Two Million Barrels of Oil and $100 Million in Aid to Relieve Region

| November 2, 2012 4:15 PM | Updated: Nov. 2, 2012, 6:30 AM video

UPDATED Nov. 3 at 4:15 PM:

Burned-out homes in the Breezy Point section of Queens, NY, after a fire on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. AP Photo/Mike Groll

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s  latest updates on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy are available on nyc.gov.

The Friday afternoon press conference of Mayor Bloomberg brought news that Consolidated Edison expected to restore power to most of Manhattan on Friday. Power was restored to 70,000 customers citywide earlier during the day.

Early Friday evening, power was restored to networks that serves over 65,000 customers between 14th and Canal streets, and 25,000 Chelsea customers between West 14th and West 31st streets.

By 7:45 p.m., 30,000 customers between East 14th and East 31st streets had electricity too.

Consolidated Edison’s crews aimed to restore power to all of Manhattan by Saturday.

It could take until mid-November to bring power back to all Con Ed customers, according to the utility company. In Long Island more than 500,000 customers of the Long Island Power Authority were without power on Friday evening, and there was no news as to when electricity would return

Thirteen distribution centers in areas that have suffered from power outages are distributing meals and water on the weekend.

Though the governor had announced that fuel trucks in New York City and Long Island would provide gas to emergency vehicles and the general public,  the New York Daily News has reported that an overwhelming demand led the military to limit distribution to emergency workers, according the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

The city’s first Federal Disaster Service Center opened at the Brooklyn Cyclone’s baseball stadium in Coney Island, 1904 Surf Ave., in Brooklyn. It will move to a more permanent location next week and will be open seven days a week.


Watch Livestream of Mayor Bloomberg’s Friday Press Conference:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spoke at a press conference on Friday at 1 p.m.

In a press conference Friday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State has pledged $100 million to a fund that will provide relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Gas supply relief is also on its way. Statements by the Governor and Rear Admiral Daniel Abel of the U.S. Coast Guard revealed that as of yesterday, the New York Harbor had allowed fuel tankers and barges through to deliver oil to Newburgh, NY, and locations on the Long Island Sound.  The Buckeye Pipeline and Port Jefferson terminals have been brought online again. Abel said that two million barrels of oil are making their way to distribution centers and that after repairs are made to New York port facilities, barges and tankers would be unloading there as well.  There are three oil spills at terminals on the west side of Staten Island that are being cleaned before they can go back online.

Additionally, the state and federal government have both waived restrictions that will allow more deliveries of oil supplies to the region. Cuomo announced he has waived a law requiring fuel tankers to register in advance with the state and pay taxes before unloading in order to “accelerate the flow of gasoline.”

Abel announced that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has waved the maritime Jones Act, which will allow more tankers into the harbor.

The Staten Island Ferry  will resume service at noon on Friday, NJ Transit has modified rail service into New York Penn Station on the Northeast Corridor line. For more information on transit in the region, including a traffic tracker, click here.

On Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he expected power to be restored to Lower Manhattan by Sunday. Some electricity may come back to that area of Manhattan as early as Saturday.

UPDATED Nov. 1 at 9:40 AM:

Traffic has snarled New York City as bridges are open and people attempt to return to work and other activities after Hurricane Sandy. The death toll includes 30 in New York state, 22 of those victims in New York City. New Jersey suffered 14 deaths. Connecticut lost three people to the storm.

Hurricane Sandy, Food, Escalator under Water at South Ferry

Escalator under Water at South Ferry. Damage to the MTA New York City Transit system in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Photo: Flickr/MTAPhotos

New York City bus service and limited subway service  is operating on Thursday. All MTA services, including commuter rails, are free of charge through Friday. For more information on transit in the region, including at transit tracker and services in New Jersey, click here.

Schools are expected to re-open on Monday.

At every press conference, officials from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Mayor Michael Bloomberg praise the cooperation between levels and government and agencies.  State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose city onstituents in Manhhattan and Brooklyn are largely without electricity, has created a handy web page on resources to address Sandy’s aftermath.

UPDATED Oct. 31 at 1:30 PM:

Traffic has snarled New York City as bridges are open and people attempt to return to work and other activities after Hurricane Sandy. The death toll for the city is now reported to be more than 20.

New York City bus service is operating and limited subway service will begin on Thursday, north of 34th Street. For more information on transit in the region, click here.

UPDATED Oct. 30 at 7:10 PM:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced there have now been 18 confirmed Hurricane Sandy-related deaths.

For those New Yorkers whose homes are damaged and need disaster assistance from the federal government, call 1-800-621-3362 or visit disasterassistance.gov.

How to Help

Donate
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org; 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

American Red Cross NY: www.nyredcross.org; (877)-733-2767 or (516) 747-3500

American Red Cross NJ: www.redcross.org/nj/fairfield; (973) 797-3300 or (732) 493-9100

Volunteer
New York Cares: newyorkcares.org/volunteer/disaster/

New York City Service: www.nycservice.org/register

Find the Nearest Shelter

http://gis.nyc.gov/oem/he/index.html

 

Governor Cuomo assesses damage to the Path Train Station at the World Trade Center site. Photo courtesy of the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

UPDATED Oct. 30 4:40 PM:

Areas with underground power, including in Manhattan and Brighton Beach, Brooklyn should see power restored in about four days, according to a Con-Ed spokesperson, but areas with above ground power won’t see service for at least 10 days.

