Caitlyn Kim was the General Assignment Editor. She joined the WNYC staff in August 2011. Previously, Caitlyn was a reporter/producer at WAMC and KQED. She also covered Connecticut state politics for WNPR, WFCR and WAMC ...
Your Post-Sandy Questions, Answered
Thursday, November 01, 2012
We're collecting your questions about city and regional services here, and answering the ones we can. We'll update this page regularly as we learn more.
- Food, water and ice
- Power and cell phones
- Gas and transportation
- Getting help and giving help
- Health, prescriptions and sanitation
- Schools, voting and other events
- Other facts and figures
Where can we get food?
Residents in need of food, water and ice can pick them up at three distribution centers starting at 9 a.m. Friday according to the Monmouth County Sheriff.
The regional distribution centers will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and has a fast drive-up service, said Sheriff Shaun Golden. There will be two bags of ice and two cases of water allocated per car. Make sure to bring identification to show you are from the area. There will also be charging stations at these distribution points.
Keyport to Atlantic Highlands: residents can go to the Holy Family Church, located at 910 Route 36 in Hazlet.
Sea Bright to Allenhurst: residents should go to the Monmouth Park Racetrack on Oceanport Avenue in Oceanport.
Asbury Park to Brielle: residents should go to the Peddler's Village Outlet Mall, located on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Route 35.
As of Thursday, below are food, blanket and distribution centers in the five boroughs, according to NYC.gov.
- Redfern Houses Community Center, Hassock Street and Beach Channel Drive 12 PM - 4 PM
- Hammel Community Center, Beach 84th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard Queens 12 PM - 4 PM
- Beach 41st Street Community Center, Beach Channel Drive and Beach 40th Street 12 PM - 4 PM
- St. Francis de Sales, Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 129th Street 12 PM - 4 PM
- Shorefront YMHA, Coney Island Avenue and Brightwater Court 12 PM - 4 PM Our Lady of Solace Church, Mermaid Avenue and 19th Street 12 PM - 4 PM Calvary Baptist Church, Hicks Street between Mill Street and West 9th Street. 12 PM - 4 PM
- Miller Field, Corner of Mill Road and New Dorp Lane 12 PM - 4 PM
- Midland Beach, Corner of Father Capodano Boulevard and Hunter Avenue 12 PM - 4 PM
On Long Island:
- Cedar Creek Park 3340 Merrick Road Seaford, NY
- Nickerson Beach Park 880 Lido Blvd Lido Beach, NY
- Christopher Morley Park 500 Searingtown Rd. Roslyn, NY
- HL Dennison 1oo Veterans Memorial Hwy Hauppauge, NY 11718
- Mastic Firehouse 1080 Mastic Rd Mastic, NY 11950
- Riverhead County Center 210 Center Drive Riverhead, NY 11901
Where can I get ice?
Is the water safe to drink?
In NYC, tap water is safe to drink in all areas except Breezy point.
The city cautions that water in Breezy Point will not be drinkable even if boiled. This is specific to Breezy point; residents there will have to drink bottled water once the water returns. Water is being provided by the Department of Environmental Protection at portable water stations in Breezy Point. Water is being restored, where it can, in Breezy Point for the express purpose of firefighting and fire suppression.
Breezy Point uses the city's water, which is safe, but its distribution system is privately owned and managed. Breaks in that distribution system are what's making the water unsafe.
In Long Island, the LI Water Conference says water in most places is fine to drink, with these areas of exception - two isolated areas in Nassau County — Long Beach and Mill Neck Estates — and three areas in Suffolk County — portions of Fire Island, Maidstone Park Cottages and Peconic View Mobile Home Park.
In New Jersey, water advisories are in effect for 11 cities/municipalities. The state has also set up at 211 system to answer questions about food and water safety. You can also call 1-866-324-0964. Public health officials will be available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Where can we get ice?
ConEd is keeping a list of distribution centers in each borough where wet and dry ice are being distributed.
PSE & G is also providing ice, drinking water and power strips where customers can charge their devices free of charge at five New Jersey locations this Saturday:
CVS Parking Lot, 59 Wahington Ave., Hoboken- 24/7
Red Neck Grove -John Stevens Baseball Field, Moonachie - 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Paramus Park Mall from 8 to 9 p.m.
On the corner of Westside and Claremont Ave., Jersey City from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
St. James Church Parking Lot, on the corner of Elm and Madison streets in Newark from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
When will I get my power back?
Con Edison says that as of 7am Saturday, approximately 280,000 customers are out of service. The NY Times has a map of power outages around the five boroughs. Call 1-800-75-ConEd for specific restoration times. Con Edison is also working to restore steam power to the roughly 550 customers without heat in lower Manhattan.
Jersey Central Power & Light has a list of estimated restoration times, and says the majority of customers will be restored within the next seven days. As of Friday at noon, there are still more than 710,000 customers without power.
PSE&G says over the last three days the utility has restored power to over a million customers. They estimate that all customers will have power within the coming week, but that some pockets may have to wait until after November 9. Currently there are 607,000 customers without power, down from 2.2 million.
