New York Police Ticket Two Surfers At Coney Island During Hurricane Sandy
By Rosie Gray
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — New York City officials said that the city had had to issue summonses to two people surfing at Coney Island on Monday in the thick of Hurricane Sandy.
“I think they refused to come out,” said New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly of the surfers, mentioned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier in thepress conference at the city’s Office of Emergency Management at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Kelly said there were two surfers.
Bloomberg called the press conference just as the storm was picking up in earnest in New York City, and repeated a number of the warnings he’s been making to New York residents for days, surrounded by other members of New York’s leadership. Bloomberg also added some new information: that nearly all area bridges and tunnels are being closed. The only real exit route out of New York is now the Lincoln Tunnel. Public transportation is expected to be closed through tomorrow, but “City employees are expected at work tomorrow and should do their best to get there,” Bloomberg said. The message until then: stay inside.
Bloomberg said the “vast majority” of power loss so far has been in Queens and Staten Island, but that Con Edison is considering pre-emptive power shutdowns in parts of Lower Manhattan and South Brooklyn.
Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke said that the company was “likely” going to shut down two underground networks in Manhattan that serve areas in lower Manhattan. He said that the company was carefully watching other parts of the city that require high voltage and may shut off power to them too.
According to the mayor, no fatalities have been reported in New York, and only one person has been taken to the hospital because of Sandy-related injuries (a jogger in Brooklyn who was struck by a falling tree limb).
“The most severe part of the storm is now beginning,” Bloomberg said. He also dismissed concerns about toxic Gowanus Canal water seeping into people’s homes.
“At this point, the water is going to — tomorrow morning it’ll be all over. It’ll be all over late tonight actually. Actually, the Gowanus Canal flooding should be going down in a couple hours,” he said.
An official from New York’s Department of Environmental Protection said “we’ll clean it up just like anything else.”
New York is beginning to be hit hard by the storm — though not yet with the same intensity as points south such as Atlantic City — and Bloomberg has been striking a stern tone with any and all residents who have refused to evacuate from flood zones.
“It’s not nasty, this is dangerous,” Bloomberg said.
“It’s as bad a storm as we’ve seen in the modern day,” Bloomberg said. “In the olden days, you would have had lots of fatalities.”