Tag Archive | "Hurricane Sandy"

Day 15 After Sandy: Elderly Chinese Residents Still in the Dark

Residents in the Knickerbocker Village would rather sleep outdoors than inside their dark, cold apartments that have been without power and heat. (YI DU/The Bronx Ink)

Chinese residents in Manhattan's Lower East Side are still suffering from cold and isolation more than two weeks after Sandy pounded through the tri-state area Oct. 29. Eight of the 12 buildings in Knickerbocker Village at 36 Monroe St. remained without heat, electricity, or hot water on Nov. 12.

“We are desperate,” said Xiaoqin Yang, 75, in Chinese. She has lived in Knickerbocker Village for the last 30 years. She said she has trouble sleeping in her freezing apartment.

The collection of federal and local assistance groups in the area offer basics that are often too difficult for senior citizens to access. Hamilton-Madison House, a voluntary, non-profit settlement house in the Two Bridges/Chinatown area, is donating food and bottled water to local residents. Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, a community service center, distributes food, water, toilet paper and other daily essentials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extra blankets to give out.

The nearest senior center is four blocks away from Knickerbocker Village. (YI DU/The Bronx Ink)

But residents must travel through dark hallways and down several flights of stairs in order to collect the donations.  Yang lives on the 10th floor on No. 12 building in Knickerbocker Village, a private complex for low-income residents.  She had to climb up and down 265 stairs with a flashlight every day to collect the meals from Chinatown senior center.

“I count the stairs to give myself a little hope,” said Yang.  “But at least I’m able to get out. My husband can’t. He can’t come down without elevator.”

Another Knickerbocker Village resident said she had trouble eating some of the donated food, because it was unfamiliar to her.

“It’s western style and tastes weird to me,” said Xiaoqin Chung, 66, in Chinese, about instant food such as pasta and cereal. Still, she said, "It's better than nothing.”

There are 1,600 families in the privately owned Knickerbocker, 80 percent of whom are low-income Chinese immigrants.  Linda He, a member of Cherry Green Management that runs the buildings, said more than 60 percent are over 65 years old.

“It’s really hard for them,” He said. “Some of them can’t walk. A few of them need the electricity to go through medical procedures every day, but now it’s impossible.”

A small generator explosion in the basement caused the extended power outage on Monday evening after Con Edison provided power back to Lower East Side. He said the outage happened when a maintenance person tried to turn on the switch while the basement was still flooded.

“We were lucky we didn’t die,” said He.

Younger residents charged their cell phones in one of the only two Knickerbocker buildings that have power.  (YI DU/The Bronx Ink)

Twenty feet of seawater flooded the basement in the aftermath of Sandy, where generators and boilers are located. By Friday, workers were halfway through pumping out water. The generator is expected to be fixed first.  However, by Monday, it was still not clear when the power and heat will be back, according to Stephen E. Stanley, assistant manager of the building.

 

Posted in Featured, HousingComments (0)

Riverdale and Kingsbridge Gasoline Stations Sell Last Drop

As early as Wednesday morning, motorists in the West Bronx experienced shortages and limits on refueling their vehicles in many stations. Today, stations are  completely closed, The Riverdale Press reports. A supply terminal in Brooklyn is awaiting a third-party pipeline and gasoline barges to replenish depleted stock after a buying frenzy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Posted in NewswireComments (0)

Before, During and After: Bronxites React to Hurricane Sandy

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Neighborhoods, Featured, Housing, Multimedia, TransportationComments (0)

Sandy Batters Eastern Coast of the Bronx

Throgs Neck, Pelham Bay and City Island neighborhoods along the eastern coast of the Bronx suffered the most damage when Hurricane Sandy hit Monday night. But residents in other areas of the Bronx also felt the effects of the storm, including Clason Point and Soundview. Among the most widely reported problems: fallen trees, power outages and property damage due to flooding. An estimated 49,387 customers, or 11.6 percent of Bronx customers served by ConEdison, were without power as of 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, ConEdison reported on its storm center database. Citywide, 661,592 customers had no electricity, including nearly 40 percent of ConEd customers in Manhattan. New York City public schools will remain closed for the third straight day on Wednesday. Subway service is expected to remain down for an unknown number of days, while the Metropolitan Transportation Agency tries to run as close to a full weekday bus service as possible on a fare-free basis Wednesday. For the latest transportation information, visit www.mta.info. To report downed power lines, outages or check service restoration status, visit  www.ConEd.com or 1-800-752-6633. To report fallen trees, dial 311. View a list of emergency resources compiled by News 12 The Bronx here.  

Hurricane Sandy Hits the Bronx

Picture 1 of 12

Hurricane Sandy caused serious damage in Soundview. (YI DU/The Bronx Ink)

 

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, East Bronx, Multimedia, Slideshows, Southern BronxComments (0)

After Sandy, Hunts Point’s Low Lying Areas Struggle with Flooding

A disaster relief organization in the low-lying Hunts Point area of the Bronx experienced heavy flooding and a challenge to distribute supplies. (COLEEN JOSE/The Bronx Ink)

Early this morning, when Tim Reeve opened the storehouse of the disaster relief organization World Vision in Hunts Point, he saw devastation up close: water from Sandy had flooded the building. A delivery truck was submerged in three-feet-deep water. Pink collared-shirts inside plastic bags floated beside cases of pencils and hygiene kits that awaited delivery from the Hunts Point warehouse to hard-hit areas in New York and the region. As emergency response teams rush to rescue residents from flooding and fires, organizations that are gearing up to join the efforts are facing challenges in the storm's aftermath. In Hunts Point, a flood-prone area in the Bronx, organizations like World Vision and major food distribution companies are struggling to resume operating. “At this point, we’re trying to do emergency response, but right now, it appears that we’re in a disaster ourselves,” said Reeve, World Vision’s storehouse manager for New York. Reeve estimates that supplies will be ready for distribution by Thursday and that the warehouse may move to an alternative space. The extent of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation on millions of residents from the shores of North Carolina to Maine is still being determined, as floods, power outages and snow continue to displace thousands of residents from their communities. Eight million people in 15 states remain without electricity. The federal government estimates $20 billion in damages from the storm. Sandy hits the industrial zone in Hunts Point, Bronx from Adam Perez on Vimeo. Inside World Vision's office, a fire alarm blared as a project coordinator pointed to a water line three feet above the soaked carpet. A kitchen refrigerator was flipped on its side. Relief supplies were strewn across the warehouse. Reeve did not expect water from the East River to reach the storehouse, which is located near a boardwalk in Barretto Park. But the park’s benches were already underwater as the storm raged and the sea rose on Monday. There were no sandbags to buffer the area from the surge. Chad Narine, an MTA track worker, witnessed an electrical transformer exploding underneath the sidewalk outside of the MTA compound on Tiffany Street around 11:30 p.m. on Monday. “I was standing in the transit yard inside,” said Narine, 34, “when I heard a loud boom and saw a white a flash.” Steam continued to rise from a hole in the sidewalk on Tuesday while an emergency vehicle from ConEdison, which provides electricity, gas and steam, monitored the damaged transformer.

"New York needs to be more careful with powerful storms like these," said Adama Makouyate, an employee at a food-distribution plant in a flood-prone area of Hunts Point. (COLEEN JOSE/The Bronx Ink)

