Marshall Tours Damage, Talks With Obama, Offers Support
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall toured the devastated Breezy Point and Belle Harbor areas on November 4 where she met with National Guardsmen and area residents. Marshall also toured Howard Beach and Rocky Point as well.
A Call From The President
Marshall spoke directly with President Barack Obama on November 3 and gave him an eyewitness account of the suffering and devastation she saw last Tuesday in Broad Channel and on the entire Rockaway Peninsula in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“President Obama wanted to know firsthand about what was happening in the devastated communities of Queens and conveyed that the resources of the federal government were available to our county,” said Marshall.
After speaking with the president, Marshall helped to secure more than 200 additional Con Ed crews for Queens in a telephone conversation with Con Ed President Craig Ivey on her way to Rockaway.
At a staging area on Beach 112th in a Waldbaum’s parking lot, the borough president met with FEMA’s Queens Division Supervisor Michael Karl, who tasked her to reiterate the message to all residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, to register with FEMA as a first step to receive federal aid.
“Nothing happens until you register,” Karl told Marshall. Residents can register online, if able, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or - even better- by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.
After a more than four-hour tour of hurricane-destroyed areas Saturday, Marshall commented, “The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has not given us the numbers and information we need and has been vague in service restoration in Queens. They are not moving quickly enough to stop and reduce the suffering of Rockaway residents with no power, heat, gasoline, food, phone service or mass transit.”
Marshall then traveled through Broad Channel where she said, “The Department of Sanitation has devoted a large number of vehicles to remove debris stacked seven feet high outside almost every home.”
She then spoke with cold residents on Beach 92nd Street, Beach 130th Street, and National Guardsmen distributing relief supplies in Breezy Point, where 40 percent of the entire community was destroyed, but blankets and pumps were providing warmth and relief for remaining residents.
“The spirits of all these people were remarkably high in the midst of death and destruction,” she said. “Their ability and willingness to pull together defines the meaning of community. An army is being deployed in Rockaway and Broad Channel, but it is not a big enough army. We still need more resources like fuel for heat and electrical power for everything. LIPA has to move quicker.”
Marshall reminded residents that one way that they can help in relief efforts is to contact Citymeals-on-Wheels, which is enlisting volunteers to help deliver hot meals to homebound seniors.
Red Cross Sets Up Mobile Kitchens In Riis Park And Racino
The borough president said on November 2 that she has been advised by Red Cross officials that the organization will be setting up cooking kitchens in Riis Park and at the Aqueduct Racino Friday.
“The plan is to begin distributing 10,000 hot meals daily starting Saturday on the Rockaway Peninsula and in Broad Channel,” said Marshall. “The meals’ availability will be announced on loudspeakers atop mobile trucks going through the affected communities.”
•All libraries in Queens are open with power strips at all branches for charging and free computer Internet and Wi-Fi at all locations except two branches.
•Hurricane relief supplies and donations will be accepted at the Resorts World Casino NYC, located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., Jamaica from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice. Uniformed police officers will be in the parking lot off 109th Street and Rockaway Boulevard to accept the donations.
•The Queens Tech community is offering free technical assistance to businesses and individuals who need it in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Free space is available in Long Island City at 47-40 21st Street. Free Wi-Fi, power and coffee are available.
•Con Edison reminds customers to continue to stay away from downed wires and use extreme caution in flooded basements. If you can, call 1-800-752-6633 to report outages or inquire about service restorations or go to www.coned.com.
84,000 Customers Remain Without Power In Queens
Marshall said that more than 84,000 Con Ed customers remained without power as of last Friday, November 2, as the utility continued to stress safety as the number one priority for customers, employees and contractors.
Other developments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy:
•Queens College, where Modell’s Sporting Goods is delivering thousands of items of warm clothing, has a total of 514 evacuees, including 89 children and 15 infants.
•The state Attorney General’s Office has set up two helpful Web sites for Price Gauging go to, www/ag/ny/gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-warns against-price-inflation-necessary goods-and-services-during; and Tips for Property Owners go to www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-provides-guide-property-owne....
•As of 4 p.m. November 1, the Parks Department reports that 4,801 service requests for downed trees have come through 311 and 980 requests for service for hanging limbs.
Marshall: Extend “No Toll” Period
Marshall called Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office on November 2 to ask that the “no toll” period be extended on the Cross Bay and Marine Parkway bridges leading to the Rockaway Peninsula as relief efforts continue following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
In other Hurricane Sandy-related developments, the borough president’s office reports that:
•The Queens Center Mall and Flushing Town Hall are now accepting donations for hurricane victims. Needed items include, soap, toiletries, blankets, jackets, gloves and socks. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard. The Queens Center Mall is located at Queens and Woodhaven Boulevards in Rego Park.
•The FEMA Call Center at 1-800-621-FEMA is currently operating seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
•Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy who is on Pfizer medications and needs assistance can call Pfizer Connection to Care at 1-866-706-2400.
•FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Center at Hillcrest H.S. is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.