This weekend, the utility says it's concentrating its restoration efforts on areas that will impact the most customers: Jersey City, Bayonne in Hudson County; Irvington, West Orange, Montclair, East Orange, Bloomfield, Maplewood, Orange and Belleville in Essex County; Teaneck, Englewood, Ridgewood, Fort Lee, Paramus, Bergenfield, Palisades Park, New milford, River Edge, Glen Rock, Tenafly, Hackensack, Lodi and Bogota in Bergen County; Princeton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, West Windsor, Trenton, Hopewell, Princeton Borough, Hamilton Township and Pennington in Mercer County; Moorestown, Willingboro, Maple Shade, Mt. Laurel and Delran in Burlington County; Paterson, Clifton, Passaic and Wayne in Passaic County; Cherry Hill, Camden and Pennsauken in Camden County; Elizabeth, Union, Plainfield, Linden and Westfield in Union County; Edison, Piscataway, Woodbridge and East Brunswick in Middlesex; and Franklin Township in Somerset.
Extensive flooding in Hoboken continues to hamper restoration efforts there.
LIPA says it’s already restored power to 65 percent of customers who lost power during Sandy, and is still working this weekend with an estimated restoration time of 7 to 10 days. Some may get their power before then, but some will also get it after that time. As of noon Friday, there are still 535,760 customers without power.
Where can I charge my cell phone?
Solar One—green energy, arts and education center—has a trailer on the East River waterfront at 22nd Street. Solar panels that power Solar One's small building are providing electricity to the community while the power in the community is down. Residents have been charging their cell phones off the solar panels.
For residents in/near the Rockaways, the Queens Library is inviting affected residents a place to charge electronic devices, get information and assistance in filing for disaster recovery and emergency services, borrowing books. Queens Library @ Peninsula, 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Beach.
What is happening with cell phone service?
Federal regulators say the storm knocked out a quarter of the cell towers in an area across ten states.
AT&T confirms it is experiencing “some issues in areas heavily impacted by the storm.” AT&T and T-Mobile have entered into an agreement to enable roaming on their networks to customers of both companies. Calls will be carried by whichever network is most operational in their area.
Verizon Wireless, the largest cell carrier in the country, said their network in greater New York has been stressed due to flooding and power outages and that there are "serious problems" in lower Manhattan. They are working to restore service, but did not release an estimate of when they expect repairs to be completed.
Where can I find gas?
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management published this list on Thursday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. of pharmacies, hotels, restaurants and gas stations that are open in New Jersey. And New Jerseyans are using the hashtags #njopen and #njgas to share what they're seeing.
Governor Cuomo announced Saturday that the Department of Defense will set up mobile fuel stations at five locations in the New York-Metro area. It will be free and there will be a 10 gallon limit.
The five locations are:
93-05 160th St.
Jamaica, NY 11433
10 West 195th St.
Bronx, NY 10468
1579 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Staten Island/Elizabeth Armory
321 Manor Road
Staten Island, NY 10314
63 Babylon Turnpike
Freeport, NY 11520
Which roads, subways and buses are open and running?
Check frequently with our Transit Tracker for the latest updates on road and transit openings.
Where can I donate my time or money?
We've got a growing list of shelters, charities and volunteer organizations on our How to Help page.
How can I find someone who’s missing?
Check Red Cross’s Safe and Well Tracker, where you or your loved ones can register to say you’re safe.
How can I get insurance to cover my damages?
The Public Advocate's office has a guide to filing storm-related claims here. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio recommends filing those claims as soon as possible, so they can be processed more quickly.
How can I get social and economic aid?
The Mayor's Office and FEMA have set up five Disaster Assistance Service Centers with information about applying for emergency social and economic assistance. They are located in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Hours and locations can be found here.
FEMA has opened three centers in Nassau County, to help provide relief to those affected by Sandy. County Executive Ed Mangano says representatives will give information on what federal aid residents and business owners may be entitled to during the recovery. The cnters are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Nassau Community College in Garden City, the Recreation Center and Ice Arena in Long Beach, and Island Park Village Hall.
You can apply for FEMA assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
I need to report price gouging.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's office is taking in reports of price gouging in the wake of the storm. File a report here.
Where are the shelters near me?
This NYC evac map shows shelters around the five boroughs, Long Island and in New Jersey.
What about pet shelters?
The Humane Society has a list and hotline to identify pet-friendly shelters in New York and New Jersey. On Long Island, a pet Shelter will also open at Nassau County Mitchel Athletic Complex, Administration Building, in Uniondale.
Where can I go to get warm?
The city has set up a number of warming centers throughout the five boroughs where the public can go to warm up. The following warming shelters will be open overnight on Saturday, 11/3:
George Washington High School, 549 Audubon Manhattan
BUS PICKUP Seward Park High School, 350 Grand Street
Hillcrest High School, 160-05 Hillcrest Avenue
BUS PICKUP Waldbaum’s, 122-15 Beach Channel Drive between Beach 65th and Beach 66th Place. Fort Tilden Park at Beach Channel Boulevard.
