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Report: Utility Response In Wake Of Sandy "Average"

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TWC News: Report: Utility Response In Wake Of Sandy "Average"
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Despite widespread complaints about the performance of the Long Island Power Authority and Con Edison in the wake of the hurricane, a new analysis suggests the response was about average for a major storm.

New York's utility companies restored power to 95 percent of those who lost it within 13 days of the storm.

According to an analysis by the Associated Press, that's actually less time than it took utility companies in the south to get power back to that level following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Following Katrina, it took 23 days to restore power to 75 percent of customers on the Gulf Coast.

After Hurricane Irene last year, it took New York just seven days to get to 95 percent, though there were fewer outages from that storm.

All told, Sandy caused 8.5 million outages across 21 states -- the highest outage total ever.

Meantime, nearly all city housing residents who have been without power since the storm hit are back on the grid.

Earlier this week, the city announced the remaining 402 New York City Housing Authority properties without power had their electricity restored, some residents of the Red Hook Houses are still dealing with spotty electrical service.

The housing authority said this is because there's a delay between power restoration and its actual return due to damaged circuits.

They say in some cases, walls need to be demolished before everything can be fixed, slowing down the work.

They say while that work is ongoing, power will be intermittent.

Thousands of NYCHA residents are also still without heat or hot water.

NYCHA said Thursday that they are in the process of connecting and testing temporary boilers to bring heat and hot water to the remaining buildings. They say they hope to restore service to all this week.

NYCHA officials also said that by Thursday afternoon, power was restored to 651 of 699 elevators affected by Sandy.

Knickerbocker Village officials say that power to all homes in Knickerbocker Village was restored at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday.

Tenants of those buildings say while they're grateful the power is back on, getting heat and hot water is still an issue.

There are also reported problems with the drinking water in the 12-building-complex.

Building management says all units should have full heat and hot water by Saturday.

Residents will not pay rent for any days during which they did not have full essential services.

Management says it's also providing supplies such as water and meals.

Traffic & Transit Latest

Governor Cuomo's office said Friday that both tubes of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel will open to traffic in both directions Monday morning at 6 a.m.

Trucks will continue to be banned until further notice.

Meanwhile, the Queens Midtown Tunnel is now open to all traffic.

The tunnel, which flooded following Sandy, opened to trucks Friday morning. It was previously opened to buses on November 6 and cars on November 9.

It took five days to pump out the water from the tunnel's twin tubes.

Riders who take PATH trains into the Hoboken station will have to wait a bit longer to use the stop as crews work to repair damages suffered during Sandy.

New video from the Port Authority shows water rushing into the station at the height of the storm.

The Port Authority says the flood waters damaged signaling, train control and other equipment.

The agency says engineers and contractors are working round-the-clock to get the station open, but do not have a prediction on when that will be.

With subway service largely restored, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is now focusing on the hardest hit parts of its system in lower Manhattan and the Rockaways.

R train service in lower Manhattan remains suspended.

The MTA says repairs on the tunnel connecting the R line with Brooklyn could take weeks.

Number 1 train service to South Ferry could take even longer after that station was flooded floor to ceiling.

Southbound trains now terminate at Rector Street.

There's also no word on when J and Z service south of Chambers Street will be restored.

In Queens, the MTA says it will take months to rebuild the bridge connecting the A train from Howard Beach to the Rockaways.

For now, a shuttle bus is transporting commuters from Mott Avenue to the Howard Beach stop.

Meanwhile, there's some good news for Rockaways residents commuting to Manhattan using the city's new ferry service.

Starting Thursday, ferry riders can park for free at a lot across from the landing on Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive.

The ferry service launched on Monday as crews work to bring the A Train back to the peninsula.

It runs during morning rush hours to Pier 11 near Wall Street with return service available in the evening.

A one-way ticket costs $2 and includes a free transfer to the East 34th Street Pier.

Obama Sets Tone For Rebuilding Effort

President Barack Obama on Thursday toured some of the city's hardest hit areas from the storm and also announced a native New Yorker will be the point-person in the effort to rebuild.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will be in charge of coming up with a long-term recovery plan.

