The nor’easter may blow out of the city tomorrow, but many fear the storm will derail recovery efforts and slam down more power lines, even as New Yorkers are still trying to salvage homes and lives from Hurricane Sandy.
Many have no homes -- a Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman counted 3,152 evacuees as of this morning, such as people whose homes have no lights or were completely destroyed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned today that the storm could slow down getting the city back on its feet.
He said the nor'easter, dubbed Athena, would likely strip time from utility workers and possibly down more power lines. About 79,000 customers in the five boroughs did not have power as of today, according to ConEd.
“It’s just more work for the utility companies,” Bloomberg said. “That slows it down a little bit.”
But he also called it “essential to get life in our hardest-hit areas back to normal. “
Bloomberg urged people to stay off the roads after 5 p.m., and he encouraged residents in Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach and
Gerritsen Beach to
consider staying with friends or family.
Officials expressed concern that 50-mile-per-hour winds and storm surges
could wreak havoc on already eroded beaches and waterside
Some residents worried that rain and snow would hamper recovery.
Staten Islander Jessica Hurtado, 21, a New York University student, said she worried what the weather would mean for the crippled borough.
“Everyone’s going back to a sense of normalcy everywhere else in the city,” she said. “We’re here trying to rebuild.”
She added, “I think a lot of Staten Islanders have always felt that they were the forgotten borough, and I’m just hoping it doesn’t replay again where everyone’s getting back on the grid, everyone’s getting comfy again in the other boroughs, and we’re still in pieces.”
When lucky means a week without power
Hurtado’s family was
relatively lucky, she said, to only lose power for all of last week.
During the storm, they stared out into the darkness, listening to the
whipping winds and watching as transformers exploded one by one nearby.
Still, she said, many friends were in hard-hit areas like Tottenville or
Midland Beach, where people lost homes and even loved ones.
Still waiting on power in public housing
said that in public housing developments, 70 percent of the places
impacted by Hurricane Sandy have heat and hot water again. For power, 83
percent have their lights back on. “We still have 17 percent left to
go,” he conceded.