Update on the City’s Response to Hurricane Sandy
November 4, 2012
Around Town by Neal Tepel
For many New Yorkers, the major challenges posed by Sandy continue to be mass transit and electrical power. Until full subway service is restored, getting around the city will remain a major challenge. The Staten Island Ferry is back on its full schedule. The passenger vehicle restrictions on bridges have ended. Much of mass transit will be restored Monday. The Holland Tunnel, has been opened on a limited basis for commercial vehicles and buses.
Power is now back on for the interstate pipeline that serves our city. It’s called the Buckeye pipeline It comes through Linden, New Jersey. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano has issued a temporary blanket waiver that will immediately permit additional oil tankers coming from the Gulf of Mexico to enter Northeastern ports. The suspension of a Federal law that prohibits foreign flagged carriers from going from one port in America to another will make a big difference to us. The Mayor also has a plan in place to ensure that police, fire, buses, schools buses, and other critical service vehicles have the fuel they need. The gasoline system is getting back on its feet.
Con Ed continues to make progress in restoring electric service. Lights have come back on for about 70,000 more customers across the city. Currently something like 460,000 customers are estimated to be without power. About half of them are in Manhattan. It’s expected that power will be restored to most of Manhattan over the weekend. However, it’s going to take a lot longer to bring power back to areas that are served by overhead power lines – and that includes the Long Island Power Authority’s more than 30,000 customers on the Rockaways.
NYU Downtown and Veterans Affairs Hospital in Manhattan do not expect to open until the middle of the week. The special medical needs shelters will stay open through next week at least. In almost all of the five boroughs, NYC water safe to drink. Chlorine has been added to the water as a precautionary measure. The only place that’s necessary to boil water is on Breezy Point. About 40 out of the 2,000 schools are the only ones that will not be ready to receive students on Monday. The majority of the parks and playgrounds will open this weekend.