New York City's Office of Emergency Management lists the low-lying area in Zone B, meaning it faces a moderate risk of flooding and likelihood of evacuation during storm surges and hurricanes. But the flooding in the area could have a major impact on the entire metropolitan area. Hunts Point is home to the region’s largest-food distribution center. Everyday, more than 15,000 delivery trucks come in and out of the area’s produce, meat and seafood market, which supplies much of the city and surrounding region’s grocery markets and restaurants. In the Co-Op Meat Market, warehouse manager Milton Pinto recalled being stranded with 31 fellow workers before the storm neared landfall. Most workers lived in Brooklyn and the Bronx. They didn't arrive home until 5 p.m the next day.The meat market closed operations on Tuesday for the first time. Raphael Candelario, a worker at New Fulton Fish Market, was one of two employees in the distribution plant while the waves pummeled the rocky shores. Candelario, 47, arrived to monitor the site at 5 a.m. Monday. “Water came up to the plant between 3 to 4 a.m.,” said Candelario. The river's waters also reached the top of a staircase in a pier house next to the market. In a nearby food distribution plant, Sultana Distribution Services Inc., a security guard surveyed damages from the storm. Adama Makouyate, 45, dressed in a red raincoat and black pants, expressed awe at the 22 stone barriers that were blown 10 to 20 feet away from the edge of a lot facing the East River. The barriers, which weigh more than a ton, lined the lot to protect the distribution plant from the surge. Metal fences lay flat on the pavement, indicating the hurricane’s wind power, which exceeded 70 miles per hour. Hurricane Sandy exposed the city’s lack of storm barriers and infrastructural safeguards. During separate news conferences today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed plans to armor the city from storm surges and sea level rise. Cuomo proposed the possibility of building levees in Lower Manhattan. “We have a 100-year flood every two years now,” said Cuomo. “The construction of this city did not anticipate these kinds of situations. We are only a few feet above sea level.” Additional reporting by Adam Perez and Jan Hendrik Hinzel.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Featured, Food, TransportationComments (0)

Sandy Bears Down on the Battered Bronx

Parks and Recreation workers warned residents about the powerful storm before locking entrance gates in Barretto Park and other recreational spots in the Bronx. (COLEEN JOSE/The Bronx Ink)

The Bronx opened evacuation centers Sunday night, as Hurricane Sandy continued its path toward New York City. About two thirds of the 4-square-mile peninsula is categorized as Zone B by the New York City Office of Emergency Management, meaning that residents can expect a moderate possibility of evacuation. Click here to find out where the nearest evacuation center is near you. In Hunts Point, wind gusts, cloudy skies and light rain covered an area where one of the world's largest food-distribution centers operates in a low-lying location facing the East River.  Hunt Point's produce, meat and seafood market supplies much of the city and surrounding region's grocery markets and restaurants. The National Hurricane Center estimates that the storm system will touch down in New York on Monday evening. The city opened 72 evacuation centers in public schools to accommodate more than 370,000 residents living in flood-prone communities. City officials suspended service of the entire city's transit system and issued mandatory evacuations on Sunday as Hurricane Sandy neared landfall. The tropical storm system gains speed and strength as it travels northward to densely populated areas along the East Coast.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, East Bronx, Featured, Front PageComments (0)

Hurricane Sandy Watch

As Hurricane Sandy approaches New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered mandatory evacuations of the city's low-lying Zone A by 7 p.m. today, reports NY1. Zone A includes Throggs Neck and Pelham Bay. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this morning that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's subway and rail service will shut down at 7 p.m. and bus service will end at 9 p.m. Public schools in New York City will be closed on Monday. Click here to find out if you live in an evacuation zone.      

Posted in NewswireComments (0)

Hurricane Sandy Barrels Northeast, Raising Caution in Bronx Waterfront

Memories of damages from last year's Hurricane Irene frame cautious preparation for a powerful storm system barreling towards the northeast. Hurricane Sandy, known in social networking sites as 'Frankenstorm', is expected to hit the Eastern Seaboard as early as Sunday evening. Residents in waterfront areas of the East Bronx are preparing for the worst: protecting windows that may shatter from debris brought by strong winds and stocking up on basic needs, NY1 reports. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city officials urged residents in flood-prone areas to be alert and informed about evacuation zones. Severe weather is forecasted to last for several days.    

Posted in NewswireComments (0)