Lower Manhattan Update 11-13-12
Lower Manhattan experienced a significant impact from Hurricane Sandy, but the recovery process has begun. The Downtown Alliance has compiled this information to help businesses, retailers, residents, and commercial property owners. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
As the recovery process continues to make significant strides, the Downtown Alliance is producing a daily email that provides you with all of the updates that could affect your home, business or office in Lower Manhattan with information from various agencies including New York City, New York State, MTA, Port Authority, Con Ed and more. If you would like to subscribe, please click here.
MTA Status (Subways, Buses, Metro North, LIRR)
GOVENOR CUOMO BRIEFING, 3:30PM
98-99% of New Yorkers who lost power have it back.
New Yorkers can call the NYS Department of Financial Services hotline at 1-800-339-1759for 24/7 assistance with insurance questions/concerns.
New York needs $30B in supplemental appropriation from the federal government in addition to 100% FEMA reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses
Power outage updates are available on the “power outage update” tab on www.governor.ny.gov. Breakdown is available by county and borough.
As the state seeks more federal aid, the focus is now shifting from getting the power back on to dealing with shelter for those driven out of their homes by the damage.
SBA/FEMA ASSISTANCE IN LOWER MANHATTAN
SBA and FEMA assistance site will be stationed in Lower Manhattan every day this week. FEMA and SBA staff will be on hand to answer questions and help small business owners and residents apply for benefits.
Tuesday, November 13th through Friday, November 16th
1 Pace Plaza (Spruce Street entrance), Manhattan
10:00AM to 7:00PM
EMERGENCY ORDER TO WAIVE APPLICATION/PERMIT FEES FOR REPAIR AND RECONSTRUCTION WORK
Mayor Bloomberg today signed an emergency order to waive all Department of Buildings application and permit fees for repair work to buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy. To help New Yorkers affected by the storm, buildings with significant structural damage in need of demolition, alterations or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived and all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived for any building damaged by the storm until further notice. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Buildings has been performing rapid assessment inspections of buildings damaged by the storm. Under this process, the agency has inspected approximately 80,000 buildings citywide and these inspected buildings and blocks have been tagged with green, yellow and red placards based on their condition.
Buildings that qualify as severely structurally damaged are all buildings tagged with red placards as well as those that were issued an immediate emergency declaration, emergency declaration or commissioner’s order. Fee waivers for these building apply to all demolition applications and permits; alteration 1, 2 and 3 applications and permits to renovate and repair damaged structures; as well as new building applications and permits to rebuild structures that were completely destroyed. Owners of these buildings can take advantage of the fee waiver. In addition, all buildings damaged by the storm will also have their application and permit fees for plumbing and electrical repair work waived until further notice.
The Department of Buildings is encouraging all licensed professionals performing repair work to damaged buildings to use the Department’s Hub Self-Service program and electronic filing system to submit repair work applications when applicable. Launched last month to further streamline and accelerate the construction approval process, Hub Self-Service expanded the NYC Development Hub’s services to allow New York State-licensed professionals to submit plans, pay fees and obtain permits online for professionally-certified alteration 2 and 3 applications – which are small construction projects such as home renovations. As part of the expansion, all electronic filings, including Electrical Applications and Limited Alteration Applications, are now being coordinated through the Development Hub as well, making it easier and quicker for contractors to begin work.
To electronically file a fee-exempt application, applicants must prepare the application normally and check the fee exempt box after entering the work cost information to waive the application and permit fees. Based on the application type, the damage checkbox will be located in different sections as indicated below:
– Plan Work Form (PW1): The fee exempt box for demolitions, alterations and new buildings is located in the Work Types section under the subsection Cost Information under the question ‘What Types of Fees Apply to this Application.’
– Limited Alteration Applications (LAA): The fee exempt box for minor plumbing work and limited alterations is located in the Additional Information section.
