FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR PATAKI ANNOUNCE 100 MTA BUSES ESCORTED BY 171 NYPD OFFICERS ON ROUTE TO NEW ORLEANS TO ASSIST WITH HURRICANE RELIEF
Buses will Transport Victims of Hurricane from New Orleans to Little Rock and Dallas
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today announced that a task-force of 100 MTA buses, 230 MTA personnel and 171 New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officers are on route to New Orleans to assist with disaster relief. The buses will transport victims of the Hurricane from New Orleans to Dallas, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas. The buses will be escorted by 20 MTA and 27 NYPD support vehicles, including highway cars, tow, repair, supply and communication vehicles. All NYPD Officers and MTA personnel in the task-force volunteered for the assignment.
“New Yorkers remember the generosity of the rest of the country on September 11th and we will do whatever it takes to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The task-force now speeding toward New Orleans joins existing FDNY, OEM and NYPD personnel in the Southeast and will evacuate thousands of victims and carry them to safety. New York City stands ready to provide any additional assistance we can to help those in need.”
“After September 11th our fellow Americans provided New York with overwhelming offers of support and assistance in the wake of tragedy,” said Governor Pataki. “We are proud to provide this additional assistance to people of the Gulf Coast. I applaud our drivers who volunteered for this demanding assignment; they will be away from home for more than a week and will be working day and night to assist those in need. The MTA and the State of New York are committed to assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina in anyway possible.”
70 of the buses left Saturday morning from 1 Police Plaza and the remaining 30 are leaving Sunday morning from Staten Island. The convoy is deploying in groups of ten buses with police escort and support vehicles. The task-force will arrive in New Orleans in 24 hours be deployed for approximately one week and includes mechanics and is carrying food, water and other supplies. Fuel will be supplied on route by the United States Military.
The request for the buses was made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the State and City Offices of Emergency Management to the MTA and NYPD. The NYPD task-force is being led by Inspector Michael Quinn from the Office of the Chief of Department. There may be limited service interruptions on MTA bus routes next week due to the deployment, the MTA will provide detailed service changes over the next 24 hours.
The task-force leaving today joins existing New York City first responders in the Gulf Coast region. On Thursday, the FDNY dispatched three Chiefs highly trained in disaster management, relief logistic and command and control operations in urban areas.
Any New Yorker wishing to make donations to relief organizations can also send a contribution to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, City Hall, New York, NY 10007 and note on the check that the donation is for “Hurricane Relief. Dollars will flow to organizations that are providing the food, water and shelter to those in need. For more information and a list of different relief agencies, New Yorkers can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov. City employees will also be able to make voluntary automatic deductions from their paychecks to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Using the Combined Municipal Campaign, City employees can make voluntary donations to more than 950 non-profit organizations including Americares, International Relief Teams, and Feed the Children.
Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Joanna Rose (Governor Pataki) (212) 681-4640
Tom Kelly (MTA)
Paul Browne (NYPD)
Jarrod Bernstein (OEM)
See list of organizations working on the ground and accepting monetary donations