residents who have not had heat or hot water restored.

Trees and Debris

The City has received 26,011 tree requests to date.

Of those requests, 15,432 were for trees down.

The City has addressed 10,645 of these emergency tree conditions and crews continue to work around the clock to address conditions.

Sanitation 24-Hour Debris Cleanup Continues; Recycling Resumes

Mayor Bloomberg directed the Department of Sanitation to adjust collections schedule so that 24-hour cleanup could continue in the hard-hit areas of Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn.

802 pieces of sanitation equipment are working on debris removal, including 399 trucks, 115 mechanical broom, 73 front end loaders and 68 dump trucks

Sanitation crews have collected more than 239,000 tons of trash, debris and tree as a part of storm cleanup operations.

The heavily-impacted areas will continue to receive collection and debris removal around the clock.

Odd-Even Gasoline Purchasing System

An emergency order establishing an odd-even license plate system for gasoline purchases remains in effect until further notice. It operates as follows:

Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number or ‘zero’ purchase fuel on even numbered days.

Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number purchase fuel on odd numbered days.

Vehicles with licenses plates ending in letters will be deemed as odd numbered plates and can make purchases on odd numbered days.

Commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses and paratransit vehicles, Medical Doctor (MD) plates and vehicles licensed by the Taxi and limousine Commission are exempt.

Mobile Medical Teams for Far Rockaway and Coney Island

The City has deployed mobile medical teams consisting of a paramedic and member of the National Guard to the Far Rockaways and Coney Island. The teams will go door-to-door in tall residential buildings from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM to:

Ensure residents’ medical needs are met

Conduct medical assessments to determine if residents are safe

Connect residents with prescription medications

If needed, take residents to a field clinic or hospital for medical care

Mobile Medical Vans with Prescription Services

The City has deployed vans staffed with primary care providers who will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs at several locations in the Rockaways, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Volunteers are also going door-to-door to reach people who may have medical needs but remain in their homes without heat and power. The location and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/medical_vans.html.

Support to Businesses

The City’s Department of Small Business Services and Economic Development Corporation have put together a package of support for NYC businesses impacted by the storm:

Emergency low-interest loans of up to $25,000 for businesses that have been interrupted and suffered damage as a result of the storm. Applications are available at any of the City’s NYC Business Solutions Centers, by calling 311 and asking for “NYC Business Emergency Loan,” or by visiting on.nyc.gov/contactnycbiz.

For businesses facing significant rebuilding costs, the City will provide sales tax exemptions of up to $100,000 on purchases of materials, equipment and related services needed to rebuild. Learn more here: nycedc.com/backtobusiness.

For displaced businesses, the City has identified more than 170,000 square feet that will be made available free of charge, including 40,000 square feet of City space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and more than 125,000 square feet of space that private landlords have made available, across the five boroughs. A full listing of commercial spaces and other resources is available at nycedc.com/donations.

Information on disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration is available at any of the City’s NYC Business Solutions Centers, by calling 800-659-2955, or by visiting sba.gov/disaster.

Alliance for Coney Island-a nonprofit organization formed, with the help of the City, to continue the transformation of Coney Island into a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination-launched ConeyRecovers.org, a multipronged relief and recovery effort to help Coney Island residents and businesses dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The Alliance is comprised of all major Coney businesses, and the City has provided them with $630,000 in funding originally allocated to the Coney Island Development Corporation which will wind down operations.

All City Schools Open

City schools are open to all students, and those students and staff who have been reassigned from buildings that sustained structural damage went to other school sites. Parents should continue to check the status of their schools by:

Going to www.nyc.gov/schools.

Call 311 or texting “nycschools” or ‘escuela’ to 877-877.

The Department of Education has coordinated transportation options for families with children who have been reassigned to other school sites:

Full reimbursement for any family of a K-8 student at a relocated school taking MTA/cab service to and from school.

55 cents per mile reimbursement for any family of a student at a relocated school who uses their own vehicles.

Free metro-cards will be distributed to all high school students at relocated schools who do not already have one.

The City has conducted extensive outreach to families, making 1.2 million robo-calls to parents; direct messages were sent from principals and parent coordinators to parents; full page advisories ran in three of New York City’s newspapers; text messages were sent to parents and families enrolled in the Department of Education’s texting program; and information was provided to television and radio outlets.

Air BNB Temporary Housing

Air BNB, an on-line service that connects people seeking temporary housing with those who have unused space, has launched a new platform to link New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy to New Yorkers who want to offer free places to stay. Air BNB is providing with service at no fee, and information is available at airbnb.com/sandy.

Partnership with Local Food Trucks

The Mayors Fund to Advance New York City has partnered with the NYC Food Truck Association, NYC Food Film Festival and local food trucks to coordinate hot food distribution at 21 sites in areas severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The locations and hours are available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html.

Shelter for Those without Heat

Cold weather in the city will continue and increases the risk of hypothermia. Anyone who needs heat should find warm shelter, whether at City facilities or with a friend or relative.

Evacuation shelters remain open and as of Monday morning, they were 1,860 evacuees and 903 staff.

There are 8 shelters operating and two locations were those in need can seek referrals to shelter sites: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html.

The City also has opened daytime-only warming centers at senior centers in every borough: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/warming_ctr.html.

Those who are using generators in their homes to run their heat should be very careful to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by never using portable generators indoors, in garages or near open windows.

Early signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, confusion or sleepiness, slowed or slurred speech, stiffness in arms and legs, poor control over body movements and slow reaction.

Disaster Assistance Service Centers

The City’s Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA, operates three sites to provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits and to connect residents with recovery resources. The list of sites can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html.

Community Recovery Directors Assist with Immediate Needs in Impacted Areas

Mayor Bloomberg appointed senior level New York City managers this week to identify urgent needs, stay in close contact with the community leader and deploy resources to meet needs. The City’s Community Recover Directors are:

Haeda Mihaltses, Staten Island

Matt Mahoney, Manhattan and the Bronx

Nazli Parvizi, Brooklyn

Diahann Billings-Burford, Queens

Brad Gair Appointed Director of Housing Recovery Operations

The Mayor appointed Brad Gair, one of the nation’s top emergency management professionals, to lead the effort to address challenge of providing longer-term housing for New Yorkers displaced from their homes by Hurricane Sandy. Many buildings that were flooded are going to be out of commission for a long time because of damage to boilers and electrical systems. This includes public housing, as well as private apartments and houses.

Alternate Side Parking

All parking regulations remain in effect.

Volunteering, Donating and Giving Blood

To date, more than $35 million supporting Hurricane Sandy relief has come into the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City from more than 10,000 donors from around the country.

Cash donations to support these and other efforts can be made through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Learn more here: nyc.gov/fund.

Cash donations are preferable to in-kind donations because the logistics of collecting and distributing those supplies are complex.

Anyone wishing to make cash contributions can go to nyc.gov or call 311 for details.

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