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Lawlessness and Fear take Over the Outer Boroughs as they Enter Sixth day Without Power

As lights have begun flickering on in Lower  Manhattan, residents of the Rockaways in Queens continued  struggling  without power, heat or food for a sixth day as their neighborhood slowly  descended into chaos.

With little police presence on the  storm-ravaged streets, many residents of the peninsula have been forced to take  their protection into their own hands, arming themselves with guns, baseball  bats and even bows and arrows to ward off thugs seeking to loot their  homes.

It has been reported that crooks have been  disguising themselves as Long Island Power Authority workers and coming by homes  on the peninsula in the middle of the night while real utility workers were  nowhere to be found.

‘We booby-trapped our door and keep a  baseball bat beside our bed,’ Danielle Harris, 34, told the New York Daily News.

The woman added that she has been hearing  gunshots likely fired in the nearby housing project for three nights in a  row.

Meanwhile, local surfer Keone Singlehurst  said that he stockpiled knives, a machete and a bow and arrow.

‘I would take a looter with a boa if a felt  threatened I would definitely use it,’ he said. ‘It’s like the wild west. A  borderline lawless situation.’

City Councilman James Sanders said he fears  that things are going to get even worse.

‘We have an explosive mix here,’ he said.  ‘People will take matters into their own hands.’

Sanders has directed much of his anger and  frustration at LIPA, calling on the City Council to investigate the utility for  ignoring the Rockaways for so long.

‘LIPA has failed the people of the  Rockaways,’ he said. ‘It’s a question of class… serving the richer areas of  Long Island and ignoring the Rockaways.’

Walter Meyer, 37, told the Daily News that  the Rockaways of today bears little resemblance to the peaceful  place where he  has surfed so many times in the past.

‘After sunset everyone locks their doors,’ he  said. ‘They’re trying to find  whatever weapons they can find. Some people are  even using bows and  arrows.’

Along with  mounting safety concerns,  homeowners in the beachfront community hit  hard by Hurricane Sandy that has  left 109 dead continued to face hunger, complaining that federal officials have  left them to fend for  themselves.

‘Rockaways always get left over,’ said Meyer.  ‘It’s treated like a marginalized land in the city.’

Most of the grocery stores in the area have  not reopened since the storm,  and the neighborhood has been left cut off from  the rest of the city,  with no trains or even shuttle buses servicing the  residents.

Stranded neighbors largely have been relying  on volunteers delivering food,  water and other basic necessities while the Red  Cross and FEMA were  still nowhere in sight.

‘We can’t exist,’ said Ann Manning. ‘We can’t  buy milk. We can’t buy cereal. We can’t buy nothing.’

As they scrape round desperately for food and  are forced to use their gas  hobs to keep warm, many claim they are the  forgotten victims of Sandy.

The Borough President of Staten Island called  the reaction of Red Cross –  or lack thereof – to the devastation caused by  Sandy an ‘absolute  disgrace’.

James Molinaro went as far as to tell people  not to donate to the charity because when push came to shove, the group just  didn’t deliver when Staten Island needed them the most.

‘My advice to the people of Staten Island is  do not donate to the American Red Cross,’ said Mr Molinaro. ‘Let them get their  money elsewhere.’

‘It’s an absolute disgrace in a county that  has always responded to disasters all over the world,’ he said.

‘Katrina – we sent them down four trailer  loads of food, water and one trailer load of generators. No one’s responding to  us.’

Residents are pleading for help as they fear  their devastated neighborhoods are being ignored.

In a Coney Island apartment block, where  tenants huddle together in one room and human waste spills out of the toilet,  tenant Jeffery Francis despairs that help is not getting to Brooklyn  faster.

We are scavenging for food like animals,’ he  told the New York Daily News. ‘We are in a crisis and no one will help us. Look  at us. We are misery. Everyone cares about Manhattan. No one is looking out for  us. Nothing.’

At another apartment where power is still  out, residents are out of food and praying for help. Albert Miller, 58, told the  paper: ‘One person found a sandwich and we split it four ways.’

While power is likely to be returned to  Manhattan’s East and West Villages, Financial District, Chelsea, Chinatown and  the Lower East Side by the weekend, according to the power company Con Edison  outages in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are not expected to be repaired  for another week.

Across Staten Island residents are also  increasingly frustrated they are being passed over while other parts of New York  and New Jersey receive aid and attention.

Residents are furious the island is being  prepared as the starting line for Sunday’s marathon, while hundreds are left  hungry and without homes in the wake of the superstorm.

One resident there told CBS station WCBS, ‘We’re gonna die! We’re gonna freeze! We’ve got 90-year-old people!’

atvel Pritchard, of Staten Island, told CBS  News, ‘Though people don’t talk about Staten Island much, people are here, a lot  of people are hurting, so it’s upsetting.’

Homes across Brooklyn and Coney Island are  some of the worst hit in the wake of the superstorm.

Many houses shattered into piles of bricks  and splintered planks at Coney Island, while others stand waterlogged and  abandoned.

One gated community at the tip of the island,  Seagate, was particularly badly hit, with some houses entirely washed away or  flattened.

For power companies, the scale of the  destruction was unmatched – more widespread than any blizzard or ice storm and  worse than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

‘It’s unprecedented: fallen trees, debris,  the roads, water, snow. It’s a little bit of everything,’ said Brian Wolff,  senior vice president of the Edison Electric Institute, a group that lobbies for  utilities.

Initially, about 60 million people were  without power in 8.2 million homes and businesses.

By Wednesday night, that number had fallen to  roughly 44 million people in 6 million households and businesses and today  around 3.6 million are without power

Residents are pleading for help as they fear  their devastated neighbourhoods are being ignored.

In a Coney Island apartment block,  where  tenants huddle together in one room and human waste spills out of  the toilet,  tenant Jeffery Francis despairs that help is not getting to  Brooklyn faster.

‘We are scavenging for food like  animals,’ he told the New York Daily News. ‘We are in a crisis and no  one will help us.  Look at us. We are misery. Everyone cares about  Manhattan. No one is looking  out for us. Nothing.’

At another apartment where power is  still  out, residents are out of food and praying for help. Albert  Miller, 58, told  the paper: ‘One person found a sandwich and we split it four ways.’

While power is likely to be returned  to  Manhattan’s East and West Villages, Financial District, Chelsea,  Chinatown and  the Lower East Side by the weekend, according to the power company Con Edison  outages in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are  not expected to be repaired  for another week.

Across Staten Island residents are  also  increasingly frustrated they are being passed over while other  parts of New  York and New Jersey receive aid and attention.

Residents are furious the island is  being  prepared as the starting line for Sunday’s marathon, while  hundreds are left  hungry and without homes in the wake of the  superstorm.

One resident there told CBS station WCBS, ‘We’re gonna die! We’re gonna freeze! We’ve got 90-year-old people!’

Natvel Pritchard, of Staten Island,  told CBS  News, ‘Though people don’t talk about Staten Island much,  people are here, a  lot of people are hurting, so it’s upsetting.’

Source: The Daily Mail

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Posted by on November 3, 2012. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.