More than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, all of the city's public housing buildings have had some level of electricity restored, though service remains spotty. But as of last night, over 15,000 people in 75 public housing buildings across New York City were still without heat. (Update: As of this afternoon, a spokesman for the Mayor's office tells us that 18 buildings are now without heat, out of 386 that lost heat because of the storm.) Some don't have any reliable water, hot or cold, according to Democracy Now, which reports that the elevators still aren't running in many buildings, posing a continued danger to the elderly and infirm.
In Coney Island, as you can see here, things are far from normal. Boilers in the basements were flooded and rendered useless, and the process of pumping out flooded basements has to be conducted cautiously because of the possibility of structural damage. Many residents still lack basic necessities At the FEMA and Red Cross distribution centers located in the MCU stadium parking lot, the lines for supplies stretch as far as the eye can see. Here's video from Democracy Now's visit to the area:
Meanwhile, in the Red Hook public housing, The Atlantic spotted a handwritten sign with the name and phone number of State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. Below her contact information are the words, "We Are Not Animals." After finally taking his first bath in a week and a half, one tenant, Ulyses Bermudez, tells the Atlantic, "I think the animals are doing better than we are."
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, whose district includes Coney Island and Canarsie, is one of many officials who have blasted the NYCHA. "The failure to adequately provide heat, hot water and electricity in NYCHA buildings in a timely fashion is a scandal that is growing in proportion by the day," he said earlier this week.