Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath - Roosevelt Island Donations At 475 Main Street Lobby Box and Tomorrow (Sunday) Morning In Front Of PS/IS 217

Reported last Thursday that:

...A reader with a very good idea asks:

I'm wondering if there will be any sort of Roosevelt Island collection? Like many people, we stocked up on water, candles, and dry goods. We could use these I guess, but I feel like there are probably a lot of people who NEED them way more that we do.

It'd be great to hear if anyone is organizing a collection - we'd love to donate our extras....
I've been advised of two opportunities for Roosevelt Island residents to donate goods.

A Southtown resident reports:
Some have been asking for a way to donate items they bought for storm preparation and I just wanted to let you know:
My building has boxes in the lobby collecting canned goods and clothing. It is the only location I've heard of so far. So if have things you want to drop off, come to 475 Main St!
and Assembly Member Micah Kellner tweets:
Items needed include:
Food, blankets, batteries, hygiene products, water, flashlights, diapers, socks hats, golves, and smiles are needed
Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin provides this list of volunteer opportunities this weekend.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered this week or have asked what they can do this weekend.  While power has now been restored to the Lower East Side, there are still thousands of New Yorkers who need our help.  We are continuing to focus our efforts on food and water distribution, canvassing, and cleanup.

If you have a car with gasoline in the tank, please consider going to Staten Island, the Far Rockaways, Red Hook or Coney Island this weekend.  The devastation and loss in those communities is heartbreaking.

Below is a selected list of volunteer options for the weekend.  Whichever one you choose, please be patient. Needs on the ground can shift quickly.  A large group of volunteers can arrive all at once.  Organizers may ask you to walk or drive somewhere else.  If that happens, please remember that everyone is doing their best to help.

Bring your own food and water for personal consumption.  Dress warmly.  Wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight and backpack.

Jessica Lappin

Activity: Far Rockaway Food Distribution
Location: Council Member Sanders District Office, 234-26 A Merrick Blvd, Laurelton, New York 11422
Dates and Times: Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-3PM

Activity: Coney Island Food Distribution and Senior Canvassing
Location: 2770 West 5th Rm 4C (Warbath Houses)
Dates and Times: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30AM - 5PM

Activity: Staten Island Food and Water Distibution
Location: Crossroads Church @ the Lane Theater 168 New Dorp Lane
Time: Saturday and Sunday, 12-6pm

Activity: Staten Island Cleanup (Coordinated through Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis office)
Location: Ceder Grove Ave and Wavecrest Street, Staten Island
Time– cleanup: Saturday - 9am-5PM

Activity: Red Hook Food Distribution, NYCHA canvassing and cleanup
Location:767 Hicks Street (Red Hook Recovers)
Time: Saturday and Sunday, 10AM-6PM

Activity: East Village Food Distribution and Senior Canvassing
Location: GOALS 169 Ave. B
Time: Saturday and Sunday, 11-5PM

Activity: Lower East Side Food and Water Distibution
Location: 200 Madison Street
Time: Saturday, starting at 10AM

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath - Roosevelt Island Octagon Building Power Just Got Power Restored

Image Of Powerless Octagon Building During Hurricane Sandy From Olivia Rios

As reported previously, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Building last Monday and residents have been without electricity since then. Earlier this morning, I went over to the Octagon and saw Con Ed workers attempting

to re-establish electricity service for the building.

I just received word from an Octagon resident that Con Ed has restored power and they now have electricity.

Before the power was restored, Jonathan Hoo of the Riverwalk Bar & Grill together with Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy

Image Of Jonathan Hoo and Judy Berdy Delivering Food To Octagon Residents

delivered donated food today to the Octagon residents

The days after Hurricane Sandy have bee difficult and frustrating for our neighbors at the Octagon. One resident reports today:

In our city, where remarkable compassion is bubbling up to a boil, there is a very loud, small, sometimes cackling with laughter group of self centered, whiners sitting in the octagon lobby holding court, giving obnoxious audience to every minor complaint that walks by.

It is impossible to concentrate at the emergency computer station set up to serve the building. They want a personal note from the building owner- the building manager working practically around the clock, in contact with the owner, is not enough for them. They want a technical explanation of what the problem with the electricity is. What part of WE DON'T KNOW YET is impossible for these entitled whiners to understand? They want a technical explanation of the problem in the middle of the crisis, as if their personal understanding of a fuel cell, ConEd's massive electric feed to this building, photovoltaic panels, their connections and relationships is going to help anything except their egocentric outlook. Previously, they spread a rumor that the fuel cell was hooked up wrong, as if they have the knowledge to approach knowing this. They can't be bothered to check their email for the status reports issued from the building "it is too much trouble" one said. If the bldg owner wrote them each a personal note, they wouldn't get it anyway. I'm sitting at the computer station now with room to spare, and others who must have far superior computer skills than they, who prefer to constantly complain instead of, at the very least, ask to read the updates from one of the 'geniuses' who didn't find it difficult to get their email.

