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News from the Blue Room
Press Release   - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
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PR- 392-12
November 5, 2012


The following is an update of City Government’s Storm Response as of 5:30 PM on Sunday November 4, 2012

Shelter for Those without Heat:

  • Tonight will be the second consecutive evening of cold weather, increasing risk of hypothermia. Anyone who needs heat should find warm shelter, whether at City facilities or with a friend or relative.
  • The City is providing warm shelters. A list of locations is here:
  • Buses are running from 4:00 to 9:00 PM to take people to warm shelters if they cannot get their own their own. The bus pickups are listed here:
  • The City also has opened daytime-only warming centers at senior centers in every borough:
  • 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.

Food, Water & Blanket Distribution Sites:

  • 12 distribution sites are set up in the hardest-hit areas of the city – providing food, water, blankets, baby formula, diapers, batteries and more at these sites.
  • The following items were distributed today:
    • 600,000 meals to approximately 200,000 residents.
    • 100,000 liters of water.
    • 22,000 blankets.
    • 27,000 bagels.
    • 4500 boxes of diapers.
    • 300 boxes baby wipes.
    • 5,000 batteries and flashlights.
    • 800 toothbrushes with toothpaste.
    • 100 cases of baby formula.
    • 250 case of garbage bags.
    • 1,000 bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
    • 75 cases toilet paper, paper towels and tissues.
    • 500 bottles of hand sanitizer.
    • 500 bottles of hand soap.
    • 500 ear muffs.
    • 400 pairs of gloves.
    • 5,000 hand warmers.
  • Locations here:
  • The sites were open from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM over the weekend and will be open going forward from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
  • On Sunday alone, 3,700 volunteers coordinated by the City’s volunteer program – NYC Service – and partner agencies distributed door to door and at the 12 food and water distribution centers and worked to clean City parks.
  • City employees and volunteers are going door-to-door in the hardest-hit areas to reach as many residents as possible who are in need.
  • They will be kept open for as long as is needed, and no one who shows up for food and water will be turned away.
  • Each person can take three meals and five bottles of water at these sites. 
  • People should bring their own bags to carry their food and water.

Disaster Assistance Centers:

  • Six centers that provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits are open.
  • The list of sites can be found here:
  • These facilities are being operated by the City’s Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA.
  • They will be open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, seven days/week.


  • Significant progress has been made in turning on power throughout the city.  There are now approximately 145,000 customers still without power in the city, down from approximately 750,000.
  • The City has provided 40 emergency generators to hospitals, nursing homes, public housing developments, and other facilities throughout the city.
  • Anyone without power who is using candles for light should be extremely careful – do not leave them burning through the night and do not leave them unattended.  The FDNY has responded to six fires started by candles this week.


  • Public schools will be open on Monday. 
  • However, 65 schools definitely will not open on Monday
  • This includes:
    • 57 schools that sustained damage from the storm. On Wednesday, the students from these 57 schools will attend class in alternative sites.
    • 8 schools where emergency shelters are located.
  • 29 schools are still without power and also will not open on Monday.
  • Parents can check on the status of their schools by:
    • Clicking here for the school locator search or by going to
    • Call 311 or texting “nycschools” to 877-877.
  • In addition, the City is conducting extensive outreach to families, making 1.1 million robo-calls to parents; direct messages from principals and parent coordinators to parents; full page advisories in four of New York City’s newspapers; text messages to parents and families enrolled in the Department of Education’s texting program; and information to television and radio outlets.
  • Some schools may have power, but not heat so all children should be dressed appropriately for cool weather in the buildings.
  • 96 percent of school buses will be running on Monday morning, though delays in transportation are expected due to the continued cleanup of roads.
  • A reserve of substitute teachers have been called up to ensure that all classrooms are covered.

