October 27th - November 2nd, 2012
Millions Without Power; Con Ed Cuts Service to 6,500
October 29 - CBS New York reports that as Hurricane Sandy raged, millions of customers in the New York City metro area were without power Monday night. As of early Tuesday, about 4.1 million customers served by Con Edison were without power. A customer is defined by a power meter, meaning that far more than 4.1 million people were in the dark. In Manhattan alone, outages stretched from East 39th Street south all the way to the lower tip, Con Ed reported. A massive explosion rocked a Con Ed plant at 14th Street and Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive at 8:30 p.m. Monday. About 6,500 of those customers had their power cut intentionally by Con Ed, in an effort to protect equipment and allow for quicker restoration. The company cut power to two areas -- one bounded by Franklin Street on the north, William Street on the west, Wall Street on the south, and the East River on the east. The other is bounded by Broadway on the west, Wall Street on the north, and the lower tip of Manhattan on the south and east. How quickly electricity can be restored depends on the extent of the damage, but power will be restored as soon as possible once the storm moves on.
Zelda, the Wild Turkey Of Battery Park, Survived the Storm
October 30 - It is not surprising that Zelda, the wild turkey of Battery Park that escaped her journey onto the West Side Highway unscathed in 2004, survived the 2012 Frankenstorm. According to Gothamist, this afternoon Michael Cyr, who manages the food kiosks in Battery Park for the Cleaver Company and the Green Table in Chelsea Market, sent over a photo of Zelda in the park today. Zelda has been in the park for nearly a decade, and was named after Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott, because during one of Mrs. Fitzgeralds many nervous breakdowns she went missing and was discovered in Battery Park.
Sandy Storm Surge Batters Battery Park
October 30 - A 13-foot storm surge caused flooding not only in Battery Park, but across much of New York City. Additionally, what was initially deemed a hurricane, now Superstorm Sandy, caused power outages across much of the Northeast. According to NYCCentral.com, early Tuesday morning, looking across the Hudson River at the Statue of Liberty standing tall and strong, one could not help but think of how she represents the attitude of most New Yorkers post-Sandy. Walking around Battery Park, which is located at the southern-most end of Manhattan, we were able to find quite a few things that were not standing tall in the wake of Sandys storm-surge wrath. For example, a large tree fell across the walkway running right next to the Hudson, blocking the path. Throughout Battery Park, cyclists were dodging debris on their journey through.
Downtown Could Stay Dark Through Saturday, ConEd Warns
October 30 - Across downtown, the soggy damage was the storefront attraction on Tuesday, reported NY1. The Lower Manhattan water line reached almost five feet inside some businesses in the Seaport, along Fulton Street, and other lowland areas. The surge of seawater pushed furniture around inside restaurants, toppled over appliances, peeled back granite walls peeled, and folded vending machines into walls like cardboard boxes. What was thought to be the remnant of an underground fire turned out to be an oil spill on the East River. The Verizon headquarters -- a key communications hub just north of the World Trade Center site at 140 West Street -- was in a state of crisis not seen since the 9-11 attacks, which partially destroyed the building. Police tried to hold people back from the shore but some found ways to get just close enough to experience damage and extreme weather firsthand. Still more people were stunned at the wind that shook cars and cyclists, overturned planters, nearly knocked down fences, uprooted trees and flooded basements. Around the tip of Lower Manhattan, a river ran through the underpass connecting the FDR Expressway to West Street.
New BPCA Chief Appointed
October 31 - The Battery Park City Authority has a new president, the Tribeca Trib reported. One month after Gayle Horwitz resigned from the post, Authority chairman Dennis Mehiel announced the appointment of Demetrios Boutris, 51, a California-based business consultant and real estate investor who, according to a statement from the BPCA, is giving up his business interests to take the job. Boutris, a lawyer, will also serve as the Chief Operating Officer. Mehiel made the announcement at a BPCA board meeting, where Boutris sat beside him at the head of the conference table but did not speak. Boutris, who lives in Sacremento and Los Angeles, said he has been splitting his time between the West Coast and New York, where his wife, Aurelia Mika Chang, a concert pianist, and their two sons live on the Upper West Side. Boutris has headed the California investment and financing authority and served as a counsel to former California Gov. Gray Davis and U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor in the Clinton administration.
World Trade Center Flooded with 20 Feet of Water
October 31 - The basement levels of the World Trade Center are flooded with between 15 feet and 30 feet of water, government officials and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sources say, the result of the surging sea levels during Superstorm Sandy. According to Crains NY, the flooding equals millions of gallons of water that could potentially cause costly damage to equipment and electrical systems at the multi-billion dollar construction project, though preliminary evaluations appear to show the site was not severely damaged. Adding to the difficulties is an ongoing power outage in Lower Manhattan that has interfered with efforts to pump out the damaging saltwater, which sources say is significantly more corrosive to electrical wiring and systems than freshwater. Of special concern is equipment underground at the site that will generate ventilation for large portions of the WTC, including the retail space, subterranean pedestrian and transit corridors, National September 11 Memorial and Museum and the PATH Hub. A source said on Wednesday morning that preliminary inspections of the site showed the costly plant had not been significantly damaged. Another source said that the basement of 4 World Trade Center, was also not damaged. Those estimates provide an early indication that the WTC site may have been spared the worst of the storm, though several sources said that estimates of the damage were still being made. Those sources said it would be impossible to fully assess the severity of the storms impact until the seawater has been pumped from the site, which could take more than a week.
New York Subway System Faces Weeks to Recover From Storm
October 31 - If you laid the New York City subway system in a line, it would stretch from New York to Detroit. Now imagine inspecting every inch of that track. Bloomberg News reports, the MTA New York City Transit employees are working to restore the South Ferry subway station after it was flooded by seawater during Hurricane Sandy. That is the job ahead for Metropolitan Transportation Authority crews, who must examine 600 miles of track and the electrical systems with it before they can fully reopen the largest U.S. transit system. Seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded, MTA officials said. Pumping them out could take days, and a 2011 state study said it could take three weeks after hurricane-driven flooding to get back to 90 percent of normal operations. Fourteen of 23 MTA subway lines will resume limited service tomorrow, though none will run between 34th Street and Brooklyn, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. Some Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad trains were to be back by 2 p.m. today.
WTC Construction Resumes on Generator Power
November 2 - Construction lights on 1 WTC, blacked out by Hurricane Sandy four days ago, snapped on again late yesterday, reported Bloomberg News. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said generators were filling in for crippled utilities that have left much of lower Manhattan dark. The construction will help return a sense of normalcy to the area, Cuomo said at a news briefing in Manhattan. Work on the 1,776-foot tower, hadn Cuomo visited the site as the Hudson River poured into it the night of Oct. 29, examining a wall that holds back the river from seven stories underground. The wall held and pumps removed enough water for workers to return, he said.