Donovan, the former head of the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, will be working with city, state and local officials to come up with what the president called an "effective plan".

The president also promised to work with Congress to come up with the resources necessary to support it.

President Obama arrived on Staten Island via helicopter just before noon.

He then took an aerial tour of parts of Queens and Brooklyn that were hard hit by the storm.

The president also met with families on Staten Island, and thanked local officials and first responders for their work.

The president was joined by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

This is the president's second visit to the region since the storm.

He visited New Jersey and met with Governor Chris Christie two days after the storm.

While on Staten Island, Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency's operation at Miller Field in the New Dorp section of Staten Island.

The president also recognized one of Staten Island's first responders who helped a family while their sons were missing after the storm.

Damien and Glenda Moore's two young boys, Connor and Brendan, were swept up by the flood waters during Sandy.

46-year-old Lt. Kevin Gallagher of the NYPD stayed with the family during the search until their bodies were found days later.

Obama, who met with the family during his trip, said the Moores asked him to recognize Gallagher's work during his speech.

“That's not in the job description of Lt. Gallagher," Obama said. "He did that because that's what so many of our first responders do. They go above and beyond the call of duty to respond to people in need."

During his 24-years with the NYPD, Gallagher has earned 64 police medals.

Response and Relief

The mayor's office says about 4,000 people have signed up for the city's "Rapid Repairs" program and the first inspection teams have gone out.

The program assigns contractors to areas hit hard by the storm.

Those contractors are then responsible for bringing in electricians, plumbers and other subcontractors.

Homes with green stickers from the Department of Buildings, meaning the house is structurally sound, get priority.

To take part in the program, residents must have a FEMA ID number.

To get one, go to one of the city's restoration centers -- or go online to or call 1-800-621-3362.

Meanwhile, one of the city's new restoration centers is already closing its doors.

The city says the center located at Our Lady of Solace in Coney Island only agreed to host the center for a brief time.

A new location is being sought.

In the meantime, the city says people relying on that location can still head over to the one in Gravesend.

There are also sites open on Staten Island and in Far Rockaway.

Mayor Bloomberg has promised another three centers as well.

The city says it hopes to open locations in the Bronx and mid-Rockaway Monday.

The centers are meant to be a one-stop shop of disaster relief for those hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

Alternate-Side Parking Suspended In Certain Neighborhoods

Alternate-side parking resumed in most parts of the city on Wednesday, but the city Departments of Transportation and Sanitation say it is suspended indefinitely in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

On Thursday, DOT officials announced that alternate-side parking regulations are reinstated immediately in parts of Brooklyn Community Board 6 east of Hamilton Avenue, which includes the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, Gowanus and Cobble Hill.

DOT officials said Thursday that alternate-side parking regulations remain suspended indefinitely in areas of Brooklyn Community Board 6 west of and including Hamilton Avenue, which includes the neighborhood of Red Hook.

Other areas where alternate-side parking remains suspended include Brooklyn Community Board 18, which covers Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Flatlands, Marine Park, Georgetown and Mill Island; Brooklyn Community Board 13, which represents Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Sea Gate; Brooklyn Community Board 15, which includes Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach and Homecrest; and Queens Community Board 14, which covers the Rockaways.

Staten Island does not normally have alternate-side parking.

Mayor To Decide On Whether To Extend Gas Rationing In Next Few Days

Mayor Bloomberg says he'll decide over the next couple of days whether to extend the city's gas rationing through Thanksgiving.

His current executive order expires Sunday.

On his radio show Friday morning, the mayor said odd-even rationing has helped shorten lines at the pumps, so he might sign an order for an additional five days.

He also talked about the possibility of requiring gas stations to have backup generators.

"They have to have a generator and test it once a month or something like that," he said. "That would be a reasonable thing to do. It makes it more expensive. I think we should look at that. It's not something that should be dismissed."

The hurricane shut down gas stations throughout New York, New Jersey, and Long Island.

The website Gas Buddy shows most of the stations in the city are now open. The mayor says it's about 70 percent.

On Long Island, the situation has improved enough that Friday is the final day for the rationing system.

Nassau and Suffolk counties will lift the odd/even restrictions at midnight. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP