It will happen again. That much should be clear. Forget all the political rhetoric about the causes of climate change and global warming. Leaders in the public and private sectors understand now that they can no longer ignore changing weather patterns or simply assume that the New York region will somehow remain immune from natural disasters.
Sandy surely was an exceptionally powerful storm. But who would claim that it simply was a freak of nature? Who would contend that New York and New Jersey need only to clean up and move on?
Sandy must become a call to action. New York harbor, it is clear, will no longer serve as protection against 21st-century weather patterns. New York’s infrastructure has been exposed for what it is—one of the great wonders of the 20th century.
According to a volunteer helping to distribute resources to victims of Hurricane Sandy last Friday, Drita D’Avanzo of VH1′s reality show Mob Wives, and her camera crew made a surprise appearance at a place where volunteers were distributing supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island. According to a volunteer with the relief effort who spoke to The Observer, her arrival was “not well received.”
“So she walked up and volunteers thought it was another news crew filming people helping out. ” the volunteer said, providing a photo of the occasion. “But then a boom mike lurked over our heads. Notice in the picture everyone turning their backs on her and walking away. She was not well received and was able to clear a hot coffee stand on a cold day in 2 seconds.”
At a press conference at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced most subway service in New York City will be returned by the end of the day. Notably for some commuters from Queens and Brooklyn, trains will now be traveling into Manhattan for the first time since before Hurricane Sandy struck last week.
“In literally under one week, 80% of the subway service has been restored from what was horrendous damage, and the worst damage the subway system had ever seen,” Mr. Cuomo said. “So that is just a great, great job. The service between Brooklyn and Queens and Manhattan is being restored immediately. The 4, 5, 6 and 7 trains will immediately begin to run. The F, J, D [and] M will run later this afternoon. The Staten Island Railway will have limited service beginning later today.”
At a press conference late in the night, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New Yorkers in the metropolitan area will have their public transit fares waved for the rest of the week. Of course, traveling into Lower Manhattan won’t be easy for Thursday, at least, where no subways are currently scheduled to travel.
“As a further encouragement to have people take mass transit, which is coming online piece by piece,” Mr. Cuomo began, citing the intensive traffic congestion problems plaguing Manhattan earlier today. “I am declaring a transportation emergency and authorizing the MTA to waive fares…through the end of the week, Thursday and Friday. So commuter rails, subways and buses.”
When Hurricane Sandy overwhelmed New York City, the airport infrastructure naturally shut down along with everything else. As with the subway and bridge systems, however, it seems airplane travel is returning to normalcy.
Earlier today, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the reopening of two airports in the metropolitan area, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty, to limited traffic, with the fate of LaGuardia Airport remaining uncertain as officials sought to repair and inspect the facility in the wake of flood damage. But that ambiguity did not last long; Governor Andrew Cuomo just declared LaGuardia will open too.
At a press conference earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced public schools will continue be closed on Thursday and Friday, but will “hopefully” be open again on Monday of next week.
“Schools will remain closed for students tomorrow and Friday,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “However, on Friday we ask all teachers, administrators and school staff to report to work. Friday, Chancellor Walcott and the Department of Education will have lots of things to do to get ready for next week.”
Amid reports that looting has occurred in neighborhoods like Sea Gate and Coney Island in Brooklyn, as well as the broader recovery needs of hard-hit areas, Borough President Marty Markowitz has called on the military for further help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.
“Governor Cuomo also acted quickly by activating the National Guard prior to the storm, and I urge him to allocate as many troops as possible to Brooklyn—troops from New York or any other states that can spare them,” Mr. Markowitz said in a statement. “During my tours of the hardest-hit Brooklyn neighborhoods yesterday and again today, it was apparent that the devastation is so widespread and overwhelming that it’s in the best interest of all of our residents for a more significant National Guard presence to supplement the great work being done by our brave—but overwhelmed—first responders, including our amazing NYPD and FDNY.”
Update 11/1 8:22:As of Friday morning, there will be service on the M and No. 7 trains has been restored in Queens and Brooklyn, though there is still no subway service into Lower Manhattan. You can read more about the changes to the service here.
Original post: At a press conference earlier this afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced that New York City’s subway system will restore service on a number of lines, leaving out a swath of territory south of 34th Street in Manhattan. Lower Manhattan was left out, they explained, because of the mass power outage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“It’s been an extraordinary amount of time and a lot of work and a lot of lack of sleep, but we’re going to continue to do it,” Mr. Lhota said. “Our goal is to, every day, get this service back to normal, back to the situation we were used to last week, and if not, even better.”
View the working transportation lines below, including other parts of the MTA, courtesy of Mr. Cuomo’s office:
According to Senator Chuck Schumer, the federal government will soon begin the arduous task of returning floodwaters back to the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Sandy’s surge flooded key transportation arteries earlier this week.
“In the past hour, I have received an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the federal de-watering efforts happening in New York City,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement this afternoon.
The death toll from Hurricane Sandy last night has climbed above 30 and is likely to increase as emergency workers continue to survey the extensive damage across a number of states. “The worst is over,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in an interview earlier today. “I believe the worst may be for New Yorkers when they realize the extent of the damage….We don’t have the final number of fatalities because we haven’t found everyone yet.”