Buses will be up and running by 5 p.m. on a Sunday schedule, and fares are free Tuesday and Wednesday. Taxi cabs are picking up multiple customers.

 

UPDATED Oct. 30 12:30 PM:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota gave televised briefings before noon this morning, concentrating their reports on mass transit and power restoration efforts.

Twenty area deaths related to the storm have been reported, half of them taking place in the city. Causes include falling trees and stepping into water with live power lines.

Mayor Bloomberg repeatedly noted that mass transit and restoring power are the city’s two priorities and pledged that his administration “will move heaven and earth” to help Consolidated Edison and the MTA.

Hurricane Sandy, AP Photo, Manhattan West 20s, near northern part of Highline, transformer exploding

A transformer exploded in Manhattan on Monday night, during Hurricane Sandy. AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof

Mass Transit, Bridges and Tunnels, Taxis

Gov. Cuomo announced that all city bridges will be reopening at noon today except Rockaway bridges. The Brooklyn-Battery (Hugh Carey Tunnel) and Holland Tunnel will remain closed.  All metropolitan area airports are expected to re-open on Wednesday, except for LaGuardia Airport, due to extensive flood damage.

MTA Chairman Lohta cautioned that the MTA was still assessing damage to the entire system. No buses or trains were damaged, but rail yards, tunnels and stations have experienced unprecedented flooding. Bus service will return to part of the city as early as 5 p.m. this evening. In the days ahead, the MTA will open subway lines where possible, and will use buses to complement and supplement subway service. Full bus service is expected to return on Wednesday.

As for continued subway flooding, Lohta singled out the South Ferry subway station in Lower Manhattan, saying “the water is literally up the ceiling.”

New Yorkers will have more vehicular options for getting around the city thanks to an executive order signed by Mayor Bloomberg.

He explained that cab drivers are permitted to pick up multiple pasengers. Livery drivers can also pick up passengers anywhere in the city. The Mayor cautioned to “Make sure the car has a TLC license plate.”

As for Metro-North commuter rail service, both Lohta and Cuomo referred to a 40-foot boat that is lying on the tracks in Ossing, NY.  There is no service on the Croton-on-Hudson line, or between New York City and New Haven, CT.

Power Outages and Restoring Power

According to Gov. Cuomo, 90 percent of Long Island is without power. As he explained on Monday, restoring power will be done with the assistance of National Guard members who are clearing downed trees to free power lines, and through the assistance of utility crews that will be arriving from as far as Texas and California.

Regarding the effect of Lower Manhattan’s power outages on the finance industry, Cuomo said, “We are cautiously optimistic that Wall Street will come back online tomorrow morning.”

He also said the Army Corp of Engineers are sending a “national unwatering swat team” to assist in Lower Manhattan.

Mayor Bloomberg said that three-quarters of a million New Yorkers are without power. He described that south of 42nd Street, Consolidated Edison had shut the  steam system shut down, which affects heating and ventilation systems, including for many of the hospitals. Senator Charles E. Schumer also spoke during the Mayor’s press conference, saying that the company Caterpillar was sending over 200 generators to area hospitals.

The Mayor advised that power may be out in “lots of places for two or three days, and maybe even longer.”

Boat on Metro-North tracks in Ossining, NY

A boat rests on the tracks at Metro-North's Ossining Station on the Hudson Line. Photo courtesy Flickr/MTAPhotos.

UPDATED: Oct. 30, 11:10 a.m.:

 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is expected to make his first public address Tuesday morning after Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City late on Monday. Blocks of the Rockaways had burned during the night, patients had been evacuated from NYU Langone Medical Center, and nearly 550,000 city residents lost power. Today, bridges are open for emergency vehicles only. WNYC’s am transmitter was off-air due to flooding.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave a live address at 10:10 a.m. More than 2.4 million in his state are without electricity, twice the number affected by Hurricane Irene. New Jersey has been declared a federal disaster area. Christie estimated that the PATH transportation network would be out of service for seven to 10 days.

Sixteen deaths in the region have been attributed to Hurricane Sandy, several due to falling trees.

UPDATED: Oct. 30, 12:40 a.m.:

Flooding on Union Street, between Bond Street and the Gowanus Canal

Flooding on Carroll Street near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn on Monday night. Photo by Marc Rosenblatt.

On Monday night, more than 250,000 people in New York City were left without electricity, from East 39th Street to the southern tip of Manhattan, according to Consolidated Edison. Flooding was the cause. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reported that the storm surge had peaked at nearly 14 feet at the Battery, at Manhattan’s southern tip. By midnight, the surge had receded to just less than 10 feet.

In New Jersey, more than 1 million residents are without power, and across the U.S., roughly 5.8 million are without power due to Hurricane Sandy.

