Sandy Aftermath: Thursday Morning Update

Orchard Street at Canal, looking north, Tuesday night around 8 p.m.

On Day 3 post-Sandy, the LES remains in the dark and attention begins to turn to stretching provisions, caring for our most vulnerable elderly populations and keeping bored children occupied. Hang on tight, everybody, and please check on your neighbors, particularly if you’re in high-rises with large numbers of senior citizens who are house-bound by lack of elevators. Here’s what we know this morning.

Power: Still waiting. Over on Twitter, Con Edison is repeatedly asserting early this morning that all of Manhattan and Brooklyn will be restored by “Friday/Saturday.” One neighborhood of about 2,000 homes in the Financial District south of Vesey Street came back on the grid yesterday, so at least there’s a little progress to report.

Transportation: Just 24 hours after sending buses back on the road on a limited basis, the MTA announced last night it had again suspended service south of 23rd Street due to power outages and pedestrians impeding traffic. Subways resumed at 6 a.m. today in less damaged parts of the city, but there is no service below 34th Street (map here). Metro-North and Long Island Railroad commuter trains are also resuming today. All three services will be fare-free the remainder of the week. LaGuardia, the last of our three airports to reopen, is scheduled to resume some flights today. The East River Ferry also resumed service this morning; cash only. In an effort to ease the crushing gridlock that has taken over the streets, vehicles entering Manhattan via the East River bridges will be required to carry at least three passengers each. For those commuting to work on bike or on foot, Transportation Alternatives is offering aid stations with free coffee, tips and mechanical assistance with bicycles at the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges starting at 8 a.m. today.

Groceries/supplies/restaurants: Some neighborhood establishments are opening with limited provisions. We are keeping running tabs with the latest updates here. A highlight: Russ & Daughters reopens this morning at 9 a.m.

Schools: Closed today and tomorrow.

Aid: Community organizations are beginning to organize relief efforts of all sorts, including help needed on the Lower East Side and Chinatown today.  The city is coordinating some efforts through the NYC Service office, and asks any potential volunteers to email nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov with your name, email address and borough. We’ll be posting additional volunteer opportunities as we hear about them. Local crowd-funding start-up Lucky Ant is offering to waive its fees to help any business affected by the storm raise money for recovery, in the Lower East Side or elsewhere in the city.