Sunday, December 28, 2014

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Tunnels Remain Flooded; FEMA Meals Arrive

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TWC News: Cuomo Sends Critical Letter To Con Ed; Homeland Security Secretary Tours Battery Tunnel
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Gov. Cuomo has sent a sharply worded letter to Con Edison for failing to get the grid back for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, while Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was in Lower Manhattan Thursday to tour the flooded-out Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

While the water level at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel has receded, there is still about 86 million gallons of fuel soaked liquid inside which needs to be pumped out.

"It stretches 6,000 feet, about a mile and a quarter of nothing but water," said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota.

Officials toured the tunnel Thursday to survey the damage. New York is waiting for high-powered pumps to get the water out. Those supplies are on the way, but the Brooklyn Battery tunnel is only the beginning.

"You have the Holland Tunnel, you have the Midtown Tunnel, you have subway tunnels that are still flooded," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "You have Con Ed vaults that are still flooded. And this is an engineering feat that we haven't undertaken before."

Cuomo stopped by the armory on 26th Street and Lexington Avenue to begin distributing 1 million meals that arrived from FEMA. The supplies include water, MRE's (meals ready to eat) and even hot food. They are headed to three distribution points throughout the city: Lower Manhattan, Red Hook, Brooklyn and the Rockaways.

"This is about having enough to eat, having enough to drink, and today, we call on every New Yorker to check on your neighbor," Cuomo said.

Fuel shortages have been a problem throughout the city. NY1 has learned that Con Edison, which is trying to restore power for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, can't even get fuel for its own trucks, which could hamper crews in the field.

"The Coast Guard has been working to open up the harbor here and other harbors along the path of the storm so that fuel can begin to move to terminals and then heads from terminals to gas stations and the like," said Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Supplies of all kinds have begun to trickle in, but the human needs continue to grow with every day that passes without power or water. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP