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Hurricane Sandy

The Takeaway

Bracing for the Nor'easter, Just Days After Sandy

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Just when it seemed it couldn’t get any worse for people devastated by Sandy, a nor’easter is set to hit the East Coast, bringing with it rain, wind, and snow. The full force of the storm isn’t set to hit until Wednesday, but already it’s brought with it freezing temperatures that will continue to dip in the coming days. Sandy victims Jodi Jordan and Lauren Cook are still trying to rebuild.

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WNYC News

In Arverne, Neighbors Help When Government Doesn’t

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Arverne, a quiet, predominantly black neighborhood just east of Rockaway Beach in Queens, hasn’t seen much help in wake of Sandy. The mud and straw that was stirred up by the floods has dried into dust covering the streets and sidewalks. Aluminum siding has been peeled off the sides of some of the houses, and cars have been strewn around the street by the floodwaters. Debris and water-logged furniture are piled on the side of the road. 

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WNYC News

In the Rockaways, Elderly Residents Spent Another Cold Night in Queens

Monday, November 05, 2012

A week after Sandy many elderly residents in Far Rockaway are still without power. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was met with anger when he toured the area over the weekend. Some supplies are trickling in, but elderly residents are cold and worried about the freezing nighttime temperatures.

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WNYC News

Snapshot | Staten Island's Midland Beach After Sandy

Monday, November 05, 2012

A week after the storm, residents of Midland Beach, Staten Island, struggled to pick up the pieces — even as a FEMA disaster recovery area is set up at the end of Hunter Avenue and troops of volunteers with granny carts full of food go door-to-door.

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WNYC News

Closed Hospitals Changing Birth Plans of Expectant Parents

Monday, November 05, 2012

WNYC

The storm related closure of four hospitals in the city has left many expectant patents wondering where they’ll be delivering their babies in the coming weeks.

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WNYC News

NY, NJ Investigate Price Gouging in Sandy's Aftermath

Monday, November 05, 2012

Officials in New York and New Jersey are investigating whether merchants have been artificially inflating prices to take advantage of customers in the aftermath of Sandy.

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WNYC News

Despite the Cold, Some East Village Residents Don’t Seek Help

Monday, November 05, 2012

In the East Village, the lights may be on in most of the area, but for many residents the heat and hot water have yet to return. While some have sought help, others in the neighborhood are reluctant to take a helping hand.

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Transportation Nation

(LISTEN) Sandy Caused a Mini Bike Boom in NYC

Monday, November 05, 2012

Bicycle Habitat in SoHo did brisk business during the aftermath of Sandy, even without electricity. (Photo by Alex Goldmark)

When Sandy's storm surge flooded New York's subway and split the city into its island parts, normal commutes were washed away. City-mandated restrictions prevented cars with fewer than three people from entering Manhattan to try to limit vehicle traffic. So New Yorkers took to new modes to get around. HopStop, the transit trip planning website, reported a 1,300 percent spike in searches for bus travel in NYC and an 800 percent jump in non-train searches compared to the previous week.

And then there were bikes.

On Thursday, the NYC DOT counted 30,000 cyclists riding across the East River bridges, more than double the normal 13,000.  Though there's no official count for within Manhattan while the power was still out downtown and subways were halted, this audio postcard of a ride around town shows how Sandy created a mini-bike boom -- and a pop-up culture of cycling harmony.

LISTEN:

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WNYC News

Cuomo to Allow Affidavit Ballots for Sandy Victims

Monday, November 05, 2012

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has agreed to issue an executive order that will allow displaced voters to cast ballots by affidavit at any polling site they can reach Tuesday.

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New Jersey News

Live Updates | Tracking the #NJVote

Monday, November 05, 2012

NJ Commons is hosting a live updating blog to help NJ voters report problems at the polls after Hurricane Sandy. To participate, Tweet using the hashtag #NJVote

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Transportation Nation

(LISTEN) MTA Head Joe Lhota: How We Fixed the Flooded Subway

Monday, November 05, 2012

MTA chairman Joe Lhota (L) speaking with an MTA worker. (Photo by MTA via flickr)

Listen to the conversation with WNYC's Amy Eddings below.

