Cuomo: Tens Of Thousands Of New Yorkers Left Homeless By Sandy
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Nor’easter brewing may bring a cold snap to already storm-ravaged New York by midweek, which has state officials concerned.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said cold temperatures already in the area will leave “tens of thousands” of people whose homes have been damaged by the superstorm needing other places to live.
He said “it’s going to become increasingly clear” that homes without heat are uninhabitable as temperatures drop. He says that means that residents who have been reluctant to leave their homes will have to, and that they’ll need housing.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city expects that it will have to find housing for 30,000 to 40,000 people.
Bloomberg said warming sites have been set up all around the city to keep residents safe.
The mayor also urged those who can help to donate money, clothes and other necessities to help with the relief effort.
The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was in New York today to meet with Cuomo and other New York officials to discuss the recovery from superstorm Sandy.
Administrator Craig Fugate will visit the communities of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point to survey some of the most devastated parts of the state.
Fugate also met with local officials about the ongoing response and recovery efforts being assisted by the federal agency.
Speaking at a news conference Sunday morning, Cuomo thanked the federal government for the work they have done for the state so far.
Cuomo said the federal response has been a tremendous help in the immediate aftermath of Sandy.
As of 10 a.m., Cuomo said 730,000 customers were still without power in the state due to Sandy. He pointed out that most of those without power are also without shelter because their homes were badly damaged in the storm.
“While it’s nice that power is on for two-thirds of the people, until you have your power on, the problem isn’t resolved,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Watch the full news conference here:
As it gets colder out, Cuomo said the temperature will become a serious safety problem.
Mayor Bloomberg, also speaking at the news conference, said the areas where power remains out are facing a serious uphill battle towards recovery.
“It will probably take the better part of this week for them to get it back,” Bloomberg said.
Most New York City schools will be open Monday for the first time in a week.
Schools will be closed Tuesday for Election Day. Mayor Bloomberg expects more schools to be open on Wednesday.
Some students will be bused to schools in other areas where power is restored to help get students back to school.
Bloomberg warned the rides may take a while and families may not be happy with the arrangements, but said it is crucial for kids to get back to school.
Sen. Charles Schumer speaking at the news conference said the federal relief effort this time around has already proved to be better than the effort after Hurricane Irene.
“The best resource we have to fight this is being New Yorkers,” Schumer said.
Officials said there is a big effort underway to solve the gasoline shortage that had gripped the region at the end of last week.
“There will be more of a supply of gasoline and there will be more of a distribution,” Cuomo said. “That does not mean there will be a total alleviation of the problem in the immediate future, but it is getting better.”
Schumer said 120 gas stations that need electricity or gasoline or both will hopefully be back up and running by Sunday evening. He said the goal is for the gas situation to get better each day until full service is restored.
Schumer said the gas issue hit close to home for him.
“My wife waited two and a half hours for gas and called me every half hour asking me what I was doing about it,” Schumer said.
Cuomo announced Sunday that more than 850 soldiers and 250 vehicles from Army National Guard units from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Massachusetts are heading to New York to assist in the Sandy response efforts.
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