New York City Housing Authority Developments:

  • The City has assessed all NYCHA housing in Zone A and have found no major long term structural issues.
  • 17 individual developments, 106 buildings have no electrical power.
  • Staff installed generators to provide limited electrical power to the roof tank buildings at Baruch, LaGuardia, Rutgers and Fulton Houses necessary to restore water service.
  • Most NYCHA buildings flooded in the storm have been pumped dry.
  • NYCHA Flooding operations:
    • 297 elevator pits were flooded, 231 (78%) are complete. 66 pits remain.
    • 26 Boiler rooms flooded, 19 (73%) complete, 7 Boiler rooms remain.
    • Elevators: the Elevator Bureau completed the inspection of elevators affected by the storm:
    • Hurricane Sandy caused 699 elevators to be out of service
    • 480 elevators or 69% of the 699 elevators were repaired and restored to service.
  • Today, Navy and Marine “de-watering” teams joined the City’s efforts and assisted in pumping water out of NYCHA developments at Beach 41st Street, Hammel Houses, and Ocean Bay Apartments.

Building Inspections:

  • The Department of Buildings is inspecting 55,000 building in Zone A to ensure safety for New Yorkers.
  • Over 12,600 buildings have been inspected.
  • Buildings are being tagged with one of three color placards to indicate their safety:
    • Green: the building is structurally safe
    • Red: the building is not safe and may not be entered
    • Yellow: it can be occupied conditionally (i.e. one floor may be safe while another is not.) These conditions would be explained on the placard.
  • Building owners can also self-certify with the Department of Buildings.

57th Street Crane:

  • The crane has been rotated and tethered to the building.
  • All buildings that have utilities can be reoccupied:
  • Both north and south sides of West 56th Street west of Seventh Avenue
  • South side of West 56th between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
  • Both north and south sides of West 57th Street west of Seventh Avenue
  • Both north and south sides of West 58th Street west of Seventh Avenue
  • Broadway between West 56th and 58th Streets both east and west sides
  • North side of West 58th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
  • Vehicular traffic will be opened on both West 56th and West 58th Streets and on Broadway tonight.

Trees and debris:

  • 17,615 tree service requests have been made (downed trees or branches).
  • Of these requests, 11,602 were for trees down.
  • 3,961 of these emergency tree conditions have been addressed (a mixture of trees down, hanging limbs and limbs down).


  • All parks and playgrounds were previously closed.
  • 75 percent of parks have now been re-opened to the public.
  • 15 recreation centers, 16 nature centers, 12 concessions and 1 cultural institution (the Cloisters Museum) will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • Because of sewer system discharges during the hurricane, no one should go in the Hudson or East Rivers, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay or Kill Van Kull, or on them in a canoe or kayak or for wind-surfing, until further notice.

Public Safety:

  • Storm-related death count is 40.
  • Police are using the public address systems on department vehicles to inform residents in neighborhoods still without electricity that there are heating shelters available and how to get to them.
  • Crime during the week of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, from Monday, October 29th  through Friday, November 2nd, declined in the City by 32 percent compared to the same week the year before.
  • Police continued to be deployed today to storm impacted areas by the thousands on extended tours of duty to provide security and recovery assistance.
  • NYPD Critical Response Vehicles officers normally assigned to counterterrorism duties escorted military vehicles in delivery of food and water to distribution centers throughout the city and helped the military with the delivery of approximately one million meals yesterday.
  • NYPD officers also delivered food and water to another 17 locations, many near public housing that had been identified by the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.
  • There were no hypothermia calls overnight. EMS call volume is average.
  • In parts of lower Manhattan, three fires occurred in homes where stoves had been left on. People should make sure to turn off all appliances prior to return of electrical power.
  • FDNY special units are staffing at all designated Disaster Assistance Recovery Centers, providing assistance as needed - including in Rockaways where we will be assist LIPA and NYCHA during power restorations involving high capacity generators for some housing complexes.  


  • New York City tap water is safe.
  • However, water in Breezy Point is not and should not be consumed in any way due to damage to the pipes in the area.
  • Bottled water is being provided to Breezy Point residents and is the only water that should be used by Breezy Point residents.

Volunteering, Donating and Giving Blood:

  • Cash donations to support these and other efforts can be made through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.  Learn more here:
  • Cash donations are preferable to in-kind donations because the logistics of collecting and distributing those supplies are complex.
  • The Mayor’s Fund has raised $14.2 million donated by more than 3,500 people.
  • Those who want to volunteer can visit NYC Service at:
  • Giving blood is incredibly helpful right now.  For more information visit:

City Roadways:

  • The requirement to have three-people in vehicles travel on crossings into Manhattan was lifted on Friday. Normal regulations apply.
  • Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended citywide tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, to facilitate storm recovery efforts. Alternate Side Parking regulations also are suspended on Tuesday, November 6th, for Election Day.
  • Meters are in effect.

Cell Service:

  • Service continues to improve in the city, though interruptions remain in some areas.
  • AT&T has deployed mobile charging stations and cell towers throughout the city.  Details from AT&T are here:
  • Verizon has also made significant progress in restoring much of its service in affected areas.

Support to Businesses:

  • The City has a package of support for NYC businesses impacted by the storm:
  • Emergency loans of up to $25,000 for small and mid-sized businesses that have been interrupted as a result of the storm.
  • For larger businesses that were damaged, temporary City and State sales tax deferment on materials needed for rebuilding.
  • For businesses displaced from their locations, the City is offering temporary office space free of charge at the Brooklyn Army Terminal for the next 30 days. The City has identified more than 100,000 of square feet that will be made available, including 40,000 of city space at Brooklyn Army Terminal and approximately 50,000 square feet of space that private sector landlords have agreed to make available.
  • Loans up to $2 million are also available for business property losses not fully covered by insurance – and for businesses that have had cash flow problems caused by the storm and need funds to get back on their feet.
  • That applies to small businesses, agricultural co-ops, and most nonprofits, regardless of size.

Federal Disaster Assistance:

  • Anyone affected by Sandy – homeowners, renters, and businesses – can apply for federal disaster assistance.
  • They can register at or by calling the Federal Emergency Management agency at 1-800-621-3362.

Healthcare Facilities:

  • Bellevue, New York Downtown, Manhattan VA, NYU Langone and Coney Island Hospitals have all been evacuated.
  • Beth Israel power was restored.
  • NY Downtown has steam power restored.

 Health for the General population:

  • The City is tracking trends in health problems through electronic data from hospital emergency departments. While health problems generally peaked immediately after the storm and are now improving, the largest storm-related problem is people seeking medication because of an interruption in supply. There was one reported emergency room visit due to hypothermia on Saturday at noon, which was not life-threatening.


  • The number of shelters has been consolidated to 14 with one general in-take center.
  • 4,880 evacuees.
  • 1,363 staff.
  • The shelter system will remain open until evacuees can return to their homes or find short-term housing.
  • A full list of shelters can be found here:


  • The ban on exterior construction work imposed before the storm has been lifted.


  • The City is collecting garbage in all boroughs.
  • They are not collecting recycling.

 Other information for the public:

  • Any food – including packaged food – that was touched by flood water should be thrown away. The flood water may contain sewage or other contamination.
  • Other items that have been touched by flood water should be cleaned and disinfected.  This should be done as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.
  • Tap water is safe to drink, except for Breezy Point.
  • Do not use generators or grills indoors.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat when these devices are used indoors.  They should only be used outside and kept away from windows and vents.
  • Everyone should have and use battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms. They should test the batteries if possible.
  • If someone experiences sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, they should immediately seek fresh air and call the poison control center at 212–POISONS (212-764-7667.) They can also call 911, since poisoning is life threatening.
  • Important guides on carbon monoxide poisoning and food safety can be found at

Staying Informed:


Marc La Vorgna/John McCarthy   (212) 788-2958


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