Long Island , NY - Post Sandy: Adding Insult To Injury In Far Rockaway And The 5 Towns
Long Island, NY - Four days after Hurricane Sandy forever changed the face of the Five Towns, area residents are baffled, frustrated and angered by the total lack of progress in their area.
According to Larry Gordon, editor of the Five Towns Jewish Times, two substations that serve the Far Rockaway area were destroyed by Monday night’s storm. Instead of splitting the crews and working to repair both substations simultaneously, all restoration efforts have been dedicated exclusively to rebuilding the substation that serves the nearby minority community. No plans have been announced yet to repair the substation that serves the Jewish community in Far Rockaway and the Five Towns.
“We pay the highest taxes in the United States here in Nassau County,” Gordon told VIN News. “Yet we have been groveling for five days and still have no response from anyone. Why do we have to wait for them to finish work on the other substation, and live totally in the dark? We have large families with lots of children who have no place to go and no one to take them in. The bottom line is people are suffering. It is cold, people are getting sick and there is no end in sight.”
Compounding the problem is the total lack of police presence in the area and according to Gordon, a Lawrence resident, all resources of the local precinct have been committed to patrolling the higher crime area in the Beach 30’s and 40’s.
“There are no police here at all,” declared Gordon. “This is a high crime area under normal circumstances and there have been numerous robberies and a lot of looting in stores. Several stores on Central Avenue have been broken into under the cover of darkness and without electricity there are no alarms. You walk in Cedarhurst at night and it is pitch black, like walking on the dark side of the moon. Shabbos is coming, even more people are leaving the area and quite frankly, people are afraid.”
Gordon alleges that much of the lawlessness in the area is the result of political bickering.
“Governor Cuomo wants to send in the National Guard to help patrol the area, but Mayor Bloomberg is against the idea, considering it an affront to the police department,” explained Gordon. “The mayor of Lawrence was also in favor of bringing in the Guard but it is a politically sensitive issue that could have long term implications with the Nassau County Police Department for the same reason.”
Bringing the National Guard in could also solve another problem that has been plaguing the area: traffic.
“There are no traffic lights and there are accidents all over the place,” said Gordon. “Things are crazy here. I spoke to Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and he told me he hopes that in a few days maybe things will improve to the point where we can be at a disaster level. Right now things are so bad we don’t even qualify as a disaster.”
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