Instead of sitting on their asses complaining, they could be helping to clean up one of our devastated neighborhoods, helping with door to door searches for people with no food, working at a shelter...but their self professed ignorance of the need in this city escapes them. "I can only see what is around me and everyone else looks fine and has electricity." one stated.

My eyes have not seen the devastation either, but what type of person hasn't heard? What type of person, day after day, sits around with blinders on, in the middle of a crisis, demanding personal notes, that a valuable expert use their precious time to explain technical problems to make them feel better? Maybe I need to have compassion for these people who seem so incredibly selfish. Cancel the formula. But do send pacifiers. The power is now on but the residents here will have to endure their drivel for months if they have nothing in their mouths.
Here's what the East River looked like by the Octagon on October 29 just before Hurricane Sandy arrived.

Meet Roosevelt Island Candidates For RIOC Board Nominees and RIRA President & Vice President Today 3 PM At Good Shepherd Community Center - Ask Questions About Hurricane Sandy Or Any Other Issue Of Concern The Community

Image of Subway RIOC Board Nominee Election Banner

Meet the candidates for Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Nominees and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President and Vice President later today 3 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

Come learn about how the Roosevelt Island community is governed and ask questions about Hurricane Sandy or any other issue of concern to you.

More information on the RIRA election is available at their web site and previous post.

Image of June 2011 RIRA Meeting

More information on RIOC Board Nominee elections at these previous posts including video of RIOC resident Directors explaining what is involved in being a RIOC Director.

The RIOC and RIRA election will be held on the same day as the Presidential election on Tuesday November 6.

Here is a list of candidates provided by RIRA:

Larry Parnes
Michael Shinozaki
Margie Smith
Lydia Tang

RIRA President:

Ellen Polivy

RIRA Vice President:

Jeffrey Escobar
Sharon (Nneka) Pope

Island House

Helen Chirivas
Frank Farance
Russell Fields

Manhattan Park

Barbara Allen
Michael Churchill
Arnold Cohen
Julina Hooks
Mark Lyon
Bryn Bass McCleary
Ilonka Salisbury
Lynne Shinozaki
Joseph Strong

MP - 2 River Road

Steven Heller

MP - 4 River Road

Jim Bates


Jeffrey Escobar
Elisabeth Stapen
Nicole Walden


Ellen Polivy
Sharon (Nneka) Pope
Ethel Romm

Roosevelt Landings

Cynthia Ahn
Laila Amatullah
Juyana Armstrong
Ahmad (Bob) Darwish
Vivian Hines
Linda Maynard-Hall
Joyce Mincheff
Romano Reid
Lorraine Williams

RL - 546 Main

Dolores Green


Trevre Andrews
Eva Bosbach
Peter Digilio
David Evans
Aaron Hamburger
George Ohring
Mickey Rindler
Mona Sen


Erin Feely-Nahem
Susan Marcus

Friday, November 2, 2012

Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Without Power, Heat Or Hot Food Since Hurricane Sandy Last Monday Night

Reported earlier this week that Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital was flooded by Hurricane Sandy and without power causing the evacuation

Image of Patients Evacuated From Coler Hospital  By Judy Berdy

of over a hundred fragile patients to Goldwater Hospital.

Earlier this evening, I received these photos taken at 4 PM today from Coler Hospital.
Nurse with back to camera is in children’s unit

Dim hallway in adult patient unit


Outside the hospital: pumping out the water and the non-functioning generator

The place has not had power, heat or hot food since the storm Monday night.

The power is slowly coming on in one building in Coler with a generator. Tonight it will be 39 degrees on Roosevelt Island and there is still no heat or hot water.
A Roosevelt Island resident observes in this tweet:

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath - Roosevelt Island's Octagon Building Still Without Power, When Will It Be Back On Residents Ask?

Image Of Powerless Octagon Building During Hurricane Sandy From Olivia Rios

Roosevelt Island resident Mark Lyon captures the moment power and lights went out during Hurricane Sandy last Monday October 31 at the Octagon Building which is equipped with a state-of-the-art hydrogen/oxygen/natural gas fuel cell.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Time Lapse

In an email dated at approximately 1 AM this morning, Octagon Building management reported to residents:
On October 31, I received this and many other similar comments from Octagon residents:
...things are not good at the Octagon, I finally had to leave the building. I couldn't take it any longer. It got cold last night and my floor is starting to smell. People are camping out in the lobby where the manager Barbara is also manning her command center. Everyone is on edge, the doormen have been working nonstop as well as Barbara. I have not heard that about the fuel cell. That is news to me....

... When I left this afternoon they finally got a charging strip for people to power cell phones and computers. I think the water also is back working but no hot water...
Also, Octagon resident Jeffrey Escobar added on October 31:
The water surge devastated our building's lower floors, flooding our 1st floor with four feet of water. We lost power at the height of the surge at 8 or so and have had no power since. A major tree was uprooted and knocked over, ripped at the roots. Because of the flooding, the daycare center is closed indefinitely, putting some 40 or 50 families or so with no childcare. We also have no hot water due to the failure of the pump that rises the hot water to the upper floors.

The backup generator is running, with moderate lights. People are keeping their doors open to use the hallway emergency lights to provide some lighting into the apartments.

Unsure what happened with fuel cell, but I doubt it is bc it was not connected prior to the hurricane. Work had been completed a year ago.

It is a bit abysmal, but we are plugging along.
Another Octagon resident adds on November 1:
The Octagon power blew out after the Coler hospital basement flooded. There was a burning smell coming from the hospital after an explosion. Coler's emergency generator went on for about an hour before it too was flooded and blew out.

Octagon's power was attached to the hospital. The Army Corp of Engineers was at Coler pumping water out of the basement Tuesday. They have relocated over 90 patients to Goldwater and other places and contained a ward with emergency power. Damage at Coler will take many days to repair.

ConEd has now disconnected the Octagon's power from Coler and we will likely have power by Thursday. In the meantime, we have warm water as of Wed. evening, gas stoves and mgmt is supplying ice, ironing boards & iron stations and charging stations for phones and computers. Mgmt set up temporary WIFI in the lobby on Wednesday.

 Image From Judy Berdy

Boilers are run by computer and two of the ten boilers have been manually turned on. Without the computers, there are no readings on the interior pressure so this had to be done slowly. Despite sandbags 4' high around doors, diligent mopping and water removal by staff, water overwhelmed all and the basement storage units, nursery school and other spaces on the basement level flooded about 6 inches. It was removed by the next day.

One large tree went down on the west side of the Octagon, near the barbq area and one large tree on the NE tennis court fence. One large tree was also uprooted in the water treatment fenced area.

Image Of Uprooted Octagon Tree From Oliva Rios

Octagon held a Halloween party for our kids prior to trick or treat and many residents socialized at the party and around the charging stations. Many residents have decorated with candles and leave the door open to let in the emergency hall lighting. It feels somewhat romantic here.
And just received this message from another Octagon resident minutes ago:
Does anyone know ANYTHING about restoring power to the Octagon??? The so called "24HOURS" they estimated yesterday have come and gone..... How long does it take to create the 'separate feed'????? [my angst is NOT against Barbara I TRULY believe she is doing the best she can given the spot she isn. But I can't help but believe that this is YET another example of INSUFFICIENT AND LACK OF Service Maintenance Agreements as well as Emergency Response Coverage not ASSURED by PRC for the advanced electrical equipment powering our residences. In short and simply put its negligence on part of the management company!!!!
I have asked Octagon building management for comment but have yet to receive a reply.

UPDATE 5:05 PM - Assembly Member Micah Kellner informs me that he just spoke with Con Ed and Octagon representatives. A special Con Ed team is on its way to the Octagon to assess the power situation at the building.

UPDATE 7:30 PM - Octagon Building managent sent out the following message to residents at approximately 6 PM this evening.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath - Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Opens On Monday November 5 - Did Not Sustain Flooding Or Power Outages Reports Principal

 Image of PS/IS 217 Construction Project

Received the following report from Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman
PS/IS 217 will be open and ready for students on Monday, November 5th. We are thankful that our school building did not sustain any flooding or power outages. Our staff is eager to get back to teaching our students. They will provide time for the students to share their experiences during the past few days. Thank you for your continuing interest.

Report From Acting RIOC President Don Lewis - Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Status, Meeting With Governor Cuomo's Secretary Larry Schwartz, Cornell NYC Tech, FDR Memorial, Halloween Parade And Thanks RIOC Employees For Work During Storm

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
First and foremost, I hope that everyone in the Roosevelt Island community and their loved ones remained safe through Hurricane Sandy. I would like to extend a special thank you to the Corporation’s Public Safety, Grounds, Transportation and Engineering teams who all went above and beyond the call of duty, and in certain instances worked tirelessly through the night to keep our wonderful Island safe during this tumultuous time. A list of RIOC employees who were part of this tremendous effort and spent the majority of the storm away from their families, and on the Island, is included at the end of this column. Thank you all.

Hurricane Sandy

In order to effectively respond to the storm, RIOC employed the emergency management procedures we learned during Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training attended by certain staff last year. We established an Emergency Command Center at the Public Safety Department’s (PSD) headquarters, and coordinated with the City’s Office of Emergency Management, NYPD and FDNY before, during and after the storm. We also effectively applied lessons learned during Hurricane Irene, such as establishing alternate emergency phone numbers in the event of an outage with the main PSD line. By effectively implementing FEMA’s procedures, we are eligible for federal reimbursement funds to help cover the costs incurred as a result of the storm.

We spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday assessing damage to the Island. Lighthouse Park experienced substantial flooding, there was damage to multiple Island trees, and certain locations on the Island lost power. We’ve also had to close the Island parks, but hope that both Southpoint and Four Freedoms Park will reopen by the time this column is distributed in The Wire on Friday.

We are pleased to note we have not received any reports of injuries incurred on the Island as a result of the storm. We are also pleased to report that both the Red Bus and Tram were back in service as of 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday and complimentary rides offered on both services on Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday.

RIOC Board Meets with Secretary to Gov. Cuomo, Larry Schwartz

Larry Schwartz, Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo, attended the October 25 meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors. The meeting was highly productive and Secretary Schwartz discussed Island issues with the Board and addressed Island residents in attendance. We are pleased to note that Mr. Schwartz made clear that he and the Administration intend to work closely and collaboratively with the RIOC Board and Island residents going forward. Mr. Schwartz’s remarks are important affirmations of the Administration’s commitment to the Roosevelt Island community.

Cornell Update

On October 22, representatives from Cornell provided an update on campus plans at a meeting of Community Board 8. The representatives listened to concerns and answered questions from Roosevelt Island residents. I can assure the Island community that RIOC is deeply engaged with Cornell and the City on the planning of the campus and its potential effects on Island infrastructure. We are fully aware of the magnitude of this project and of the legitimate concerns Island residents have concerning the same. As noted, we have been working closely with Cornell and the City on infrastructure (as well as other) issues in order to ensure that the community’s concerns, as well as RIOC’s, are properly heard and properly addressed. We will continue to listen carefully to feedback from the Island community as we move forward on this exciting project.

Four Freedoms Park Draws Big Crowds

As expected, Four Freedoms Park is proving to be quite a draw, with over 3,500 visitors from Wednesday, October 24 (public opening date) through Sunday October 28. Guests have included visitors from all over the world, including Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Norway, Italy and France, as well as visitors from various states, and of course, a slew of New Yorkers. Other visitors of note include, Jim Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin and Eleanor, accompanied by his wife and daughter, Gordon Davis – NYC Parks Commissioner in the 80’s – with Diane Coffey, Chief of Staff to Mayor Ed Koch, and The President of Salk Institute – the famous Louis Kahn building in La Jolla, California – attended with his family.

The park will be recruiting volunteers and training tour guides who can educate visitors about the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the architecture of Louis Kahn and the rich history of Roosevelt Island. For more information, you can sign up for updates at

Halloween Parade a Success

I had an absolute blast celebrating Halloween with RIOC staff and the rest of the community last Saturday at the Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade & Extravaganza – in case you didn’t recognize me and other RIOC employees, we were dressed as Big Bad (Friendly) Pirates!!! The weather was perfect so we were able to hold the event outdoors for the first time in years. We enjoyed an exceptional performance from the Brooklyn-based Approaching Storm Marching Band comprised of middle-school and high-school children.

We were very pleased to see RIOC Council Member Jessica Lappin and Senator Jose M. Serrano in attendance with their families, joining hundreds of costumed Roosevelt Islanders for the parade and festivities at Capobianco Field. We also would like to thank Urban American and the Roosevelt Island Youth Center for co-sponsoring this free-for-the-public event and for helping to make it the Biggest and Best Parade & Extravaganza of All-Time!!!

(Thank you to the following RIOC employees who worked through Hurricane Sandy: Public Safety: Keith Guerra, Rene Bryan, Estrella Suarez, Wanda Coleman, Gary Yee, Rodell Lindsey, Raul Hernandez, Patricia Gamble, Lilia Paguada, Christian Gilmore, Jeffrey Laszczych, Ralph Torrens, Lisa Williams, Kionna Wray, Steven Cohen, Deborah Viel, Luis Candelario; Engineering: Alex Snedkov, Robert Greene, Santo Verta, Juan Rivera, Rajcoomar Megnath, Alex Banashko; Grounds: Fernando Vargas, Toni Tinoco, Fidel Cintron, Juan Cruz, Chris Gonzalez, Jamal Perry; Transportation Cyril “Cy” Opperaman, Shamsodeen Satar, Joe Marino, Joe Franchi. I would also like to thank Community Relations Specialist Erica Spencer-El who did a tremendous job of keeping the Island community informed of Sandy related issues.)

Roosevelt Island Library Open Today, Friday, November 2 From 11am -5:00 PM - Afternoon Program With Storyteller LuAnn Adams Celebrating Food Folktales With Stories Such As Green Eggs And Ham

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Public Library yesterday:
The Roosevelt Island Library will reopen Friday, November 2 from 11am -5:00 pm.  We are hosting a couple of programs tomorrow and I've provided additional information from our website (including info on fines).
Roosevelt Island Library
524 Main Street New York, NY 10044-0001
Contact: Justine Vanpoelvoorde at (212) 308-6243

Fri, Nov 2 at 11:30am – 12:30pm
Drop in Craft: Mexican Tissue Paper Flowers. For ages 4 and old.

Fri, Nov 2 at 2pm
The Things We Eat: Tales to Celebrate the Treasures of Food.
Every creature in the world needs food to live and thrive. Storyteller LuAnn Adams celebrates food in folktales, stories, and songs that include trips to Africa, Jamaica, and Minnesota. Hear stories such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Anansi and the Tiger’s Soup,” and “The Carrot.” For all ages.
The New York Public Library has sustained virtually no structural damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy; any minor damage was repaired very quickly by the Library's Facilities team. As a result, 62 branches (including seven that were not open on Nov. 1) will be open on November 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are proud that we can open our doors and serve the various needs of New Yorkers, but please note, due to power outages, services will vary location to location. For example, patrons may not be able to check out items or pick up holds. Please call ahead for for the latest information.
The Hurricane Sandy recovery continues.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NYC Hurricane Sandy Transportation Recovery Continues, Free Roosevelt Island Tram and Red Bus Ride On Thursday and Friday - Limited Subway Service, Including Roosevelt Island F Train Service Returns Too

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Please be advised that both the Red Bus and Tram will continue to be free of charge Thursday, November 1, 2012 and Friday, November 2, 2012.

For additional information, please call Public Safety at 212-832-4545. In the event that the phone line is busy, please use the following alternate numbers: 917-541-9156 or 917-541-9167


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Also, according to the MTA:
Limited Fare Free Service To Be Restored On Subways, Full Service Rolls on Buses

Subway service will be limited Thursday, due to ongoing water remediation, infrastructure repairs and power related problems. Limited service will operate along parts of several routes between The Bronx, Upper Manhattan and Midtown. Other lines will run in parts of Queens and Brooklyn, with service terminating in Downtown Brooklyn. Shuttle Bus service will be available at Jay St - MetroTech, Atlantic Ave - Barclays Center and Hewes St in Williamsburg to 57th St and Lexington Ave in Midtown Manhattan. See Bus Routes.

The restoration of subway service was made possible by the hard work of hundreds of Transit Workers who inspected miles of track, removing debris that washed into the system, dried out components and made necessary repairs. In other parts of the system heavy duty pump trains continue to evacuate thousands of gallons of water that filled 7 underwater tunnels. Station Environment crews removed and repaired canopies on elevated stations ripped off by Sandy's strong gusts, while cleaners removed debris. Track Workers checked rails for damage while Signal Maintainers inspected and tested equipment that was submerged under water. Electronic Mchecked critical electrical systems, including crucial communications equipment.

Late Wednesday night, the system was energized and 3rd Rail power was restored. During the night crews will begin running trains throughout the system to polish rials and ensure there are no track or other component defects before service begins.

Because subway service will be limited, waits will be longer and trains will be more crowded. Customers are advised to consider changing their normal routines to travel later in the morning or later in the evening.
The F Train will stop at Roosevelt Island and go no further downtown than 34th Street.

From Transportation Nation, here's the new post Hurricane Sandy temporary subway map.

Any Roosevelt Island Interest In Donating Extra Hurricane Sandy Supplies And Volunteering To Help Clean Up Community Ask Residents - How About It

You Tube Video of Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Volunteers

A reader with a very good idea asks:
I'm wondering if there will be any sort of Roosevelt Island collection? Like many people, we stocked up on water, candles, and dry goods. We could use these I guess, but I feel like there are probably a lot of people who NEED them way more that we do.

It'd be great to hear if anyone is organizing a collection - we'd love to donate our extras.
Another resident asks:
Is there any kind of volunteer headed cleanup effort going on? like raking leaves etc? If there is....I would love to volunteer......
Any one else interested. Let's get started.

If President Obama and NJ Governor Chris Christie can work together

well so can we.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different, Hurricane Sandy Roosevelt Island Gangnam Style - Also RIOC Offices Closed Thursday November 11 And All Parks And Sportspark Closed Until Further Notice

Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Gangnam Style.

You Tube Video of Oppa Hurricane Sandy Style

Also, according to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Please be advised RIOC offices will be closed Thursday, November 1, 2012.

Sportspark and all parks will remain closed until further notice.

For additional information, please call Public Safety at 212-832-4545. In the event that the phone line is busy, please use the following alternate numbers:

917-541-9156 or 917-541-9167


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

It's Halloween On Roosevelt Island Tonight - Forget About Hurricane Sandy For A While

Hey, it's still Halloween today despite the problems caused by Hurricane Sandy so Roosevelt Island kids are out Trick Or Treeting as shown by this tweet from a Roosevelt Island resident:

Have some fun tonight. You deserve it.