(New York, NY) Just one week after Hurricane Sandy turned New York City's subway tunnels into something out of Waterworld, service is back up and running on almost every line. But how?

MTA chairman Joe Lhota told WNYC the credit belonged to the agency's employees. "The workers of the Transit Authority...I will tell you I've never seen a bunch of people work so hard to get the system back up and running."

And here's how they did it: "They've been cleaning [signals] by hand, literally," he said. "First you had to pump out the water, then you had to wipe down the mud that was left down there, then you had to literally wipe down the rail, and then fix each and every one of the switches by cleaning them and making sure there was no salt to prevent the electric conductivity."

Lhota said after that process, the MTA then powered up the system and ran test trains before resuming service.

"We're making progress every day," he said, adding that the rest of the lines would be operating "soon."

"That's our intent, to be able to...get the L later in the week, get the G later in the week, getting all the other trains later in the week. We want to get the #1 train eventually down to Rector Street, we'll try to do that by the middle of the week...inch by inch, rail by rail, we're going to get there," he said on WNYC radio.

Later in the conversation Lhota told WNYC's Amy Eddings -- who relies on the G train to get to work: "You'll get the G soon. Can't tell you exactly when, but you'll get the G real soon."

What probably will take a little longer: retooling New York city's infrastructure to withstand future floods. "There are some more substantive things that need to be done," said Lhota, and "not just for the subway system...it should be a concerted effort on the part of the city and the state and taking the best minds in the architectural world and the water mitigation world and figure out what exactly can we do to prevent this from happening again?"

Any effort to prevent flooding, he said, "It's not just going to be limited to the subways. It shouldn't be."

Want to know what's running and what's not? Check our Transit Tracker.

 

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Transportation Nation

PATH Train Resumes Some Service Between NJ and NYC after Sandy

Monday, November 05, 2012

PATH limited service map as of Tuesday November 6, 2012

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said it would take seven to 10 days to get the PATH train running again between New Jersey and Manhattan. A bit over a week later, some trains will roll through a tunnel that had been turned into a five-mile interstate canal by Sandy's storm surge.

Starting Tuesday, November 6, limited PATH service will run on the Journal Square - 33rd Street line from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Trains will not stop at Christopher Street or 9th Street stations.

The Exchange Place - World Trade Center line remains out of service as workers continue to repair and replace damaged equipment, "including those for signaling and train control. PATH engineers are repairing or replacing this equipment as quickly as safely possible," the Port Authority writes on its website.

With one route closed, riders should expect significant crowding. That's why the 9th Street and Christopher Street stations will be closed. Structurally sound, the 104-year old stations were not designed to accommodate normal levels of crowding, so with expected overcrowding they become unsafe. Passengers can use the 14th Street station.

Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman says of the Exchange Place - WTC line, "we're still working on dewatering issues." He added "I wouldn't want to project" a timeline for resumption of service for that line.

You can always find the latest transit service updates for every agency (MTA, NJ Transit, PATH and others) in our Transit Tracker.

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WNYC News

Former OEM Official to Head Housing Recovery Efforts

Monday, November 05, 2012

Brad Gair has been named director of housing recovery operations for New York City.

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Transportation Nation

Monday's Commute in NY: Subways Run, New Yorkers Patient

Monday, November 05, 2012

The subway map as of 11/15/12

Eight days ago, the subway system shut down.  Seven days ago, it suffered the worst devastation in its history.  All seven tunnels under the East River were flooded.

By Monday morning's commute, most of the subways were running under the East River. The R and the L were not (more on that in a minute).

