News / USA

Superstorm Recovery Slow, Difficult

The view of storm damage over the Atlantic Coast in Seaside Heights, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, from a helicopter traveling behind the helicopter carrying President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The view of storm damage over the Atlantic Coast in Seaside Heights, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, from a helicopter traveling behind the helicopter carrying President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Margaret Besheer
Cleanup and recovery from superstorm Sandy intensified Wednesday as New York City's buses and airports began to operate, the stock exchange reopened for trading, and curtains rose at Broadway theaters. Monday's storm ravaged the northeastern United States, killing dozens of people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Many people will still be feeling Sandy's effects for some time to come.

Along Van Brunt Street in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, the hum of generators can be heard as dozens of small business owners pump out the water Sandy's storm surge deposited in their waterfront buildings.

Related video report by Jerome Socolovsky John Hernandez, the owner of Bell Star Tower, a heating and air conditioning company, says the storm wiped out his ground floor office.

“All the computers, all the cabinets, all the files -- just washed away.  We had five feet [about 1.5 meters] of water.  See, this was the water line right here,” Hernandez said.
 
Hernandez points to the front door, where the waterline is above the doorknob.  He says his five employees cannot make it in to help clean up or continue projects for customers because there is little public transportation.  Hernandez says the damage and the inability to keep working has hit his small company hard.

“So no workers, no work, no income,” Hernandez said.

Across the street, Robert Lopez and his wife, Irene, opened Bomba Billiards 10 months ago.  But after Sandy wreaked havoc on the small uninsured bar, they might have to close permanently.

“We're hoping that whatever federal government money is given to us, if any, will help us to get back into business.  If not, I got no choice but to close because I don't have the necessary funds to get myself back up,” Lopez said.

A visibly heartbroken Lopez says it will take at least $50,000 to replace the machines, pool tables and liquor stocks that were destroyed by the wave of water that came through this area on Monday night.

“We put our life savings into this place and it's all gone.  It's all gone,” Lopez said.

During a visit to hardest-hit New Jersey on Wednesday, President Barack Obama said of people like John Hernandez and Robert Lopez that the government would do all it can to help them recover.

“We are here for you.  And we will not forget, we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you've rebuilt,” Obama said.

New Yorkers had some good news on Wednesday.  The governor announced that 14 of the city's 23 subway lines would resume some service on Thursday.  Buses are already ferrying people around the city's five boroughs, and commuter rail systems are slowly coming back online.

But at the Lillian Wald housing project on Manhattan's Lower East Side, residents are still without power and water.  Two sidewalk fire hydrants had been opened and residents are gathering water to use for drinking, cooking and flushing their toilets.

James and his friend, Louie, were among those collecting water, which they had to carry up several flights of stairs.  James says things become frightening at night when the area goes dark.

“But it's real, real scary right now, real, real scary -- especially when it gets dark.  You have people try to open doors on you,” James said.

Because of security issues, many area businesses are closed.  Only a few delicatessens have reopened and only for a few hours.  Owners say it is too dangerous to remain open after dark.

October 31 is Halloween in the United States.  Traditionally, children wear scary costumes and go house-to-house asking for candy.  In New Jersey, the governor said the holiday would be postponed until November 5 to allow time for streets to be cleared of debris and power lines, making it safer for children.  In Manhattan, the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade was postponed, but many children were out because they say they refused to let Sandy ruin their fun.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More