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

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs