New Yorkers suffer Sandy… and occupy it

Occupy Sandy

“Due to all the show cancellations, we've acquired an income gap of over $10k, which will take us a long time to make up. If you have a few dollars to spare, we'd be very grateful for a donation. There are almost 200,000 people in our area still without electricity, heat, and some even without water!” says Ellie Covan, founder of the Dixon Place in Lower East Manhattan. Her burgeoning artists playground is just one of the thousands of business affected by Sandy.

One week after the massive storm that caused 98 lives, the estimated costs have climbed to as much as $50 billion split between households, businesses, public infrastructures such as rail lines, roads and water and sewage systems and lost business activity. Sandy has been one of the U.S. most costly disasters. Although not as devastating as hurricane Katrina (2005), it has affected a densely populated area which is responsible for 20 percent of the country's GDP.

A low-motion New York

In New York hundreds of residents from the five boroughs are still spending their nights on shelters. 140,000 are lacking power. In gas stations huge lines of people with cans waited for their turn to fill the trunk. The primary problem remains lack of electricity rather than low supplies (many gas stations are without power, so they cannot pump). Commuting in the evening is still rough: some subway lines remain closed, as well as 10 percent of schools due to damage or lack of power.

For retailers Sandy has been a complete nightmare. They were expecting the final shipments for the Christmas season but the supply chain is totally clogged up. Many warehouses have been destroyed and almost all rail service from the ports is suspended.

Occupy Sandy

Some New Yorkers are organizing in a new movement called Occupy Sandy, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street that is already operating all over the city. Their leaders say they aim to help smaller communities where government relief organizations may not have arrived, gathering food and clothes, cleaning the badly damaged areas and even donating blood. So far the've received around $10,000 in donations via their website.


About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.