Desperate Hurricane Sandy victims were held back by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s security detail as they pleaded with the New York leader for “some help”.
Bloomberg travelled to the Queen’s seaside area unannounced and was greeted by angry residents. One woman shouted from the crowd, “When are we gonna get some f--king help?”
The local news crew NY1 caught a man on camera shouting, “There’s old ladies in my building that don’t got nothing.”
Ned Morgan, one of the residents whose basement was flooded, told the New York Post, “I knew it was going to be real bad, but I never expected this devastation.
“They’re looting cars all over the place…This is New York City. They have to help us.”
Residents of the area, many of the firefighters in The Bronx and Manhattan, were angry that they sat in their firehouse miles from home instead of aiding the recovery in their own neighborhood.
A firefighter who would not divulge his name said, “We’re all going crazy…They’re not deploying any extra resources, and we’re just sitting around.”
Councilman James Sanders agreed that the city’s response to turmoil in the area has fallen short. He said, “They are helping to serve food, but no one is directing traffic.”
Read more news from Hurricane Sandy here
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio added, “We have never seen anything like this in our lives. It’s a kind of destruction you think happens in other parts of the world but not here. This is definitely one of the hardest hit areas in the whole city. It’s like civilization has come undone.”
On arriving back to City Hall in Manhattan he expressed his sympathy. He said, “I spoke to many people who were worried, frustrated and cold.
“There’s no power there and temperatures are dropping. Even those who have generators are having a hard time getting fuel.”
The situation in the Rockaways, known as the Irish Riviera, is among one of the worst in New York, along with Staten Island, and of course the neighboring ravaged Jersey Shore.
Residents are continuing to dig out their homes in the area and 80 homes in the neighborhood of Breezy Point were completely destroyed by fire. The neighborhood is in smithereens.
The city is now sending 25,000 blankets to the Rockaways as the temperatures drop. It could be two weeks until their electricity is restored.
Bloomberg asked the residents, “Just have some patience…The people working there — the National Guard, the federal people — they’re all trying to do the right thing.”
He also said the Long Island Power Authority LIPA) was not acting “aggressively enough”
On Saturday the LIPA reported that 75 percent (25,562) of customers were still without power.
Bloomberg continued, “You’ve got to understand people’s frustration.
“They’re cold, they’re tired, they lost a lot. Sometimes we all get a little bit overanxious, if you will.”