UPDATE 10:50 PM - Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy adds:
Life goes on in Octagon. With minimum electricity and lights, the residents are a tough and great group.

Barbara Clark the General Manager had a Halloween Party

this afternoon to occupy the kids in the building. It was great to see the kids and parents decorating the Club Room

and doing fun activities. The party was held before dark, since there are minimal lights at night!

In the lobby tenants were charging their cell phones and devices on one of the few working outlets!!!

Barbara, you are our Manager of the Year
Despite the Halloween fun at the Octagon, a building resident asks Con Ed in this tweet:

Incredible Rainbow Over Roosevelt Island And East River Day After Hurricane Sandy - Offers Glimpse Of Hope

Incredible image of Rainbow over East River and Roosevelt Island taken day after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City by Inga Sarda-Sorensen who tweets

New York City Hurricane Sandy Flooding Causes Evacuation Of Fragile Patients At Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital - An Eyewitness Report

Image Of Ambulances Arriving To Evacuate Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Patients From Judy Berdy

Reported last night on the evacuation of some patients at Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital

  Image of Coler Goldwater Hospital From NY Hospital Flowers

to Goldwater Hospital due to lack of electricity at Coler caused by Hurricane Sandy flooding. Assembly Member Micah Kellner confirmed last night that some patients were being evacuated from Coler stating:
the most vulnerable being moved to Goldwater.  Others are resting in place. 
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy was assisting during the evacuation. Ms Berdy shares this report and photos of what happened.
I was on my way to watch the first tram leave the Island on Tuesday at 4 p.m. A call came, would I like to help out the moving of patients from Coler to Goldwater Hospitals? I have been a Community Board member at Coler for years and I said sure. Any additional pair of hands would help.

I was at Goldwater Hospital from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. There are about 100 patients from Coler that had to be transferred to Goldwater. Coler has been without electricity since the storm and the critical patients were moved tonight and through the night to the Goldwater campus.

It was a long process of getting the residents ready to be moved, getting them to ambulances a and having space in Goldwater ready to receive them. They had to be moved down the darkened staircases some in wheelchairs, many on stretchers. Luckily Coler is only 5 stories, but even a few flights of steps can be harrowing.

Image From Judy Berdy

As with the NYU evacuation it sounds simple, but moving medically fragile patients whether infants or elderly is a treacherous operations.

 Image From Judy Berdy

When the ambulances arrived at Goldwater

Image From Judy Berdy

we saw that they were manned with mutual aid teams from all over the country some were from Indiana, Illinois and South Carolina.

Image From Judy Berdy

They had left their states and were sent to Fort Dix to be deployed. Our ten ambulances had wonderful and dedicated EMT's and Paramedics.

 Image From Judy Berdy

The executive and departmental staffs were on had to check in each patient and get them to a warm bed upstairs.

We handed out blankets and swiftly they moved the patients to the units. Some were stunned to suddenly be moved and arrive at a strange place in the middle of the night.

The operation will go on till dawn with dedicated staff on hand to help everyone arriving.

The northern end of the island where Coler and Octagon are located were hit much worse and the entire basement of Coler had 6 feet of water in it.The staff at both campuses are amazing. They had been there for days. Some came in the ambulances to take care of their patients.

The seawalls had been beached, One car in the Coler east side parking lot ended up against the hospital wall, driven there by the wave surge.

Without new seawalls and reinforced embankments no new construction should be permitted. It may be a once in a century event, but this is the time to demand a safer island. Walk around the campuses and you can see the high water marks along with the damage it caused.

It is so sad to see the future of Goldwater. She suffered minimal damage and flooding during the hurricane. It is a tough old building but can withstand anything, but the bulldozer. Where will our fragile people go when her doors close Some have had plans made and many still await to learn their future.
Ms. Berdy reference to new construction and the bulldozer is to the Cornell NYC Tech project that will be built on the site of Goldwater Hospital after it is demolished although the closing of Goldwater Hospital had been planned before Cornell NYC Tech was contemplated.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Portions Of Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Without Power - Most Vulnerable Patients Evacuated To Nearby Goldwater Hospital

 Image of Coler Goldwater Hospital From NY Hospital Flowers

Earlier this afternoon reader Mike G asked:
Anyone know what's going on at the north end? A train of ambulances (10 maybe?) just went by 40 RR heading north...
Then I saw ths tweet:
and received this tip from a reliable source:
Mike G question about ambulances and ambulettes headed north to Coler might be to transport some patients to Goldwater.

Coler having power probs
Goldwater has power and the room.
National guard moving 90+ patients.

16 ambulances making several trips for about 90 patients.
 I sent the following inquiry to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
 I am told that Coler Hospital is evacuating patients. Is that true.

Do you have any additional info on the matter

Thank you
Received no response from RIOC.