UPDATED: Oct. 29, 6 p.m.:

Mayor Bloomberg said the East River bridges — Brooklyn, Manhattan, Ed Koch Queensboro and Williamsburg — will close at 7 p.m. at a press conference at the Office of Emergency Management in Downtown Brooklyn.

The storm is expected to be strongest from 7 p.m. to approximately midnight tonight and into tomorrow morning.

A tree felled by Hurricane Sandy winds at the Long Meadow of Prospect Park, before 4:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon, before the height of storm. Photo by Marc Rosenblatt.

A tree felled by Hurricane Sandy winds at the Long Meadow of Prospect Park, before 4:45 p.m. and the height of storm on Monday. Photo by Marc Rosenblatt.

“The time for relocation or evacuation is over,” said Bloomberg. “The worst of it is about to hit. We’ve done all we can do to prepare.”

Bloomberg said the city has received a high volume of calls to 911 for reports of downed trees or flooding but alerted New Yorkers to call 311 for those reports, leaving 911 open for real emergencies.

“We’d like to continue what we’ve had so far, no fatalities,” said Bloomberg.

Consolidated Edison has reported 68,700 people are currently without power. According to Kevin Burke, CEO of Con-Ed, a pre-emptive power shut down for parts of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn was likely.

“It looks like we’ll be preventatively shutting down two networks: Fulton and Battery,” said Burke. “And possibly Brighton Beach.”

UPDATED: Oct. 29, 4:20 p.m.:

Hurricane Sandy has been barreling up the East Coast and is expected to make landfall in New York City and the surrounding areas as early as 6 p.m. Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this afternoon at a press conference on Long Island.

“Sandy’s fury is still going to come this evening,” said Cuomo. “This is probably the last warning we will be able to give people.”

The power of the storm is in the strong winds it brings. Officials have warned residents to stay inside, tie down and secure anything outside, and to be careful around trees. The other major threat is the possibility of massive flooding. Flooding is already rampant across low lying areas in New York City, and with high tide and the storm’s center hitting at the same time this evening, between 8 and 9 p.m., even more flooding is expected.

Cuomo said additional National Guard troops were headed to New York, with the majority hitting the ground in Long Island where coastal surges pose a large threat.

Cuomo also announced the following bridge closures as of Monday at 7 p.m.:

Throgs Neck Bridge
Bronx-Whitestone Bridge
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
George Washington Bridge
Henry Hudson Bridge
Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge
Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge

The Tappan Zee Bridge closed at 4 p.m. Monday.

The Staten Island bridges — Bayonne, Goethals and Outerbridge Crossing, and the Robert F. Kennedy/Triborough Bridge — will stay open as long as possible. The Hudson River bridges north of the Tappan Zee Bridge are not being closed.

The East River rose rapidly on Monday. At 11 a.m. it was just one foot from ground level at Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park. MetroFocus/ Georgia Kral

UPDATE Oct. 29, 2012, 2:15 p.m.:

Consolidated Edison has announced it may start pre-emptive shutdowns of electricity and steam in buildings south of 20th Street in Manhattan. If salt water reaches the buildings, it could corrode their power systems.

Likewise, salt water can corrode train switches, which is why MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said today, “Our subway system and salt water do not mix very well together.”

ConEd asks that the public report downed wires or other electrical issues to 1-800-CONED or www.coned.com.

——

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced new closures due to Hurricane Sandy Monday morning.

Low-lying areas of the city are already flooding and the Holland Tunnel and the Battery Tunnel (newly named the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel), both prone to flooding, will both be closed as of 2 p.m.

Bloomberg announced schools will be closed on Tuesday as well.

“The storm is as we predicted. There’s going to be a lot of rain and a lot of wind. The question is the extent of the storm surge. It’s already at Irene levels,” said Cuomo.

Irene surged at 9.5 feet during high tide, which tonight will take place between 8 and 9 p.m. Hurricane Sandy is expected to cause a surge as high as 11.7 feet.

There are no plans to shut any bridges at the moment, though the small 9th Street-Smith Street bridge in Brooklyn has closed due to the Gowanus Canal flooding, according to the South Slope News. The MTA closes bridges when winds gust up to 60 mph; weather forecasters have predicted gusts up to 90 mph.

Track Hurricane Sandy’s path in real time:

Interactive map courtesy of WNYC.

Cuomo announced reinforcements for storm damage control in his address, such as sending more boats downstate and adding another 1,000 national guard members to the 1,000 called to duty on Sunday.

The Governor also addressed the prospect of power outages and tried to set expectations as to how quickly the area could   recover from them.

“After a disaster,” he explained. “What normally happens is utility crews from other states come to the affected area to help do the repairs. Here, the entire seaboard needs assistance, there aren’t enough crews to call in. We have commitments of about 4,000 utility workers to come in to state. The additional national guard will also be of help.”

Cuomo closed his address by calling the federal government’s cooperation “extraordinary” and expressing his admiration for New Yorkers.

“We have a sense of community that is really inspirational. It is in our darkest hours that New Yorker  shine the brightest,” he said.”

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