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The city's 911 system crashed several times yesterday, forcing responders to resort to pen and paper, creating a backlog of about 200 calls at one point. At least one elderly woman had to wait an hour for an ambulance. The Fire Department says no calls were lost, but were not yet able to explain the crashes. The system has come under fire for repeated failures recently.
Other Stories We're Following
City Loses Millions In Teacher Training Funds (WNYC)
MTA's Budget Calls For Service Improvements (Associated Press)
Subway Rush Hours Blending Into “Off-Peak” Times (Wall Street Journal)
The city's new evacuation maps include 600,000 new residents, bringing the total number to 2,990,000. That's 37 percent of all the city's homes. It also adds 26 project buildings. The map is now divided into six zones, up from three, with Zone 1 being the most at risk. The new zones offer more flexibility in ordering evacuations. They were designed using data from the National Weather Service's view of sea rise.
Lawsuit Asks Federal Judge To End NYPD Surveillance Of Muslims (Daily News)
Women's Equality Act Split Into 10 Bills (Albany Times Union)
Bill: NYPD Must Notify New Jersey of Spying (WNYC)
The Boston bombing suspects allegedly discussed bombing Times Square while driving around after the attack in a stolen car that ran out of gas eventually. The talk was characterized as spontaneous. One senior law enforcement official played it down as more "stream of consciousness" than plan. Mayor Bloomberg says he doesn't know if they could have been stopped had they made it. But at this point, their faces were plastered all over television and the internet, and Times Square is heavily surveilled at all times. Bloomberg also used the plot as an argument to expand the city's counterterrorism capabilities and intelligence gathering activities. The Daily News reports that Commissioner Kelly was upset that the FBI didn't share the information about Times Square sooner, but wouldn't criticize them publicly.
A Queens GOP Boss Tried To Get Jobs For Friends (NY Post)
After Rough Year, Con Ed Chiefs Get Extra Bonuses (NY Times)
Cuomo Plan To Help Municipalities Restructure (Albany Times Union)
Following the Boston Marathon bombing, Mayor Bloomberg said 1,000 counter-terrorism NYPD officers have been mobilized until more is known about the attack. Law enforcement also went on high alert throughout the transit system, although there appeared to be no specific threat. Gov. Cuomo has directed state agencies to be on heightened alert as well. The New York Post published a controversial report that a Saudi man is being held for questioning in Boston.
City Grant Aids Quinn Housing Plan (Wall Street Journal)
Senate Democrats Push Tough Reforms (Albany Times Union)
Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Case On NY’s Gun-Carry Licensing Law (Daily News)
A witness now says that the boy fatally shot by police in East Flatbush earlier this week had no gun, as the officers claim. A gun was recovered from the scene, however. On Monday night, a group had splintered from a peaceful protest over the shooting and rioted. Local shops along Church Ave. were shuttering early yesterday in fear of more tumult. An offshoot of the Bloods gang has put out a hit on any cop in retaliation for the killing of the boy, who is said to have been a gang member. Both police involved in the shooting are people of color. During a budget hearing yesterday, Councilman Jumaane Williams said more violence could be expected if the police didn't repair their relationship with poor and minority communities, because the unrest was about more than this isolated shooting.
Courts Rein In Bloomberg’s Power to Make Policy (NY Times)
Minority Groups And Bottlers Team Up In Battles Over Soda (NY Times)
Soda Ban Faces Long Battle Ahead (Wall Street Journal)
About 200 homes that are so damaged they endanger public safety and other buildings nearby will need to be bulldozed, the Buildings Department said on Sunday. That is in addition to that 200 houses already destroyed by the storm. They are also inspecting nearly 500 other damaged structures the could be razed as well. The department said that â€śonly a very small numberâ€ť of the buildings slated for demolition were at risk of being razed without notice. Officials offered â€śas much assistance as possibleâ€ť to homeowners, including aid for demolition costs. The homes slated for removal are located in Breezy Point, Belle Harbor and Rockaway Beach in Queens; South Beach, Midland Beach and Fox Beach on Staten Island, and Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn.
In the Press...
Commission Approves Revised District Map for City Council (NY Times)
City Will Keep Gas Rationing Until Weekâ€™s End (NY Times)
Public Housing Caught Off Guard by Sandy (WNYC)
An examination by The Times shows that the Long Island Power Authority -- which serves the Rockaways -- has repeatedly failed to plan for extreme weather. Gov. Cuomo has established a commission to investigate how utilities across the state responded to Sandy. The head of LIPA resigned yesterday.
In the Press...
Council Speaker Urges Stormproofing as Civic Conversation Shifts (NY Times)
Brooklyn Democratic Senator-Elect Simcha Felder Defects to GOP (Daily News)
Refugees Grapple With Hotel Living (Wall Street Journal)
Officials have been meeting with the real estate industry in an effort to pair vacant apartments with those displaced by storm damage.
Half of those still without power in the city, some 35,000 residents, live in public housing. Residents and public officials have panned the housing authority's response to the storm. The tenants will be eligible for rent credits for the days they've been without power.
The Long Island Power Authority told hundreds of powerless Rockaway residents they would need to hire a licensed city electrician to inspect their homes before LIPA could restore power. Con Ed said Wednesday's norâ€™easter knocked out power to 55,000 customers in New York City and Westchester. And LIPA blamed 60,000 new outages on the storm.