By Sunday night, the MTA had restored all of the numbered lines across the East River (2, 3, 4, 5 & 7), as well as many lettered lines. This morning, at the last minute, the A, C and E were also connected.  The #1 train ran all the way downtown to Chambers Street.

The rapid restoration of the system caused MTA chairman Joe Lhota to tweet: Who says government doesn't work? Really? Check this out. http://bit.ly/PQ7mnZ.

The link was to the restored subway map.

(Lhota, by the way, is a Republican -- a former Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani.)

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg says MTA workers have been working "around the clock" to replace signals corroded by salt water.  Lisberg said increased headways -- or time between trains -- was due to reduced power and signalling issues caused by damaged signals.

Commuters, for the most part, were patient as they crowded onto train cars that were running about a third as frequently as usual. In two-and-a-half hours of riding the rails, I didn't hear any sighing, moaning, or cursing at the MTA, or at fellow passengers, a frequent accompaniment to the squeal of the trains on a morning commute.

WNYC's Jim O'Grady reports a similar amount of patience -- for now -- at the J train in Williamsburg, now the backstop for both the L and G. Jim describes the lines as "immense," but says straphangers were so relieved to be able to get into Manhattan that frustration was far from the boiling point.

But at least one straphanger was deterred. "Holy God," he said, seeing the subway line.  "Looks like I'm working from home today.

On Sunday, rider Rachel Tillman applauded outright when the F train re-connected under the East River.  "Good!' she exclaimed, giddily, "It's going all the way.  When I heard the announcement I thought it was a mistake.  Once we reached Jay Street-Metrotech I realized it was going all the way.  It makes me very happy."

 

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The Takeaway

Sandy Leaves Tens of Thousands Homeless

Monday, November 05, 2012

In New York City and the surrounding boroughs, suburbs, and beyond, many people are still without power and fuel, including significant parts of New Jersey and Long Island. Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, explains some of the challenges still facing the city.

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Schoolbook

PTAs Rally to Assist Sandy Relief Efforts

Monday, November 05, 2012

The well-oiled volunteer network of parents involved in their local PTAs sprung into action after Sandy to put their fund-raising and outreach expertise to good use, often miles beyond the boundaries of their local schools.

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The Takeaway

Displaced New Jersey Voters Allowed to Vote by Fax, Email

Monday, November 05, 2012

Over the weekend, it was announced that any New Jersey voter displaced from their primary residence because of the storm will be considered an "overseas voter" and can apply for an absentee ballot by email or fax. Matt Blaze is a University of Pennsylvania professor and one of the most important security researchers working on electronic voting.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Election Law and Hurricanes

Monday, November 05, 2012

Larry Norden, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, talks about the legal parameters for voter access, and Anna Sale, It's A Free Country political reporter, talks about the logistics of voting in storm-damaged areas.

→ Find Your Polling Site: New York City Poll Finder | New Jersey Poll Finder | Google Map Finder

→ By Text: NYC Residents Text "NYCVOTES" to 877-877 | Spanish Speakers Text "DONDE" to 877-877 | NJ Residents Text "WHERE" to 877-877

→ New Jersey E-Voting: Official InformationCounty Clerk Contacts | Call 1-877-NJ-VOTER

→ Don't Have A Fax or Scanner? Hello Fax Free Faxing | iPhone Scanner Apps | Scanner Apps for Droid | FedEX Kinko's Locations

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Schoolbook

DOE Can Learn From Teachers How To Lead

Monday, November 05, 2012

A high school teacher criticizes the Department of Education for its decision to have teachers report to work on Friday ahead of this week's return to school for most students.

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Schoolbook

Schools Open to Relieved Families and Challenges

Monday, November 05, 2012

Many schools welcomed back their students Monday after a week of storm-related closures. P.S. 100 in Brighton Beach was a welcoming -- and warm -- place for many residents who are still without power after the storm known as Sandy. Also, Chancellor Dennis Walcott told WNYC that this week will be extremely challenging as the school system regroups after the storm.

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