It's that time of day again: Mayor Bloomberg moved up his previously scheduled 1:30 p.m. press conference updating NYers on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts to 11:30 a.m.—which likely means he'll be addressing the chaotic traffic conditions. If you've been paying attention the past few days, you'll also know he probably won't actually start the press conference for a little while longer. Watch below, and we'll update once it's over with all the details.
Update: Mayor Bloomberg started this presser relatively on time (just under 30 minutes late!), giving updates on the paramount challenges of the storm: getting power restored to hundreds of thousands of NYers, and getting the transit system back up. In terms of the former, Bloomberg said Con Ed is making "very good progress, better than they anticipated"—he estimated all power would be restored to lower Manhattan by Sunday.
As for the MTA, Bloomberg gave them plenty of praise: "The MTA did a phenomenal job getting subway service partially restored in just a few days." But he also let slip that he is "not confident underwater tunnels will be back on Monday." On the plus side, the Staten Island Ferry should be up and running "within the next day or so," and on a full schedule by Saturday.
Bloomberg noted that the city was starting to focus on the people who are "transitioning from shock to real world problems of how do you get water, how do you get food." To that end, the city (with the help of the National Guard) will begin distributing bottles of water and thousands of pre-prepared meals at locations in hard-hit areas at 3 p.m. today. You can see a listing of places here. AT&T will also bring pods that provide cell coverage and charging stations to locations in the vicinity of those food distribution centers.
Other updates: Con Ed is hopeful traffic lights will all be back by the end of the weekend, maybe sooner. There will be no exemptions for the new restrictions on passenger cars travelling into Manhattan: "I know it’s annoying; I know it’s inconvenient...We're not equiped to grant exemptions, hopefully tomorrow will be last day of these restrictions...it'd probably be faster walking across a bridge then taking your car."
Parks and playgrounds will remain closed today and tomorrow, but the city is hopeful they'll be reopened by 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Public schools will be open Monday, and teachers and administrators are expected in tomorrow.
Ray Kelly said there had only been two instances of looters he was aware of in the past day, one on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island and on Staten Island. The mayor cheerfully noted, "I don't think we've had a murder in two or three days." He ended things by talking about the cost of the Sandy damage: "People lost their hopes and dreams...can't use money to replace people's hopes and dreams."