The New York City Housing Authority has successfully restored power to 100 percent of its 402 buildings affected by Hurricane Sandy. NYCHA completed the work after the arrival of dozens of generators brought in from throughout the country to replace damaged equipment, with assistance from City, state and federal agencies, as well as utility companies. NYCHA also brought in hundreds of contract workers to assist in connecting the new systems to its public housing buildings. Residents should expect intermittent service from the newly installed generators, and as a result of extensive water damage to electrical circuits. The residents in the following developments began receiving power yesterday: Red Hook East and Red Hook West; O’Dwyer Gardens and Surfside Gardens – in Brooklyn; and Redfern Houses in Queens.
“The restoration of power is a huge achievement for NYCHA staff who have been working around the clock to bring electricity back to our residents,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “We recognize that this has been an extremely difficult period of time for residents, as the unprecedented damage from Hurricane Sandy destroyed entire electrical and heating systems throughout NYCHA. Our staff, assisted by hundreds of contract workers will continue to work to restore all essential services to every public housing resident impacted by the storm as quickly as possible.”
The restoration of power and heat has been hampered by extensive and corrosive damage to boilers and generators as a result of flooding from Hurricane Sandy, and the need to transport temporary replacements systems to reconnect residents to power and heat. After Sandy hit, there were 402 buildings without electricity housing approximately 79,000 residents, and all have had their electricity restored. The Housing Authority continues to restore heat and hot water to the remaining 11 developments impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the Rockaways, the Coney Island area and in Red Hook. After Sandy hit, there were 386 buildings housing approximately 77,000 residents without heat and hot water. Currently, there are 81 buildings housing 15,743 residents without heat and hot water, with efforts in place to restore all of them this week.
In addition to restoring services, over the past few days NYCHA has dispatched over 100 crews from janitorial companies (along with 60 NYCHA crews from non-impacted sites) to all impacted developments to remove garbage, clean stairwells and halls, and generally sanitize the buildings in an effort to improve sanitary conditions. The cleaning will continue until regular NYCHA crews are able to manage the buildings as before Hurricane Sandy.
On Tuesday, more than 200 NYCHA employees left their desk jobs and other areas throughout the Housing Authority to work in teams to knock on the doors of the over 2,800 residents in Red Hook Houses to ensure that the families who remained there were in good health. The NYCHA teams, led by Housing Authority Family Services social workers, and accompanied by nurses from the Visiting Nurses Services, assessed each resident’s well-being; they were all offered food, blankets and other family necessities, as well as any medical and personal assistance that they might need. Residents requiring immediate health assistance were evaluated on the spot by a nurse and where needed were given prescription refills and/or transported to a hospital by FDNY EMT crews who also were on the scene.