FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2012
UPDATE ON CITY RECOVERY AND ASSISTANCE OPERATIONS
City-Led Contractor Teams Assessing Homes Block by Block to Help Utilities Restore Power
Precautions Implemented for Nor'easter
The following is an update of City Government's Storm Response as of 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 7, 2012
New Power Restoration Efforts
The City has assembled teams of licensed electricians, plumbers, Department of Housing Preservation and Development inspectors, and fire marshals to assess whether or not buildings are ready to restore power and gas service. Though power and gas service is returning to some areas, a large number of individual properties still need repairs to wiring and other components before the utilities can be safety restored.
In the past 48 hours, 40 teams have gone door-to-door in the Rockaways and South Shore of Staten Island to inspect approximately 2,000 homes that the Department of Buildings tagged as either "green," meaning that they are structurally safe, or "yellow," meaning conditional occupation. The teams have found that half of homes accessed need repair to their electrical or gas boiler systems, and by identifying these needs now, the utilities will be able to restore power faster once service is available.
Food, Water & Blanket Distribution at City-Run Resource Sites
The City opened distribution sites in areas hit hardest by the storm - providing food, water, blankets, baby formula, diapers, batteries and more at these sites. From Thursday, November 1 through Tuesday, November 6, the following have been distributed:
The City distributed 1,500 space heaters in Broad Channel and Rockaways this morning to help elderly residents who have power, but no heat. The heaters were dropped off at the distributed by volunteers made up of local firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and other civil servants.
The City has also coordinated hundreds of volunteers to knock on doors and check on homebound New Yorkers, delivering meals and assisting in clean up. The volunteers have canvased approximately 15,000 buildings, including NYCHA properties, rental buildings and single family homes.
Preparations for Nor'easter
Hurricane Sandy weakened trees and caused extensive damage and debris, causing the predicted wind speeds from the nor'easter to present an increased risk of more downed trees and tree limbs, as well as windblown debris. All New Yorkers are urged to stay indoors during inclement conditions.
In light of the beach erosion and other damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, some of the lowest-lying areas in the city - particularly the areas flooded by last week's storm - are vulnerable to storm surge today.
No general evacuations have been ordered, but anyone who experienced significant flooding during Hurricane Sandy, you should consider taking shelter with family and friends, who do not live in low-lying areas, or go to one of the City-run storm shelters. In particular, based on analysis of the erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy, residents of Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach, and Gerritsen Beach should consider taking shelter with family or friends, or at a City-run shelter. The Police Department is making announcements via loudspeakers in these neighborhoods and other areas that saw significant flooding.
The FDNY has designated 20 special firefighting task forces for storm duties for the impending nor'easter, with units concentrated in areas hard hit by the hurricane. These teams will be outfitted with small boats for swift water rescues; chain saws; pumps; and other equipment.
Sanitation 24-Hour Debris Cleanup
Mayor Bloomberg directed the Department of Sanitation to adjust collections schedule so that 24-hour cleanup could continue in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. Areas normally receiving three times a week collection may only receive two collections per week, while areas that receive two times per week collection may only receive one collection while the emergency debris removal work continues. The heavily-impacted areas will continue to receive collection and debris removal around the clock. Curbside recycling is suspended until further notice.
The Department of Sanitation has committed 728 pieces of equipment to debris removal, including 270 trucks, 234 mechanical broom, 114 front end loaders and 110 cut down dump trucks.
Sanitation crews have collected 214,899 tons of trash, debris and tree as a part of storm cleanup operations.
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 places to stay. Air BNB is providing with service at no fee, and information is available at http://www.airbnb.com/sandy.
Evacuation shelters remain open and as of Wednesday morning, they were 3,152 total evacuees and 891 staff. There are 11 consolidated shelters with their locations available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html.
NYCHA Facilities Provided with Generators
Approximately 323 NYCHA buildings housing 65,700 people have had their electricity restored. Currently, there are 79 buildings in 11 developments in Brooklyn (Coney Island and Red Hook) and the Far Rockaway housing approximately 13,500 people where electricity is still out. Working with the City, State and Federal governments, NYCHA is installing 15 additional generators to restore power to these locations by the end of the week.
Heat and hot water has been restored to 263 NYCHA buildings housing approximately 54,000 people. Currently there are 123 buildings throughout 18 developments affecting around 23,000 residents without heat. NYCHA has set up warming center in Red Hook and are working with the city to establish additional warming centers and provide blankets to residents who have not had heat or hot water restored.
Trees and Debris
The City has received 20,040 tree service requests to date. Of these requests, 13,242 were for trees down. Of these, 6,954 of these emergency tree conditions have been addressed and crews continue to work around the clock to address conditions.
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.
On Tuesday, six trucks alone served hot meals to 2,947 people.
Shelter for Those without Heat
Cold weather in the city continues, increasing risk of hypothermia. Anyone who needs heat should find warm shelter, whether at City facilities or with a friend or relative.
The City's Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA, operates six sites to provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits and to connect residents with recovery resources. They will be open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, seven days a week. The list of sites can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html.
Mobile Medical Vans with Prescription Services
The City has deployed vans staffed with primary care providers will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs at several of the City's Disaster Assistance Service Centers, as well as two additional high-need areas. 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.
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:
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.
More City Schools Open
The City opened more than 1,700 schools and have reassigned students and staff from buildings that sustained structural damage to other school sites. Three schools that served as shelter sites will open tomorrow and 13 remain without power, and will open once restored.
Parents should continue to check the status of their schools by:
Alternate Side Park Regulations Suspended Through Tuesday, November 13
Alternate Side Parking regulations will be suspended citywide through Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, to facilitate storm recovery efforts. Alternate Side Parking regulations are not in effect on Sunday, November 11, and will also be suspended for Veterans Day, Monday, November 12, as previously scheduled. All other parking regulations remain in effect.
Volunteering, Donating and Giving Blood
Marc La Vorgna/John McCarthy (212) 788-2958
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