– Electrical Applications: The fee exempt box for electrical applications is located in the Category Work Section. In this section, applicants should check the Hurricane Sandy Damage box.
Since Hurricane Sandy’s arrival last week, teams of Department inspectors, engineers and architects have canvassed the City and performed rapid assessment inspections of approximately 80,000 buildings damaged by the storm. All inspected buildings and blocks have been tagged with green, yellow and red placards based on their condition. This is part of the Department’s rapid assessment process to conduct as many initial inspections as quickly as possible and provide New Yorkers with information on the status of their buildings. The different colored placards mean:
– Green: There are no restrictions. No apparent structural hazards were found, but other issues such as flooding may exist.
– Yellow: There are restrictions. The property is damaged; entry limitations are specified on each posting.
– Red: The building is unsafe. Property is seriously damaged and is unsafe to enter or occupy. A red placard is not an order to demolish.
To further help owners whose buildings were damaged by the storm, the Department of Buildings has created a series of guides and handouts on how homeowners can get back into their homes and helpful information for licensed professionals performing storm repair work. These guides and handouts along with more information on the fee waiver for damaged buildings can be found online at www.nyc.gov.
The City has also launched NYC Rapid Repairs, a new program to send teams of contractors and City inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy and quickly and efficiently make necessary repairs to damaged homes. Under the typical FEMA process, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to arrange for and carry out the repair work, but this new system will allow repairs to happen more quickly and efficiently. Beginning Tuesday, homeowners can sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs on www.nyc.gov or by calling 311. Homeowners will need a FEMA ID number, which can be obtained by registering at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
ASSITANCE BRIEFING FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANZATIONS
Friday, November 16
49 – 51 Chambers Street, New York, NY
Session I: 10am – 12pm
Session II: 2pm – 4pm
Monday, November 19
49 – 51 Chambers Street, New York, NY
Session I: 10am – 12pm
Session II: 2pm – 4pm
At this briefing, a FEMA representative will provide an overview of its Public Assistance program and eligibility criteria. If you have not already done so, you will also have an opportunity to complete a one-page Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form that will register your organization as a FEMA applicant. After the Applicant Briefing, and once you are registered, a FEMA representative will contact you directly to schedule a Kick-Off meeting. This is when you will discuss damages and costs specific to your organization.
Important: FEMA determines whether a Private Non-Profit (PNP) is eligible. This is an evolving process, and categories of eligibility may change as the specifics of Hurricane Sandy’s impact become clearer. We strongly encourage you to attend an Applicant Briefing regardless of whether or not your organization type is listed as eligible in FEMA guidelines.
To RSVP for a FEMA Applicant Briefing, please complete the RSVP form here: http://goo.gl/ooifS. Limit two attendees per organization.
Whether or not you can attend a FEMA Applicant Briefing, you are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible by completing and submitting the RPA form. The one-page form can be found here: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2690 Email the completed form to John Grubsick at email@example.com and a FEMA representative will contact you directly. The deadline for submitting an RPA is currently December 2, 2012.
In the interim, you should continue to document all costs and damages associated with the storm. During your subsequent Kick-Off meeting with FEMA, you will be required to provide:
– Proof of your non-profit status (i.e., 501(c)3 letter)
– Photographic proof of damages, including both before and after photos if available
– Description of expenses incurred, including what the expenses are, who did the work, when and where it was completed, why it was necessary, and how it was related to the storm
– Receipts and invoices for expenses incurred
– Insurance information and receipts of any claims filed after the storm
Public Assistance for PNPs – Eligible Organizations and Work Categories:
Eligible PNPs are those organizations that provide some sort of governmental service, broken down into two categories:
1.) Critical Services – e.g., fire/emergency services, emergency medical care, Education (primary and secondary schools and higher education facilities, including vocational), communications, sewer and waste water, drinking water, and power
2.) Non-Critical – e.g., zoos, museums, libraries, community centers, community arts centers, homeless shelters, etc.
