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 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.”
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.”
after the storm
As all New Yorkers are well aware, Hurricane Sandy brought a devastating combination of winds and ocean surges to the city last night, resulting in a multiple deaths and untold amounts of property damage. Throughout it all, as with many major emergencies, a remarkable collection of photos capturing the action emerged.
We’re officially in a state of emergency.
After signing emergency declarations for Maryland and Massachusetts, President Barack Obama did the same for New York this evening, effective across all 62 counties in the Empire State. The move, which allows federal aid to assist in response and recovery efforts, comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon.
Occupy Wall Street
While conditions seemed bleak for those protesting at Zuccotti Park during the late-October blizzard on Saturday, spirits weren’t totally broken. In fact, some people were actually partying (as they are wont to do at OWS); with the sounds of drumming and trumpeting apparently not bothering the neighbors as much when they are tempered by the sounds of the wind howling.