In the wake of superstorm Hurricane Sandy, millions of people in the Northeastern United States are left without power or shelter.
According to USA Today, over 700,000 people around New York City are still without electricity nearly a week after Sandy hit land. An estimated 900,000 people are without power in neighboring New Jersey as well.
Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator, had bad news for the citizens who were hoping that their property and lives would return to normal soon. “It will not be done in months, and it will not be done in a year,” he stated.
To make matters worse, temperatures in this region have begun to fall. “It’s starting to get cold. People are in homes that are uninhabitable. It’s going to come increasingly clear that they are uninhabitable when the temperatures drop and the heat doesn’t go on,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after a state and federal recovery planning session.
According to USA Today, the majority of the hurricane’s housing victims are planning on staying in the city instead of relocating. “The magnitude of this problem is we think we could have something between 30,000 and 40,000 people that we’re going to have to find homes for,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We don’t have a lot of empty housing in this city. We are not going to let anybody go sleeping in the streets or go without blankets, but it’s a challenge, and we’re working on that as fast as we can.”
Senator Charles Schumer told USA Today that FEMA has not set up enough temporary disaster recovery centers for the amount of New Yorkers that are now homeless. He stated that FEMA needs many more of these centers than what is currently set up. There is also a lack of hotels available in the areas that were affected the most, such as Staten Island, Long Island, and Queens.
To complicate things even further, another storm hit land in the middle of this week. This Northeaster sent snow and rain to areas that were already devastated by Hurricane Sandy, according to the New York Times. It also knocked out electricity for thousands of people. Many of these citizens had just had their power restored a few days earlier. John Miksad, the Senior Vice President of Electric Operations at Consolidated Edison, stated that “I know everyone’s patience is wearing thin.”
The northeaster will most likely bring the majority of Hurricane Sandy repairs to a standstill.