Sent the same inquiry to Assembly Member Micah Kellner. Mr. Kellner replied:
the most vunerable being moved to Goldwater.  Others are resting in place. 
Thank you Mr. Kellner for the answer.

A Goldwater patient adds:
A big thank you, for goldwater staff. The have been heroic working 48 hours
Some recent tweets concerning Coler Hospital:
Here's Mayor Bloomberg's Press Conference this afternoon on NYC's recovery from Hurricane Sandy. No mention of the problems at Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital from Mayor Bloomberg.

Day After Hurricane Sandy Hits New York City - Clean Up Work And Back To Normal For Some On Roosevelt Island But Not Everybody

Received the following video from Roosevelt Island resident Goran Veljic showing Roosevelt Island trying to get back to normal after Hurricane Sandy's visit to New York City

but not all is returning to normal yet on Roosevelt Island. A resident of Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings reports:

I'm surprised to see that no one has reported the power outage in Eastwood.

I am a resident in building 510/10th floor. My power went out at 10:00 PM yesterday. That I know of, only one other resident on the 10th floor has their power out.

When I looked across the courtyard, it looked like there were few apartments out of power in 540, but not many.

I called public safety at 10:30 PM and they said there were several residents with their power out and that it was being worked on. Seemed like a false generic response. I doubt that anyone was working on the power during the storm in the middle of the night.

This morning, I called the Urban American management office and was told that electricians were working on the outage. When I asked approximately how many apartments were effected, I was told it was not known.

On my way outside at 12pm, I asked the neighbors that I saw if their power was out. Several said no.

A neighbor who was posted in the lobby of 510, charging her phone and doing some work said her power was out. When she went to management this morning, they told her that they intentionally shut the power off in a few apartments on the east side of Eastwood because the transformer was at risk of flooding and that they were pumping out water. I was surprised that they would disclose such information about voluntarily shutting the power. She said that was early this morning and she was told this by the person at the front desk.

Another neighbor said that maintenance actually stopped by her apartment to confirm that her power was off.

I proceeded to the office and the manager, {Name Deleted}, was at the front desk. He said the electricity blew and effected some apartments and that the electrician was working on it. He had no idea how long it would take to repair. Neither did the electrician who happened to be in the office at that moment.

Another neighbor says her lights are on, but her TV and phone is out.

I hope that this matter is treated with urgency. I'm afraid we're under the radar since there are no reports online about it. Needless to say, all of my food is spoiled, I have no way of knowing what the latest news is regarding storm damage, transportation systems and I can't access the internet so that I can work from home.

I am presently sitting at the bar in Trellis using their electricity and wifi.
UPDATE 4:45 - According to Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings resident:
... There are about 300+ apartments effected. It will likely take a few days for power to be restored.

There was flooding in the tunnel that holds the electrical box. They must wait for Con Ed to approve before restoring power....

Hurricane Sandy A Devastating Storm For New York City Reports Mayor Bloomberg - What About Roosevelt Island RIOC?

Roosevelt Island Rivercross Tree Down From Hurricane Sandy

Earlier this morning, I sent the following inquiry to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis and Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
Any comment or statement regarding damage to Roosevelt Island from Hurricane Sandy?

When will the Tram and Roosevelt Island Bridge be back in service?

I have been told that the power in Coler Hospital is out. Is that true?

Any details on Public Safety incidents from yesterday?

Also, happy to include any other comment or statement you may wish to communicate with the Roosevelt Island community on regarding Hurricane Sandy.

Thank you
Received this response from RIOC's Press Spokesperson:
RIOC intends to continue to keep the Roosevelt Island community apprised of relevant Sandy related events through our public advisories.
Mayor Bloomberg reported that Hurricane Sandy was:
... a devastating storm, maybe the worst we have ever experienced...

An Octagon resident reports:
Octagon lost power about 830pm last night and we are still without it. Our family is fine, hoping for restoration soon and napping the time away.

There is a huge tree uprooted outside the building, and people (kids too!) are walking around out there. Very unsafe due to remaining high winds and loose branches or limbs.
Be careful everyone and I recommend staying indoors for a while longer.

Be safe!
Another Roosevelt Island resident adds:
So far no tram. Just investigated myself. I see a lot of people walking over the 59th street bridge though. Duane reade and gristedes are open. But no starbucks. Rivercross blue wing lost power but not orange or yellow and in Eastwood/Roosevelt landing only 510 lost power.

From what I hear island house and westview are fine. Water went way up into tot lot and a lot of trees are down over there, big trees.
UPDATE 12:45 PM - Roosevelt Island NY State Assembly Member Micah Kellner tweets:
UPDATE 1:13 PM - Here's a summary of current Roosevelt Island conditions from RIOC:
Please be advised we are continuing to assess damage to the Island as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Below is a summary of the current conditions of the Island:

We are aware that Lighthouse Park experienced substantial flooding. There is damage to multiple Island trees, and certain locations on the Island are without power, including the Octagon and Coler Hospital. In addition, several Island street lights are out of service.

