Superstorm Sandy: the Aftermath

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We take your calls and hear from reporters and elected officials on the latest on storm recovery: 

Comments [42]

ellen from Manhattan

Before the storm, one police car with a loud speaker drove by the Stanley Isaacs & Holmes Public Houses on First Ave between 92-95th St saying the residents were in a mandatory evacuation Zone A and needed to get out or face charges. The same police car made the announcement over a span of about 4 hrs, coming by maybe 5 times. 2 or 3 yellow school buses stood in front for around 3 hrs. The announcement, BTW, wasn't loud enough so if it had been true, it would not have done the job. I had to go downstairs to hear it clearly and once I did, I came back in a few minutes with the latest Hurricane Zone map to show the officers that the Mayor's executive order was incorrect. Isaacs & Holmes Houses, while very near the FDR Drive and East River and very close to the perimeter of the nearby Zone A were not actually in that Zone -- they, and I across the street, are in a non-mandatory evac. area.

Now I hear Speaker Quinn being very elusive, I thought, about why so many City Housing residents can't return to their homes. MAYBE the basement is flooded? Maybe an oil burner moved and spilled? Maybe the foundations were damaged? Call me extremely cynical when it comes to the Mayor but I've repeatedly heard from people I trust that he's very involved privately with real estate developers trying to put up exclusive housing units along NYC waterfront areas. The fact that many such desirable areas currently belong to the Housing Authority for units that were built there decades ago would surely rankle someone with a passion for exclusive, hi-rise development and I can't help wondering what he's doing here and what his real plans are for these areas, plans I'm sure he shares with Ms. Quinn, still his most likely replacement. I doubt that Sandy would discourage big firms from buying and developing these areas, areas where the existing public housing has been deemed unsafe to return to, areas with spectacular waterfront views.

Nov. 05 2012 12:08 PM
Sarwar Jahangir

Kingsborough Community College is not open yet after the storm. Could any one brief on the damages caused by Sandy on the Kingsborough campus.

Nov. 02 2012 10:03 AM

Hmmm -

Community full of cops and firemen - and a soupcon of public officials;
residential build code "waivers" and "non-enforcement" leads to dangerous overcrowding of combustible materials and a lack of firefighting resources.
Sounds like a promising movie. Could we call it "Cop Land II"?
(No one cares about the internal machinations of a racially discriminatory, gated community.)

Nov. 01 2012 10:48 PM
Susan in Brooklyn

Brian, Please tell people to stop choosing any of the bridges as their JOGGING ROUTES while transport is out! Crossing Williamsburg bridge yesterday on my bike, joggers were darting in an out of the super-narrow bike lanes already overflowing with bikes and regular pedestrians (who, of course, ignored the fact that there is a pedestrian lane on the other side...), making the crossing even more dangerous than usual when I "only" have spaced-out hipster cyclists to deal with.

Nov. 01 2012 12:13 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

So, I just heard this dirt bag, Obama, shamelessly inject hmself into the storm in order to salvage his desperate campaign.

Hey, Barry, where is the video of the mob outside the Benghazi consulate?

Oct. 31 2012 05:04 PM

I love it when people politicize disasters.

Oct. 31 2012 12:29 PM

So where the heck has Governor Romney been all these years??? Since Katrina, since the earthquake in Haiti and many other disasters, people have been advised to donate money to Aid organizations. Don't give cans, clothes, blankets and other STUFF. DONATE MONEY and let those on the ground decide what needs to be purchased.

Mitt you need to update your message. Tell your Generous supporters to give to a reputable organization like the Red Cross.

Oct. 31 2012 12:05 PM
Naomi Nissen from Park Slope

I feel for the kids whose Haloween costumes are destroyed or irretrievable. I plan on bringing my daughter's wonderful costume from last year to one of the shelters. I know they are inundated with clothing, but I'm sure the kids would love to at least be able to play dress-up tonight.

Oct. 31 2012 12:00 PM
fuva from harlemworld


"Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013."

Oct. 31 2012 11:55 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Dboy, Uncle Mitt says that he doesn't care about "rising oceans" like Obama, he just wants to take care of "you and your family" - by holding canned food drives, because, under him, FEMA will be dismantled, or better yet - privatized and "the big government feds" will be out of the picture.

Oct. 31 2012 11:42 AM

Maybe the republican klowns with floating homes on Staten Island and in NJ, will now wake up and vote for candidates that understand the seriousness of climate change and the need to transition to 21st century, non-carbon technologies!!


Oct. 31 2012 11:27 AM
Leo from queens

We should have been half way done with the ARC Tunnel to increase traffic between NJ and NYC and increase Amtrak capacity for the Northeast.

This is caused by short sighted politicians making short term political decisions. We need investment in building and retrofitting our existing infrastructure to adapt to the realities of climate change and rising water levels.
Remember, Christie and Cuomo have been EXEMPLARY in their response this week, but they have not been friends of intelligent infrastructure and expanded, reliable public transit.