Categories of Work are divided into Emergency Work and Permanent Work:
– Category A: Debris Removal – Clearance of trees and woody debris; building wreckage; sand, mud, silt, and gravel; vehicles; and other disaster related material deposited on public and, in very limited cases, private property
– Category B: Emergency Protective Measures – Measures taken before, during, and after a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, and protect improved public and private property
– Permanent Work (eligible to the extent that the work is necessitated by the disaster):
– Category C: Roads and Bridges – Repair of roads, bridges, and associated features, such as shoulders, ditches, culverts, lighting and signs
– Category D: Water Control Facilities – Repair of irrigation systems, drainage channels, and pumping facilities. Repair of levees, dams, and flood control channels fall under Category D, but the eligibility of these facilities is restricted
– Category E: Buildings and Equipment – Repair or replacement of buildings, including their contents and systems; heavy equipment; and vehicles
– Category F: Utilities – Repair of water treatment and delivery systems; power generation facilities and distribution lines; and sewage collection and treatment facilities
– Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities, and Other Items – Repair and restoration of parks, playgrounds, pools, cemeteries, and beaches. This category also is used for any work or facility that cannot be characterized adequately by Categories A-F
Once an applicant has submitted an RPA form and attended a Kick-Off meeting with FEMA, PNPs that provide Critical Services will be guided to apply to FEMA for reimbursement for all categories of Emergency and Permanent Work (Categories A – G). Non-Critical PNPs, after submission of a RPA form and attendance at a Kick-Off meeting with FEMA, will be guided to apply to FEMA for Emergency Work (Categories A and B). For Permanent Work damages (Categories C – G) the Non-Critical PNPs will be guided to first apply for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA). If the loan request is denied by SBA, the Non-Critical PNP will be guided to submit an application to FEMA for these repairs.
Directions to 49-51 Chambers Street:
1, 2, 3 trains to Chambers Street
A, C to Chambers Street
J, Z, 4, 5, 6 trains to Chambers Street/City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge
M15 to City Hall/Park Row
CON EDISON RESTORATIONS
Since Hurricane Sandy and a Nor’easter pounded New York City and Westchester County company crews and thousands of utility workers from around the country restored electricity to more than 1 million customers.
This morning, the last customers in Westchester affected by Hurricane Sandy, whose equipment could be restored, were getting their electricity back.
Overnight, the last customers in New York City hit by Sandy’s devastation – whose equipment could be restored – had their power turned on.
The 1 million restorations do not include approximately 16,300 customers in flood-ravaged areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Those customers cannot get electrical service until their own internal equipment is repaired, tested and certified by an electrician as ready for service. Con Edison crews were able to restore power to approximately 13,600 customers in those shoreline communities.
The company is working with the New York City Buildings Department to expedite the restoration of these customers. For information, click here: http://www.coned.com/es/Energy-Services-Flyer.pdf
Sandy caused five times as many outages as the next largest storm in Con Edison history, Hurricane Irene, which hit in August 2011. The company has gone through a year’s worth of some materials since Hurricane Sandy struck. Con Edison and thousands of mutual aid and contractor personnel replaced 60 miles of electric cable and responded to tens of thousands of locations.
In the wake of those storms, the company will be rebuilding and replacing more equipment to ensure reliability.
Customers can use their mobile devices, as well as computers, to report power interruptions or service problems at www.conEd.com. They also may call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
The company is working closely with the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the Westchester Office of Emergency Services and other emergency officials to respond to the effects of
Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter.
HUGH L. CAREY/BROOKLYN BATTERY TUNNEL
Starting today, one lane of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel will be open to buses only from 6am-10am (Manhattan bound) and 3pm-7pm (Brooklyn bound). The Tunnel will be closed to all traffic at other times.
