Patience runs low for powerless NYers as new storm stalls recovery
With yet another major storm hitting the Big Apple, the patience of New Yorkers in battered parts of the city is being pushed to the max.
Although the nor'easter that hit New York brought more flurries than flooding for most of the afternoon Wednesday, it has frozen recovery efforts in the Rockaways, Staten Island and other coastal neighborhoods.
Forecasters predicted winds as high as 60 mph, light flooding, tidal surges and slushy road conditions.
The storm conditions are expected to continue until Thursday morning.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't evacuate those neighborhoods, but took several precautions, including stopping all city construction projects, to make sure more people wouldn't get hurt.
"While this storm is not as dangerous as Sandy was, New Yorkers still should take safety precautions" he said during a news conference Wednesday.
About 25,000 ConEd customers had their power restored but the remaining 66,000 customers in the dark wouldn't get electricity anytime soon because of the storm.
"It's likely that it'll knock some customers out of service who were out due to Sandy but who had been restored," ConEd spokesman Alan Drury said.
Yesterday evening, the Long Island Rail Road temporarily suspended service systemwide, citing "multiple weather-related problems."
Penn Station was closed due to crowding, the railroad said.
Down in the affected areas, residents are growing increasingly frustrated not only over the response from the city and utilities but with Mother Nature.
Dan Mundy, 74, a lifelong Broad Channel resident, said his neighbors have been coming together to provide support, but after 10 days in the dark, they are all getting worried.
"It's getting colder out there and it's getting worse," said Mundy whose house has a dock on Jamaica Bay. "It just makes it tough on your sanity when you can't get your basic resources."
Although a generator is powering his home, Mundy said other residents are having trouble keeping warm with someone siphoning gas from boats to make it through the day.
A few miles south in the Rockaways, some residents have just given up, according to
Donovan Richards, the chief of staff for City Councilman James Sanders who represents the area.
Richards said some of his constituents fled the peninsula Wednesday before the storm hit and he didn't know when they would return.
The weather conditions were so bad that the councilman had to shut down his office, which was damaged during Sandy, because of the nor'easter.
"It is like you take one step forward and all of a sudden you take two steps backward," said Richards, who is running to replace Sanders in an upcoming special election.
Richards said he didn't think the Rockaways would be too flooded but it would be in a more desperate need of supplies from the federal government to pump water out of basements.
"How long will we have to do this?" he asked.
(with Tim Herrera and Newsday)