Oct. 31 2012 11:27 AM
Tom Crisp from UWS

The longer the tunnels are filled with water, the more prone they will be to structural damage. Even after the water is pumped and systems are cleaned, the structures themselves need careful inspection and probably some repairs. We could face a later disaster if compromised walls, ceiling, brickwork etc come falling down as trains speed through the tunnels.

Oct. 31 2012 11:27 AM
westchestery from Westchester

Storm of the century or recurring event? New Orleans tells us what we're in for? Financial industry plan to stick around? We stood tall in the aftermath of 9/11. But NYC is this the beginning of the end...

Oct. 31 2012 11:24 AM
Cesar from Manhattan

Traffic Suggestion: To establish order in city streets with no lights, place traffic cops on each avenue every 10-20 blocks. Then have the cops run the traffic pattern like Park Ave., that is, all avenue traffic stops and starts at the same time. Cops can use radios to coordinate the timing.

Oct. 31 2012 11:24 AM
Amalia from Brooklyn, NY

Does anyone know if I can ride my bike over a bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan? Are the pedestrian and bike-ways clear?

Oct. 31 2012 11:18 AM
fuva from harlemworld

THANKS for all you do, Brian and team! You really are a critical community resource.

In the near future, maybe you can do a segment on what went wrong during Sandy -- like what caused the fires, deaths, etc -- as a kind of "lessons learned" exercise, so folks can be better informed and equipped next time.

Oct. 31 2012 11:05 AM

There needs to be mandatory car pooling as long as so many drivers are using their cars. I live off Queens Blvd and there are a lot of cars with no passengers stuck in traffic. They need to organize this like the MTA strike w/emergency lines and coordination.

Oct. 31 2012 11:04 AM
Andrew Spieker from Sunnyside

From Sunnyside. Waited for at least 45 minutes to get on the Q32 to get to Midtown this morning. All buses said "Next Bus Please" on their route info because they were packed. I gave up. Called my boss and said I couldn't make it. Got home and realized how antsy I am after being shut up in my apartment for three days and now I am walking to Manhattan! I need the exercise and the fresh air!

Oct. 31 2012 11:02 AM
andy from manhattan

The bus "solution" is a joke, since they are filled to capacity so quickly that if you are not on from the start, you are likely to not be allowed on.

As for issues with the lack of powered traffic lights, why does NY not have a blacked out light law where that means everybody stops??? Or just put out stop signs at each affected intersection.

Oct. 31 2012 10:58 AM
Kate from WaHi

Where online do I find info on traffic?

Oct. 31 2012 10:54 AM
Sainted_Mother from Red Hook, Brooklyn

My cousin passed along this link, via Facebook (FB has been great, but I have relatives that _refuse_ to use it (G_d forbid, one is "out" in public)).

There is more than simply flooded tunnels that are problems for NYC Transit ... their own communication infrastructure is seriously flawed as to how to get out ER info, in the face of downed servers / systems. Many, many pieces to pick up when this is all over.

Glad to hear the "Un-Watering" team is here! Any photos? What do they _do_? Are river water levels such that all the underground water can just be pumped back out?

Comment on Hantavirus: Only one case (to my knowledge) in last dozen years or so (I spoke to CDC about this about 3 years ago, when we attempted to keep some wild mice as pets ... CDC said "do not do it" so we didn't).

Was walking in Carroll Gardens, two serious down trees, one on 4th Place, one on President St ... don't think power is out in our neck of woods.

Oct. 31 2012 10:50 AM

1. I agree stop giving permits to build on a sliver of sand!
2. Sandy brought home the fragility of our hi-tech communication system. Just like 9/11 showed how overloaded the internet news sites got and we had to tune in on a regular old TV. Now we need to turn to our radio and LAN line phones because our "smart" phones drain up all their batteries in a day trying to get a signal.

Oct. 31 2012 10:31 AM
Bill from Manhattan

Any news about mail pickups and deliveries? What about UPS, FedEx? There is some information on the USPS website, but nothing about schedules, etc.


Oct. 31 2012 10:30 AM
John A. from Westchester

Storm took out a 13 KV ('kilo-volt') distribution line in my neighborhood.
Line is so powerful it melted something like 20 feet of itself into the ground, leaving just enough to hang above ground level. The melted cable looks like lava - probably some melted ground (glass) in there too. I'm not touching until that cable is back up, Thank-You. It sits untouched (powered off) by ConEd while they prioritize elsewhere. No blame from me, others need power more.
Hope everyone knows about these from Con Ed:

Oct. 31 2012 10:29 AM
Stuart Pertz

I know it seems a bit mean to be talking about what we should all have known, but there have been predictions of storm surges at this and well in excess of this level for years. Information from the NYC Office of Emergency Management and the show at MOMA called Rising Tides all highlighted such an occurrence. Con Ed certainly should have known - and of course the MTA knew, it just hoped not.
I remember when I was in California working on a UC Berkeley planning Project I said something about "IF" an earthquake should occur, and I was surrounded by incredibly angry Californians saying "WHEN!!". WE have been saying "if" the storm surge hits" for years, and even now we should be saying "when" again. It will not be the last, and, understanding how raw this must sound to those who suffered, we should be ready for the next one.
And yeah, our house on bell Island in Norwalk CT was inundated.

