Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Misery lingers where power out 2 weeks after Sandy

In Coney Island, a 67-year-old man sleeps with plastic bottles from the bodega, filled with hot water, tucked in his armpits. Unflushed toilets have created a stench in the Rockaways that is so bad that one man keeps incense lit in his apartment.

On Staten Island, people sit in "warming buses," cozy and, like time itself these days, going nowhere. In a town in New Jersey where wells don't pump because the power is out, residents collect rainwater in empty jars. In Long Beach, Long Island, a couple bicycles through the autumn chill to the charging station at City Hall to keep their cellphones powered.

It's been two weeks since Sandy upended lives on the Eastern Seaboard, and for many, the misery lingers:

• Thousands of New Yorkers displaced by Sandy are searching for rentals.

• Tens of thousands in New York and New Jersey are still without power.

• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he plans to request $30 billion in federal aid to rebuild after Sandy.

• Trucks that deliver fuel in New Jersey are facing waits more than twice as long as normal.

• The federal government's flood insurance program, which fell $18 billion into debt after Hurricane Katrina, is once again at risk of running out of money as reconstruction from Sandy gets under way. Early estimates suggest that Hurricane Sandy will rank as the nation's second-worst storm for claims paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program. With 115,000 new claims submitted and thousands more being filed each day, the cost could reach $7 billion. The program is allowed, by law, to add only $3 billion to its debt.

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