Gov.held a press conference at midday on Wednesday to update residents on the recovery efforts now in progress after mega-storm Sandy’s devastation on Monday night. Cuomo, New York's senators and other officials took a helicopter tour of the hardest hit areas which included Long Beach, Long Island, Fire Island in the Bronx and the Hudson River counties. Some 90 percent of Long Island is without power, and subway stations are under water.
After asking the storm-weary people of New York City to be “patient and tolerant,” Cuomo, flanked by city and FEMA officials, Sens.and , thanked President Obama for his “outstanding” performance in the aftermath of the storm. He also thanked FEMA for their exceptional help and city officials who are now dealing with coordinating the cleanup and restoration effort.
Most of the city’s subways are still under water, but there will be limited service, with supplemental buses into Manhattan beginning on Thursday. The Long Island Railroad and Metro North will have limited service beginning at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. To get the city's transportation fully operable may take three or more days, the governor estimated.
Residents of Far Rockaway in Queens are still in the dark, and are complaining of being cold, with no one giving them any information on when they will get some help. Folks in high-rise buildings have no elevator service and no electricity, and some say no water. They desperately need help.
The Army Corps of Engineers are helping with the submerged subway tunnels and Battery Tunnel. An additional team will be coming in from Illinois on Thursday to assist with that effort. There will be no service below 34th street.
The governor added that ConEd is working around the clock to restore power to residents but warned that it is a huge undertaking. Some 1,800 utility workers will be coming in from upstate to help with that undertaking. 3.5 million are reportedly without power in NY, including Westchester and NJ.
All schools are still closed in the five boroughs, and one school in Brooklyn, John Dewey High School, exploded, as did a ConEd plant in NYC.
An update on Westchester where three people, including two young boys were killed, was also given. Most of that area is in darkness as ConEd tried to restore power. Schools are still closed and may stay that way for the remainder of this week.
Cuomo said FEMA will help with about 90 percent of the cost of restoring NYC, which may be about $1 billion. He said the city need to be prepared for more extreme weather conditions. Schumer spoke on his tour of the city, likening the burnt out buildings to London during WWII. 111 homes were completely burnt to the ground in Breezy Point, Queens. (see devastating photos attached).
“We need to totally re-adapt our city,” added Schumer. He said we need to do more from the federal level by addressing climate change, otherwise the cost of recovering from these storms will continue to grow.
In New Jersey, the devastation is even worse than NYC, and Belmar is a prime example. That county is covered in sand, rubble and debris and recovery will be a painstakingly costly endeavor, as most other hard hit areas. Gov.has postponed Halloween until Monday. It will take 7-10 days to restore power in NJ, the governor said on Tuesday.
Death toll from the storm keeps rising and is now up to 50 in the U.S. and 69 in the Caribbean. At least 27 people reportedly died in NYC, with six from Staten Island and three from Westchester. Some residents are still missing.
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