John Jay High School, 237 7th Avenue
BUS PICKUP MCU Park Parking Lot At 1904 Surf Avenue
Tottenville High School, 100 Luten Avenue
BUS PICK UP Miller Field at 600 New Dorp Lane at Weed Avenue Mount Loretto at 6581 Hylan Blvd at Sharrotts Road
Where can I take a hot shower?
Westchester: Club Fit and New York Sports Club, two major health club chains in Westchester, will open their facilities to accommodate those who are without power and need a place to take a warm shower. Club Fit has facilities in Briarcliff Manor and Jefferson Valley. New York Sports Club has facilities in Carmel, Croton, Dobbs Ferry, Hartsdale, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Somers and White Plains and is open to adults 18 and over.
New York City: New York Sports Clubs are opening their doors to people affected by the storm to take showers. Go to their website to find which clubs are open.
To use any of these shower locations, management asks the public to please bring an ID and your own towels. It is recommended that you please call in advance to make sure power and hot water are still available.
Where can I do laundry?
Beginning Saturday, November 3, the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program will bring its free laundry services to Eatontown, New Jersey to provide clean clothes to those affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Are banks open? Where are ATMs operational?
Information is still coming in on where exactly banks and ATMs are operational - many banks say they're working to re-open more than half of the branches that were closed in anticipation of the storm. Additionally, most banks say they will waive or reimburse ATM fees.
How can I get my prescriptions filled?
The website RX Response has a growing list of open pharmacies that are filling prescriptions.
What about closed/evacuated hospitals?
The NYU Langone Medical Center outpatient facilities plan to open on Monday, Nov. 5.
Bellevue Hospital will remain closed until further notice. Families should call 311 to find out about transferred patients. Check for updates here.
When will my trash get picked up?
The Sanitation Department is making scheduled garbage collections as storm conditions permit. Recycling collections are suspended, and all recycling should be stored until further notice. The Department continues to handle hurricane debris clean ups citywide.
When will regular postal service return to normal?
Mail delivery has been attempted throughout the storm and its aftermath. All main post offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn are operational, but mail facilities on Staten Island and Long Island were affected.
Connie Chirichello, a spokeswoman for the U.S.P.S. said mail delivery was attepted in all areas where it could be safely delivered. She also said depending on the impacted zone, between 20 and 80 percent of all mail has been delivered. And as emergency crews continue to clear roads and electricity returns, that percentage will get better. Also, about 70 to 90 percent of postal employees have been able to return to work.
The U.S. Postal Service says individuals living in areas most affected by the storm and expecting social security checks for November 1 will have to pick them up at one of several post office locations:
All Bronx addresses will have their checks delivered through regular mail.
When are schools open?
Schoolbook has updates on public schools.
In New York City, all but 65 schools will be open on Monday. Mayor Bloomberg advised parents that even schools with electricity may lack heat and recommended that students dress accordingly. For updates on the status of individual schools, visit the DOE website.
For information on school closings throughout the area, use the following links:
How will I vote?
The New York City Board of Elections is currently surveying its approximately 100 polling places in the flood zones and assessing to see how many may need to be relocated. In some storm-ravaged precincts, New York City Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said the city may have to resort to erecting tents for temporary polling places.
In New Jersey, power outages and flood will likely force polling places to move in New Jersey, but the New Jersey Department of State, which administers elections, has not yet announced any changes. The agency makes no mention of Sandy on the polling location finder on its website.
Con Edison says it's hoping to restore electricity to schools for Monday and polling places for Tuesday.
Is the marathon really still happening?
As of Friday afternoon, the NYC marathon is cancelled. Runners are being encouraged to donate their rooms to victims of Sandy seeking a room.
The New York Road Runners also said that race supplies -- blankets, food, port-o-Johns and generators -- would be diverted to relief efforts. The group also raised $2.6 million for its "Race to Recover" campaign.
I can't get WNYC AM 820.
WNYC AM 820 is temporarily operating at lower power, due to damage sustained at our transmitter site during the recent storm. If you are having trouble hearing WNYC AM 820, you can stream our signal at WNYC.org and by tuning into 93.9 FM.
What's happening with the nuclear reactors?
In anticipation of the storm, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission shut down three area reactors: Nine Mile Point 1 in Scriba, N.Y., Indian Point 3 in Buchanan, N.Y.; and Salem Unit 1 in Hancocks Bridge, N.J. As of Thursday morning, these remain offline.
What's up with NYC parks?
The majority of NYC parks and playgrounds will re-open by 8 a.m. on Saturday November 3rd. For more information on specific closures, check out the NYC Parks & Recreation website.
The city has asked for volunteers to help clean up parks over the weekend. More information on how to help can be found here.
Which libraries are open?
More than 65 branches in the NYPL system will be open on Monday. A list and map of open locations can be found here.
A list of closed libraries in the Brooklyn PL system is accessible here.
The Nassau Library System has a list of open branches here.
The New Jersey Library Association has established an online fund to help rebuild member libraries. For information on branch hours, check your local library's website.