In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, properties throughout the city’s flooded neighborhoods saw critical infrastructure collapse along with everything else in the storm’s path. However, four weeks after the storm Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t interested in hearing any more excuses from landlords who haven’t restored heat and electricity. At a press conference this afternoon, he announced these landlords will face “enforcement proceedings” should these critical services remain absent from their properties.
“I won’t even take this question,” Mr. Bloomberg at an afternoon press conference when asked what these proceedings will entail. “We’re expecting everybody to cooperate. This is New York, I’m sure there’s going to be somebody who doesn’t and then we’re going to worry about it. You have an obligation to maintain your rental units in a safe manner. If you don’t, you’re breaking the law.”
Although much of the attention has been focused on New York City, millions of Long Islanders were also caught in Hurricane Sandy’s path, with tens of thousands of them still without electricity or a regular supply of gasoline. In a statement sent out this afternoon by Nassau and Suffolk counties’ entire delegation in the State Senate, the local officials cried out for additional federal assistance. In doing so, they repeatedly raised the specter of Hurricane Katrina, the disaster that infamously marred former President George W. Bush’s administration.
“We are facing a massive, Katrina-style disaster here on Long Island that will only get worse unless all of the resources of the federal government are at our disposal. Incredibly, that hasn’t happened yet,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos declared in the release, the title of which warned of “More Death and Destruction.”
Words With Friends
One week ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo demanded the state’s utility companies step up their efforts in returning power to New Yorkers and threatened to revoke their business licenses if they failed to do so. At a press conference today, a reporter asked the governor how power companies reacted to the increasing pressure, specifically whether they were “pensive,” “mortified,” or “terrified.” Mr. Cuomo made it abundantly clear the utilities were indeed very concerned and described the uncertain terms he used to make them feel the urgency of the situation.
“All of the above,” he answered. “I think all of the above, because I’ve had the full range of conversations that you can have, so I think it’s all of the above; frightened, frustrated, embarrassed. Look, you can’t be any stronger or harsher than I have been on the utility companies. You can’t. You can’t use any language publicly, any other language that I’ve used, and I not have to worry about my daughters watching the broadcast, right? Privately, I have used language my daughters couldn’t hear, so they’ve gotten the message.”
At a press conference this evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo upped the ante on power companies as millions of residents in the New York metropolitan area remain without power after Hurricane Sandy left them in the dark at the start of the week.
“There are a number of utility companies that are involved in providing power throughout the affected area, you have Con Edison, you have LIPA, etc., you have a number of others. I believe most companies are working very, very hard to restore the power,” he said. “I also believe that I want them to understand how important a function this is; this is not just a restoration of power, which is important. This is a restoration of power after a storm when families are really living in hardship.”
State Senator Greg Ball, a Republican representing Westchester County and other areas of the Hudson Valley, is not happy with the response efforts to get power restored to his district in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Accordingly, Mr. Ball sent out a press release this morning titled, “BALL: ‘10 DAYS IS TOO DAMN LONG,’” calling on both Consolidated Edison and New York State Electric & Gas to get electricity back to the area posthaste.