As Shortfall Looms, Bloomberg Plans Cuts (NY Times)
Between 20,000 and 40,000 were left homeless in the city by Sandy. About half of those are public-housing residents. The 115,000 people in the Rockaways remain without power, as do thousands more in Red Hook and Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn, and New Dorp Beach on Staten Island. A cold snap is making this particularly problematic. Also, a norâ€™easter with 35-45mph sustained winds is likely to hit on Wednesday night, possibly bringing moderate flooding in areas already impacted by extreme flooding from Sandy.
Although the majority of the subway system is reopened, rail switch and signal failures will continue. It could also take several months to restore the A train to the Rockaways.
Fifty-nine polling places will be affected, and Mayor Bloomberg expresses little confidence the Board of Elections will manage it very well. The board still hasn't appointed an executive director and their Manhattan headquarters had no power all week. Those who can't get to their polling places may to go to the Board of Election's borough offices and vote until 5 p.m. today.
The city had been inundated with people dropping off goods, so officials and other groups are suggesting they give money, and possibly coats, instead. Dozens of buildings near the waterâ€™s edge, especially in the financial district, are weeks or months away from reopening. The fuel shortage could last for several more days. Currently 27 percent of gas stations in the area are empty. Major crime dropped significantly in the storm's wake, but burglaries saw a 3 percent increase. Generators, heaters, and other supplies for the canceled marathon remained unused in Central Park. More than 100 New York City public schools will remain closed today.
Superstorm Sandy left at least 2 million homes and businesses across the state and about 800,000 customers in the city and Westchester remained without power yesterday. More than half of Staten Island is without power, and over a quarter of Manhattan is in the dark. In Manhattan there are no streetlights South of 25th St. on the Westside. The substation in the East Village that exploded was designed to withstand a 12.5 foot surge but was hit with a surge of 14 feet. Customers served by underground lines in Brooklyn and Manhattan are likely to have their power restored within four days. Bloomberg promised "a very heavy police presence" in the darkened neighborhoods. Thirteen people have been arrested for crimes that included looting.
The death toll for the city is now 22. Untreated sewage is flowing into waterways from more than a dozen locations around the city. A crane still dangles from a skyscraper in Midtown and could be there for weeks. The World Trade Center is flooded. Sand is piled up to 2 feet high on the Coney Island boardwalk. At least 111 homes were destroyed by fires in Breezy Point, Queens in a blaze among the worst residential fires in New York since the Fire Department was established in 1865.
Much of the Tristate region has been declared a major disaster area, and FEMA will distribute billions of dollars in aid, which will be a test for the troubled agency. Many homeowners who thought their insurance policies covered floods are likely to have been mistaken - a common error - while others' policies have lapsed or won't cover all the damage.
The MTA is unaware of any permanent damage to the system but is still offering no estimate for when service will be restored. Buses have started running on some routes and could return to full service by sometime today.
Many are hoping the storm will finally push New York to prepare for climate change. â€śThree of the top 10 highest floods at the Battery since 1900 happened in the last two and a half years," Ben Strauss, director of the sea level rise program at the research group Climate Central in Princeton, N.J. "If thatâ€™s not a wake-up call to take this seriously, I donâ€™t know what is." Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state should consider a levee system or storm surge barriers, although Mayor Bloomberg says he is focusing on recovery for the city. Some individual parts of Sandy and its wrath seem to be influenced by climate change, several climate scientists said, but its not clear that can be said for the storm itself. Sandy broke coastal flood records for New York City by more than three feet above the previous record and more than double the range between the previous top ten.
The superstorm named Sandy brought flooding and power outages to the city with surges higher than the estimated 10 to 12 feet, but few deaths were reported.
The MTA is calling this the worst disaster in its history and an extended shutdown looms. Officials said it could take between 14 hours to four days to clear water from the tunnels.
At least 660,000 customers in New York had lost power as of late Monday night, and Con Ed says it could be a week before everyone gets power back. A customer is an individual meter, so the actual number of people affected is higher. Some 5.2 million people were left without electricity across the region. At least 10 deaths were blamed on the storm.
The city's storm shelters didn't reach 4 percent of their total capacity, even though Mayor Bloomberg urged 375,000 people in evacuation zones to leave, including 45,000 public housing residents. Cops with bullhorns drove building to building in the projects and Housing Authority workers knocked on doors.
Flooding overwhelmed Red Hook and Lower Manhattan. One of the units at Indian Point nuclear power plant was shut down. The boom of a construction crane for one of Manhattan's tallest residential towers was broken in the storm and dangles high above the city. 911 received 10 times more calls than usual.
Buildings Department inspectors this year gained access to suspected illegal conversions less than half the time - a rate similar to that of previous years. And the departmentâ€™s response time to nonemergency complaints, including illegal apartments, actually got worse. Last year Mayor Bloomberg had committed to cracking down on illegal apartment conversions after two fatal fires. The administration counters that it has increased its focus on the highest risk locations.
Board of Elections opts for â€incompleteâ€™ in Mayorâ€™s Management Report
Botched response, lies found in Port Authority response to JFK terror scare
Speaker Silver's male staffer defended boss online as 'female' supporter