Friday, 02 November 2012
As hundreds of thousands of Big Apple residents suffer in homes left without power by Hurricane Sandy, two massive generators are being run 24/7 in Central Park — to juice a media tent for Sunday’s New York City Marathon.
And a third “backup” unit sits idle, in case one of the generators fails.
The three diesel-powered generators crank out 800 kilowatts — enough to power 400 homes in ravaged areas like Staten Island, the Rockaways and downtown Manhattan.
As of Friday morning, five generators sat outside of the park along with electrical stations and transformers.
In addition to the generators, a food services truck dropped off hundreds of cases of water, sparking angered responses from hurricane victims.
“I am from Coney Island where everything is flooded and underwater,” Yelena Gomelsky, 65, said. “I live 1 block from the ocean where everything is floating. “[Seeing the generators and water] makes me feel so bad. People have no food, no water, nothing.
“They should make all of these runners bring food and water to people’s houses who need it. They should bring all of these generators to buildings where old people live and give them power.”
Since emergency executive orders have been issued, the governor, mayor — or even President Obama — could take the generators for a more important use, explained Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman.
Such an emergency action would need the approval of the City Council, state Legislature or Congress. And they would have to compensate the owners of the devices.
But plenty in the city wish they had taken such decisive action. After all, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie postponed Halloween for safety reasons, so Gov. Cuomo or Mayor Bloomberg should issue an executive order for lifesaving generators.
Manhattah Borough Preisdent Scott Stringer voiced his opinion on Friday, saying that the city needs to recognize the suffering following “a tragedy of historic proportions.”
“New Yorkers in Staten Island, the Rockaways, Coney Island and Lower Manhattan are struggling to keep body and soul together, deprived of basic essentials as temperatures drop,” Stringer said.
“For this reason, and after significant deliberation, I believe we should postpone and re-schedule the New York City Marathon in order to focus all of the City’s resources on the crucial task of helping our neighbors recover from this disaster. New Yorkers deserve nothing less than to know that the entire government is focused solely on returning the City and their region back to normalcy.”