NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Beware of the rats!
That’s the cry from New York City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin.
Lappin said that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the rodents have been moving from the city’s shorelines into waterfront neighborhoods.
“This is a real public heath problem and it’s much worse since the storm. That’s what the stats, based on 311 calls, are showing us and so we need to tackle it,” Lappin told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.
The councilwoman wants the Department of Health to crack down on the sudden infestation.
“More than anecdotal, the data on nyc.gov backs that up. In lower Manhattan, 129 percent increase,” Lappin said.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn agreed. She stressed that New Yorkers hardest hit by Sandy have been through enough.
“We want to make it very clear to rats that they are not welcome. We are very open to all kinds of folks coming to New York City. We love immigrants, we love new New Yorkers, we do not love rats,” Quinn told WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman. “If rats are listening, you should pack you little furry bags and leave, because we will be coming for you with increased resources very soon.”
Lappin wants to see a six-month program in which the city would hire inspectors to do baiting.
“We don’t want to issue tickets and we don’t want to charge the taxpayers and those recovering from the storm, but we need to tackle this public health problem,” she said.
Lappin said she wants the city solve the issue right away, estimating that it could cost in the neighborhood of $500,000 based on a similar city program from a couple of years ago.
Hardest hit areas include Greenpoint, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook in Brooklyn and the West Village and Lower East Side in Manhattan
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