NEEDED: SOCIAL WORKERS
There is an urgent need for licensed social workers (LCSWs and LMSWs) to volunteer at emergency shelters around the City. People at the shelters have a range of needs from mental health and crisis counseling to help coordinating services and benefits that are needed. Staff at the shelters, many of whom have been working very long shifts, may also need social work support.
The greatest single need is to cover the overnight shift, which is from 8 PM to 8 AM. Shifts are generally 12 hours but DOHMH will try to accommodate shorter shifts as well.
To volunteer, please call the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, at 347-396-7950. Please be patient if you are put on hold; staff coordinators may be accommodating other volunteers who are calling in.
To help New Yorkers in need during this difficult time, The Legal Aid Society and Legal Services NYC are providing disaster relief assistance to local residents affected by the storm. Visit www.legal-aid.org or www.LegalServicesNYC.org for a list of services and local offices in your area or call the Legal Aid Society at 212-577-3300 or Legal Services NYC at 347-592-2411.
$500 MILLION EMERGENCY PLAN TO REPAIR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS
Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Comptroller Liu announced a $500 million emergency plan to make critical repairs to public schools and public hospitals damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The plan calls for an appropriation of $200 million for the Department of Education and $300 million for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation to repair extensive damage to school and hospital buildings. The repair needs include structural restorations, new boilers, new electrical systems, roofs repairs, flood remediation and more.
The City Council is expected to vote on the appropriation plan at Tuesday’s Council hearing and, if passed, the funding will be an addition to capital funds in the current year (Fiscal Year 2013) Capital Commitment Plan. The Administration and Comptroller Liu have also worked together to approve emergency spending for Hurricane Sandy relief, which now totals $134 million. The spending plan announced today and emergency spending represent only a portion of the spending that will be required and additional appropriations will be made this year as necessary.
Hurricane Sandy damaged public school and hospital buildings throughout the city, with the most severe damage in the Rockaways, Staten Island and South Brooklyn. As of Monday, 37 schools will remain closed due to structural damage and more buildings are in need of ongoing repairs. Students, teachers and staff have been reassigned to other temporary sites until their buildings are restored. Bellevue Hospital Center, Coney Island Hospital and the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island sustained extensive damage and require repairs and replacements to boiler systems, back-up generators, elevators, ventilation, air-conditioning and electrical systems, and areas damaged by flooding.
The City already has authorized $134 million in spending following Hurricane Sandy to provide emergency services and recovery and relief programs. Those expenses include:
– $20 million for the Department of Transportation to repair the Battery Park Overpass
– $1.7 million for the Department of Transportation to repair the Whitehall and St. George ferry terminals
– $12 million for the Department of Sanitation Office of Emergency Management to remove debris
– $2.5 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Human Resource Administration for food and water distribution.
– $2 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for the delivery of maintenance, repair and operations supplies for response operations
– $5 million for electrical plumbing and water line inspections for homes in Staten Island and Queens
– $1.1 million to the Office of Emergency Management for additional ambulances
The City’s overtime costs for the response to Hurricane Sandy will be in addition to these amounts already authorized.
WALMART DONATES TO HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City announced that the Walmart Foundation has donated water, blankets and transportation aid for New York City’s relief efforts related to Hurricane Sandy. Walmart has provided the City with 500,000 bottles of water and 5,000 blankets which have been distributed at the City’s food and relief centers. The retailer has also leveraged its transportation and logistics network to help the City locate and transport power generators to areas in need.
The Mayor’s Fund is accepting financial donations from organizations and individuals to support hurricane relief efforts. One hundred percent of contributions are being dispersed to relief efforts. The City is currently identifying immediate aid needs, including food, water and hygiene supplies, as well as long-term relief and recovery efforts. To date, the Mayors Fund has raised $33.5 million to aid the City’s recovery and restoration projects.
For more information on the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and how to donate, visit: www.nyc.gov/fund or call 212-788-7794.
For details and updates related to Walmart’s recovery and relief efforts, please visit: www.news.walmart.com/disaster-response.