Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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City's Gas-Rationing System Extended Past Thanksgiving

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday that he is extending through Friday the city's gas rationing to cars based on odd or even license plate numbers.

The rationing system took effect on November 9 after Hurricane Sandy disrupted the area's fuel distribution network.

Vehicles with license plates that end in an odd number or vanity plates can only get gas at the pump on odd-numbered days, and vehicles with plates that end in an even number and zero can only get gas on even-numbered days.

Certain vehicles are exempt from the rationing, including vehicles with licenses from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, cars with medical doctor plates, commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles and buses.

According to the mayor, 30 percent of the city's gas stations are still closed.

He says as Thanksgiving week is typically one of the heaviest travel weeks of the year, keeping rationing in place will help keep lines under control.

New Jersey, which began a similar system nearly a week before the city, ended its rationing on November 13.

Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which began its rationing on the same day as New York City, lifted its odd/even restrictions at midnight Saturday.

Department Of Buildings To Demolish Hundreds Of Damaged Homes

Officials at the city Department of Buildings say they will demolish hundreds of homes damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy.

About 200 homes in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island will be bulldozed in the coming months.

Inspectors are still looking at nearly 500 other structures that also could be torn down.

DOB officials say they are doing their best to track down homeowners, but there may be cases where a home will be demolished because of safety concerns before its owner can be notified.

Buildings in danger of imminent collapse will be taken down first.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo took a trip to Staten Island on Saturday to show support for a part of the borough still reeling from Sandy.

Cuomo toured New Dorp, which was devastated by the storm, and helped the National Guard unload supplies.

The governor has called for $30 billion in federal aid to help in the recovery.

While some politicians have called that amount too high, Cuomo says they haven't seen the damage he has.

"Let them come to Staten Island, let them go to Far Rockaway, let them go to Long Beach, let them go to Lyndenhurst. This state has always been supportive of other states when they needed help and now this state needs help," Cuomo said.

After touring Staten Island, Cuomo headed to Queens, where he met with families and helped the National Guard unload supplies in the Rockaways.

The governor also praised the work of local lawmakers, the National Guard and volunteers who came from all over the state.

Response and Relief

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is extending a program providing temporary housing to New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

The program, which offers hotel or motel rooms to FEMA applicants whose homes were damaged by the storm, is being extended to December 14.

It began November 3 and was originally scheduled to require checkouts Saturday.

For more information, call 1-866-863-8673. Phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Residents can also register for FEMA assistance online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Senator Charles Schumer said he's counting on FEMA to house New Yorkers who have been displaced as the temperatures continue to drop, but he said there have been some issues in getting temporary mobile housing units in place.

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 Rapid Repairs program assigns contractors to areas hit hard by the storm and 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, visit or call 1-800-621-3362.

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

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers


12th Judicial District, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon-Fri


Ikea, 1 Beard Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Holy Family R.C. Church, 9719 Flatlands Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11236
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Coffey Park, 85 Richards Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Gerritsen Little League Field, 2671 Gerritsen Avenue, Gerritsen Beach, NY
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Social Security Building, Gravesend, 10 Bouck Court, Brooklyn, NY 11223
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun


Duane Reade (Waldbaums Supermarket parking lot), 115-12 Beach Channel Drive, Far Rockaway, NY 11694
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Community Church of the Nazarene, 1414 Central Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Fort Tilden Park (Building 415), 1-199 Rockaway Point Boulevard, Breezy Point, NY 11697
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

American Legion, 209 Cross Bay Boulevard, Broad Channel, NY 11693
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Storefront, 1001 Beach 20th Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Staten Island:

Miller Field, 600 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island, NY 10306
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon-Sun

Corner of Father Capodanno Boulevard and Hunter Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon-Sun

Mount Loretto CYO, 6581 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10309
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Mount Manresa Jesuit House, 239 Fingerboard Road, Staten Island, NY 10305
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Kia in Staten Island, 1976 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon-Sun

Residents Wait Patiently For Heat, Hot Water To Return

Thousands of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents remained without heat or hot water over the weekend, though the housing authority says it continues to restore heat and hot water to its development.

The housing authority said Saturday that it has restored heat and hot water to 96 percent of buildings impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

City Councilman Domenic Recchia said once the equipment is tested, the boiler will be fired up and the heat should follow.

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 (NYCHA) properties without power had their electricity restored, but some residents are still dealing with spotty electrical service.

The housing authority said this is because there is 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.

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

Traffic & Transit Latest

Both tubes of the Hugh Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will be fully open to cars and buses in both directions, starting at 6 a.m. Monday.

This will mark the first time since Hurricane Sandy that all of Manhattan's well-traveled tunnels are fully open to traffic.

Trucks will continue to be banned from the tunnel until further notice.

Meanwhile, NY1 was given an exclusive look at the damage Hurricane Sandy caused to the South Ferry subway station in Lower Manhattan.

The storm pushed millions of gallons of water into the final stop on the number 1 line, and officials in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority say the platforms and tracks were underwater for a full week afterward.

Electronics and motors were destroyed, along with elevators and escalators, and the dispatcher's office suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

The MTA says it will take months and millions of dollars to get the station up and running again.

Southbound 1 trains currently end at Rector Street.

R train service in Lower Manhattan also remains suspended and MTA officials say repairs on the tunnel connecting the R line with Brooklyn could take weeks.

There is 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, Rockaways residents commuting to Manhattan can use a ferry service that 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.

There is also free parking across from the ferry landing on Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive.

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.

The Port Authority says 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.

Alternate-Side Parking Suspended In Certain Neighborhoods

Alternate-side parking resumed in most parts of the city last week, 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. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP