As the sun set on Saturday evening, double decker tourist buses cruised down a well-lit Broadway in Lower Manhattan, past the Bull statue that will be labeled “Wall Street” in photo albums, and past historic Bowling Green, aglow from lights styled as 19th-century gas lamps. The electricity Consolidated Edison had restored south of 34th Street on Friday and Saturday made the city visible again. But as bus drivers curved east at Battery Park to travel north again, they would have to negotiate a darkened Water Street where even traffic lights weren’t working. To the west, the guide probably pointed out the historic Fraunces Tavern, now partly obscured by pick-up trucks, vans, Verizon vehicles, pumps and industrial dehumidifiers creating a whirring buzz.
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Double-parked on Broad Street, this recovery vehicle from Rhode Island had a "Frankenstorm Recovery Team" sticker on its tailgate. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
Recovery effort vehicles and trucks lined either side of Broad Street on Nov. 3, 2012. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
On Saturday, Nov. 3, the day electricity began returning to Lower Manhattan, three Con Ed trucks were parked at the intersection of Broadway and Beaver Streets, to the east side of Bowling Green. "The New York Times" reported a city official said that ruined electrical systems meant a building at 33 Beaver St. would probably not be usable for four to six weeks. Tenants include three city agencies: the Department of Probation, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and the Department of Homeless Services. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
In the Financial District, Power For Rent was contributing to the restoration work underway on Stone Street, between Broadway and Broad Street. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
Workers carry pump equipment to entrance on Stone Street, where water from 90 Broad Street was being pumped out on Nov. 3, 2012. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
This pump on Stone Street was removing water from the basements of 90 Broad Street. Water can only be pulled vertically about 25 feet. The basement levels here are about 40 feet, so smaller pumps were installed within the building to create a chain that reached the sidewalk, where water emptied onto the street. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House (home to the National Museum of the American Indian - Smithsonian) is at the end of Stone Street, where water was being pumped out of basements. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
A man sorted tubes on a flatbed on Broad and Stone Street. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
This machine at 90 Broad Street was called a "big ol'" dessicant by an Interstate Restoration employee who had flown in from Texas. After the basement and sub-basement of the building is pumped out, the dessicant dehumidifies the areas. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
Recovery efforts at Verizon building on 104 Broad Street. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
A worker in protective clothing lined a dumpster labeled "non-hazardous" with thick black plastic. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
Workers in protective clothing brought equipment and items such as furniture out of the flood-damaged building and to the dumpster. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
Water pumped from buildings on S. William Street rushes towards Broad Street. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
Few cars, many of them taxis, were driving the Lower Manhattan streets on the evening of Nov. 3, 2012. Traffic lights were out near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, making negotiating intersections a careful exercise. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
As night fell Saturday at the tip of Manhattan, electricity was not on, but parked recovery vehicles and a few passing cars provided ambient lighting. MetroFocus/Christina Knight
This part of Broad Street, just blocks south of the working New York Stock Exchange, is without power. Flooded businesses here include Verizon, which has a major switching center for Lower Manhattan at 104 Broad Street. The building provides voice and Internet services, and specialized communications circuits for major companies located downtown, according to Verizon spokesperson John Bonomo. Verizon’s neighbor, the Energy Star-certified 90 Broad Street, is also flooded. Its diverse range tenants includes Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, specializing in investment in gold coins and gold bars, the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and The Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
The New York Times reported on the recovery efforts at Lower Manhattan addresses on Monday, saying that the water in Oppenheimer & Company at 85 Broad Street is not expected to be pumped out until Tuesday. The building, also contaminated by fuel oil, might not be inhabitable until Dec. 1.
Verizon employees discuss the post-storm recovery of their buildings at 104 Broad Street and 140 West Street, which are critical because of their proximity to Lower Manhattan financial houses and data circuits. Video courtesy Verizon.
MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Ford Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Charlotte and David Ackert, Jody and John Arnhold, Betty and John Levin, and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.