There’s one big difference between Superstorm Sandy and previous storms, such as Andrew (1992) or Katrina (2005), that struck in the southern part of the country. Sandy affected a northern region where winter weather is a rough reality. And three months after the storm, people whose heating systems are still out of commission have been shivering.
The New York Times posted this report in mid-January (“First Overwhelmed by the Hurricane, Now Struggling to Fight Off the Cold,” by Sarah Maslin Nir). “Devon Lawrence’s home in Far Rockaway, Queens, was washed through with ocean water that damaged his boiler and heating system beyond repair,” the Times reported. “At night, he tucks his 75-year-old mother, who has dementia and suffers from diabetes, under two blankets — she never takes off the four pairs of pants, three jackets and hat she wears indoors to hold off the seeping cold.”
The New York Daily News is on the story as well: (“Below freezing temperatures are endangering Hurricane Sandy victims who huddle in cold homes that lack heat or insulation,” by Edgar Sandoval and Ginger Adam Otis). Residents interviewed by the News revealed an inspiring amount of heart: writes the News, “Mary Lou Foley tries to stay warm in her Hurricane Sandy ravaged house in Breezy Point. She has been staying here for the past month without heat, sleeping on a comforter on the floor but she has remained optimistic and says she is ‘happy.’”
New York TV station WNBC (Channel 4) has this report: (“Sandy Victims Shiver Through Cold Snap With No Heat,” by Greg Cergol). “The problem for some Long Island residents, according to gas provider National Grid, is that moisture left from Sandy has frozen in the pipes carrying gas to heat the homes,” the station reports.
“In the damaged New Dorp Beach neighborhood on Staten Island, people who haven’t had heat since the late October storm have been taking refuge in tents set up by aid workers,” reported CBS New York (“Superstorm Sandy Victims Tormented By Bitter Cold”). “Propane heaters barely kept up with the cold and workers provided sleeping bags and blankets and for warmth.” Commented Anthony Gambino, a Staten Island homeowner whose power has been out for three months, “What am I supposed to do? Grin and bear it like everybody else.”