Tag Archive | "Sandy"

[VIDEO] A Different Take on Sandy Relief

Medical relief workers can be found throughout New York City in Sandy’s aftermath.  In Coney Island, two volunteers provide an alternative approach to relief work.  Colleen McKown reports.

Produced by Yvonne Bang.

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Nightmare commute between Manhattan and Brooklyn for thousands

By Shaukat Hamdani

Brooklynites are notoriously tough characters, but the post-Sandy traffic mess got to many of them. “Nightmarish transfer” and “I ain’t doing this tomorrow” were just a few comments passed by thousands of commuters at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as they waited in line for a special shuttle bus to Manhattan on Thursday.

Hurricane Sandy had stuck New York City earlier in the week and had sent the public transport system into chaos. While limited service had resumed across the city by Thursday there was still no subway between Brooklyn and Manhattan. To add too that the New York state government, fearing a gridlock in the City, had announced that only cars with carpool would be allowed to cross from Brooklyn to Manhattan through the bridges.

This meant a lot of people would be using the free shuttle service from multiple locations in Brooklyn to Manhattan to get to work. The scene at the Barclays Center confirmed that notion. It took me around three and half hours to get from South Beach, Staten Island to Columbia University. The major point of delay was at the new Barclays Center where I had to wait for more than an hour to get onto the bus. The line extended a full circle around the stadium and three-quarters of the way back.

The huge line frustrated many commuters who were already getting late for work.  A man who identified himself only as Victor was commuting from Bay Ridge Brooklyn to 59th Street in Manhattan. “I am about to give up on the line, I am frustrated” Victor, 41, exclaimed. But he understood the situation that the MTA was facing. “What they gonna do, their trains are flooded,” Victor added. He arrived in his car but he was not allowed to cross the Manhattan Bridge because he was alone. The police were only allowing cars with three or more people to pass. Victor made sure he had pictures to show his boss. “When my boss asks me why are you so late, I can show them to him and say this is why,” Victor joked.

Another frustrated commuter was overheard regretting that he hadn’t thought of picking up  “ two random people” and driven over the bridge.

Most people in the line patiently, or impatiently, waited their turn, others tried to push ahead or cut the line. This lead to some explosive situations with a lot of colorful language being exchanged between the annoyed travelers. Eventually more police and MTA officials had to be deployed to ensure that people do not skip in front of the lines.

While the chaos and increased travel time was bothering many commuters, Dayshawne Sullivan said that he expected this to happen. “You can get mad but you know it was going to happen when the hurricane came,” said Sullivan, 22.  Sullivan was commuting from New Lots Avenue in Brooklyn to Grand Central station. He wasn’t happy about the wait, but he did express appreciation for the MTA’s decision to waive the fare for Thursday and Friday.

“It shows consideration for the city’s people and it’s their way of saying sorry,” Sullivan said. “ They are saying go through this and you can ride the bus for free.”

 

 

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Staten Island Resident Swims During Sandy Surge to Save His Life

by Shaukat Hamdani

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Arrochar and South Beach neighborhoods of Staten Island assessed the damage, both in property and human life, but they also had their share of miraculous escapes and survivors.  Roy Millington, 53, was the talk of Father Capadanno Blvd.  after he swam from his house to the home of his friends a couple of houses down to escape the surge of water coming from the Atlantic Ocean.

Millington had just gotten back from work around 5:30 Monday evening when he started to notice that the water around his house was rising fast. He lived in a basement apartment and hurried to the first floor. Millington said that he could see the waves coming and did not want to risk being stuck in the house so he swam to his friends home which was higher up. Despite having impressed his neighbors, Millington was humble about his feat.

“I love to swim, I am from Guyana, that’s my hobby,” joked Millington.

While Millington escaped on his own, many who were trapped during the storm were saved by New York City police and fire officers.  Logan Amos, 25, was evacuated by the police from his home on Doty Avenue, just off Father Capadanno Blvd. Amos recalls that around 8:30 p.m. Monday night he began to notice that the water was rising fast and he realized that he was in trouble. Amos and his family began gathering important objects to salvage and also started dialing 911. Amos said that while it took several hours for him to get in touch with the 911 operators he is glad that help eventually came by 1:30 a.m. “I thought I would drown in my home,” Amos said.

Despite being in a mandatory evacuation zone Amos said he does not regret not heeding the evacuation warning because he was able to salvage a lot of important stuff by staying back. However he does admit that he and his family had underestimated Sandy and almost paid the price for it. “Everyone thought it was going to be like Irene,” Amos said, “boy were we wrong.”

 

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