Oct. 31 2012 10:27 AM

It would be great if someone could point out to people to get regular hard-wired, traditional phone service in addtion to their cell phones and internet-dependent phones. The latter depend on electrical service--which obviously cannot be assured during an emergency!! Hard-wired phones do not require electricity and should be working under any circumstances.

Oct. 31 2012 10:23 AM
Vicki from Brooklyn

My husband just abandoned the attempt to drive from Park Slope to Long Island City to go to work. After two hours, they were only as far as Smith Street. With only above-ground vehicles for travel, it's just too clogged to go anywhere.

Oct. 31 2012 10:21 AM
Vero O

What is going on with the schools in evacuation zone A? How did Stuyvesant HS, BMCC, PS 234, Kingsborough Community College and the others fare? When public schools do resume, are these schools included?

Oct. 31 2012 10:20 AM

Hats off to all politicians who addressed Climate Change or EVEN BETTER - actually used the words "Climate Change or Global Warming". Ms Quinn, this is not an issue just for the scientists. The scientists are begging politicians to bring up the subject and, Christine, they have tons of necessary information for you!

I was listening to BBC last night and they don't have any problem addressing climate change in the rest of the world - SO what's up here in the US? Why won't politicians address this issue? Perhaps the public needs to give their reps a call to tell them, "It's OK to say CLIMATE CHANGE!, and what are you doing about it?"

Also want to share my deep concern and admiration for the resilience and determination of East Coasters as they pull together to help their neighbors recover from this monumental storm. And thanks to WNYC Radio for being there during this trying time when most communication devices are down.

Oct. 31 2012 10:19 AM
MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

While the devastation in Breezy Point is overwhelming. It is incredible the lack of coverage in the news of other damages in the Rockaway area. Particularly overlooked is Broad Channel, which sit smack in the middle of Jamaica Bay. According to friends there, the scene is utter devastation, with houses destroyed or flooded, power lost, and huge boats in the middle of Cross Bay Blvd.

Oct. 31 2012 10:11 AM

Cellar doors at subway stations to keep water out?

Look at what the Dutch do to keep the sea from devouring the Netherlands - around Katrina the Dutch got some press for their technique

Oct. 31 2012 09:52 AM
Sunnie from Sunset Park

I loved what Cuomo said yesterday about the storms of the future - that "future" is at the flooded subway steps.
hope this turns Mayor Mike's attention away from regulating soda sizes, trans-fats and smoking bans towards the bigger and far more challenging picture - the environment.

Oct. 31 2012 09:47 AM
Leo from queens

Please tell Miss Quinn that is great to have these TOUGH, complex and expensive building codes, but it is meaningless and are meant to be a cover up to city officials and a source income when there is NO enforcement of building codes when construction is going on. The Buildings dept is not checking drainage for new buildings and looks the other way when backyards and front yards are completely cemented

In addition, all of the new construction is damaging existing and otherwise sound buildings.

Oct. 31 2012 09:45 AM
Lorrie from NYC

Cannot get any info on the various communities on Fire Island post Sandy. Anyone?

Oct. 31 2012 09:42 AM
Leo from Queens

I understand that this is traumatic for people to lose their homes in Breezy Point. But for the City to start handing out building permits (after paying a nice fee of course) is somewhat irresponsible unless there are certain standards on how to build these houses.

If anybody looks at a map they will see that Breezy Point basically sits out there in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With the increase in storms and the rise in sea levels it is somewhat irresponsible to have people living there year round.

Oct. 31 2012 09:40 AM
Patricia from White Plains

Any word on what's happening to the mice that were flooded out of basements and subways? Haven't heard any coverage on that? Concerns with spreading of diseases, like hantavirus?

Oct. 31 2012 09:33 AM

Can anyone confirm whether the electric power is still out in the Union Square area?

Oct. 31 2012 09:33 AM
Vicki from Brooklyn

Thanks for talking about the socio-economic elements in New Jersey. I keep wondering about Red Hook -- not so much about the artist-farmers in the single-family houses, but about the families in public housing. What is going on in Red Hook?

Oct. 31 2012 09:28 AM
Kristen from Brooklyn

Could you please ask the mayor for an update about the Rockaways? We have heard from neighbors that our family home has sustained severe damage, but have not been able to get out to see it. As of yesterday, you could not enter the Rockaways even on foot.

When will the Gil Hodges Bridge be reopened? We are concerned about assessing the damage and securing the property. We haven't been able to find any information on the city sites.

Oct. 31 2012 09:25 AM
Beth Christensen from woodside

I am having a hard time getting information about Long Island. It seems to be a news vacuum out there. Can you get some information for us, especially on the hard hit south shore communities like Freeport and Long Beach?
Thanks so much.

Oct. 31 2012 09:23 AM
Ian Lyn from Brooklyn

Kudos for the NYCTA for clearing out the system and storing allcthr equiptment. Now that said, with all the flooded tunnel photos, what happened to all those who call the subway tunnels home? I can imagine there are scores of homeless people who were stranded and perished.

Oct. 31 2012 09:14 AM

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