Here And Now
Sandy recovery efforts continue downstate, as things slowly return to some semblance of normal.
It is now officially November, and the next president of the United States will be chosen in five days.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a “transit emergency,” suspending all mass transit fares - including buses, subways, Metro North, the LIRR and Access-A-Ride – today and tomorrow in hopes that New Yorkers will ditch their cars and reduce the gridlock on city streets.
Subway service is back in the city on a limited basis. East River Ferry Service resumes this morning. Dedicated shuttle service has been established between Brooklyn and midtown Manhattan.
Mayor Bloomberg announced High Occupancy Vehicle restrictions on all four East River bridges and major roadways. From 6 a.m. until midnight today and tomorrow, vehicles traveling into Manhattan must have at least three occupants. Only the George Washington Bridge is exempt.
Bloomberg has scheduled another storm update press conference for 1 p.m. today in the Blue Room of City Hall.
According to the governor, FEMA will be delivering one million meals and one million gallons of water for those stranded by the storm – especially in public housing residents.
NYC schools – including Catholic schools – remain closed. Bloomberg says he expects the public schools to reopen next Monday, but some were damaged in the storm.
LaGuardia Airport is reopening both runways this morning with limited service. JFK International, Newark International, and Stewart International airports are open, but flight service is not fully restored and varies by carrier.
The Holland Tunnel is closed until further notice. The same goes for PATH service.
The number of ConEd customers in NYC without power increased even as the utility worked feverishly to restore service.
A ConEd official said: “We’ve been doing this for 120 years and we’ve never seen damage this extensive and with this many customers affected.”
Thousands of families in Dutchess and Ulster counties are still waiting for their power to be turned back on.
Cuomo says New York homeowners affected by Sandy should not be subject to hurricane deductibles because the storm wasn’t actually a full blown hurricane when it hit the state.
The statewide death toll from the superstorm now stands at 30.
Cuomo pegged the cost of Sandy at $6 billion so far, and asked the federal government to reimburse the state for 100 percent of its recovery and rebuilding expenses.
In the aftermath of the storm, public health officials are urging people to protect themselves from health threats in the water, air and even their refrigerators.
Environmental activist Bill McKibben praised Cuomo for saying Sandy should bring “the recognition that climate change is a reality.”
Officially speaking, climate scientists don’t know for sure if human-induced global warming caused this superstorm.
Some experts do agree, however, that the likelihood of extreme weather events like Sandy is increasing.
A USA Today columnist called on Bloomberg to call off Sunday’s NYC marathon, writing that if it “takes even one police officer from where he or she is truly needed because of the storm, it would be an additional tragedy in a city that needs no more.”
Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro agreed, equating the marathon to a “parade,” and saying: “If they want to race, let them race with themselves. This is no time for a parade.”
Starbucks reopened about 150 of its cafes in the New York City area, but another 150 stores remain closed due to lack of electricity and flooding or because not enough workers could make it in.
The Obama and Christie story: “It was like Valentine’s Day on Halloween.”
“He’s a governor focused on his job,” said Kevin Madden, a Romney adviser. “He has said he’s not looking at this through the lens of politics. He’s right, and I expect most folks are looking at it just like the governor is.”
“Election day will be on Tuesday, that is not going to change,” said state Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin. But voting will definitely be disrupted – not to mention difficult – in areas hard-hit by Sandy.
Legally speaking, a county board or the state Board of Elections can order a second vote in a given area if fewer than 25 percent of the registered voters show up due to “a fire, earthquake, tornado, explosion, power failure, act of sabotage, enemy attack or other disaster.”
Some state legislators think a post-election special session will be needed to address Sandy-related issues.
The Daily News was significantly impacted by Sandy, but has managed to get the paper out and keep its website up thanks to agreements with other media organizations.
Cellphone service was so disrupted by the storm that even Bloomberg is having trouble making calls.
In non-storm news…
Obama is back on the campaign trail today. He’ll be in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Las Vegas, Nevada and Boulder, Colorado. Actress Eva Longoria will join him at the Vegas event.
Mitt Romney is campaigning in Virginia.
Romney has adopted a more positive tone as Election Day approaches.
Nate Silver, of 538 blog fame, offered MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough a $1,000 bet in favor of Obama.
The Obama campaign released a new TV ad featuring Colin Powell’s endorsement of the president.
Retiring Sen. Roy McDonald’s name remains on the general election ballot on the Independence Party line even though he’s not campaigning. This could impact the outcome of the race.
Wendy Long says House
Majority Leader Speaker John Boehner “didn’t get the memo” about her longshot challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The Journal News endorsed Sen. Steve Saland, a Republican lawmaker who also has Cuomo’s support.
The Poughkeepsie Journal endorsed Rep. Chris Gibson.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 1, 2012 at 7:30 am, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|