We note that Lighthouse Park, Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms Park remain closed and we implore Island residents and visitors not to attempt to circumvent the closure of these parks.

We are in the process of inspecting the Tram and monitoring road conditions, and expect to restore both Tram and Red Bus service, and also reopen the parks, as soon as it is safe to do so. We will immediately advise the public when the parks will reopen and when Tram and Red Bus Service is restored.

The NYC Department of Transportation has reopened the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

We are pleased to note we have not received any reports of injuries incurred on the Island as a result of the storm.

We will keep the community informed of relevant Sandy related developments as we learn of the same.

For additional information, please call Public Safety at 212-832-4545. In the event that the phone line is busy, please use the following alternate numbers: 917-541-9156 or

Only use 9-1-1 for true emergencies.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 1:45 PM -Roosevelt Island resident Eva B reports:
Starbucks still closed - We are in front of their door and this is what it says

Riverwalk Bar, Nonnos and Fuji are open, as well as the Duane Reade.
Another resident reports that Trellis, Gristedes and China 1 are open too.

UPDATE 2PM - Unconfirmed by RIOC but a reliable source informs me that the Roosevelt Island Tram and Red Bus will be operating by 4 PM today.

UPDATE 3 PM - RIOC confirms that Tram and Red Bus operating by 4 PM today.
We are pleased to note that both Red Bus and Tram service will be restored today at 4:00 PM. We note that due to flooding Red Bus service will not extend to Southpoint Park. The bus will turn around at Sportspark and proceed northbound.

For additional information, please call Public Safety at 212-832-4545. In the event that the phone line is busy, please use the following alternate numbers: 917-541-9156 or

Only use 9-1-1 for true emergencies.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 3:40 PM - RIOC reports that Tram will be free today and tomorrow.

Video Scenes Of Hurricane Sandy Visiting Roosevelt Island October 29 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Crowd Sourcing Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy With Twitter Feed - Let Us Know How You Are Doing

Here's the latest from Mayor Bloomberg's this evening

and video from his 5:30 Press Conference

Former resident and blogger Roosevelt Island 360 emails me:
... watching CNN from where I am in Austria. Very nervous for my family and Roosevelt Island.

"CNN is reporting the East River, where Roosevelt Island and my kids are, will be where much of the water will be "piling up" from both the Long Island Sound and NY Harbor meeting in the middle [with no place to go].  I don't expect to sleep much tonight."

Can't believe all this. Irene was nothing. This is unbelievable.
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy shares this picture

and reports:
at the Transcanada Ravenswood Big Allis Power Plant across the river from Roosevelt Island in Long Island City.

Stay Safe Everybody.

Hurricane Sandy Approaching New York City - Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park Building Management Shutting Down Elevators Reports Resident - Updated Correction - The Manhattan Park Elevators Are Currenly Working

A Manhattan Park (MP) resident reports receiving this message from building management:
Depending on the impact of the storm over the course of the next few days, major building systems MAY need to be shutdown or will shutdown due to power outages. As a result, we urge you to stay in your apartment and avoid using the elevators. As new information is available, we will, of course, keep you apprised. Thank you for your cooperation
MP just followed this up with a phone call to every unit, announcing that they were shutting down the elevators.
Update 4 PM - Correction, the Manhattan Park elevators are currently working. Sorry for the error.

Scenes From Roosevelt Island This Morning Before Hurricane Sandy's New York City Arrival - Roosevelt Island Cert Team Staffs Evacuation Center In Long Island City

Roosevelt Island resident Bill Long shares scene this morning of:

On the north end of Roosevelt Island about 11am on Mon, 10/30. This 9-10 hours before Sandy makes landfall
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Dept on the job shooing people away from the East River...with the wind helping them out

Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance reports:
Members of RI CERT staffing evacuation center at Aviation HS in LIC

More on the Roosevelt Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) team from previous post on Hurricane Irene last year.

Hurricane Sandy Getting Closer To New York City, Portions Of Roosevelt Island Under East River Water - Latest From Mayor Bloomberg This Morning

Receiving reports that portions of Roosevelt Island Promenade are under water

Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Under Water From Hurricane Sandy Via Kate Williams Tweet
Roosevelt Island East River Promenade Flooding From Hurricane Sandy via Paul Morgan Tweet
An Octagon building resident reports:
Main st flooded behind Coler across from Costco - water all the way over the road. Water across sidewalk promenade to grass in the picnic park in front of us. All in all it seems right now exactly like it was when we woke up to Irene and Cuomo said waters currently at Irene level. I heard but didn't see that lighthouse point completely flooded.
A Riverwalk Building resident reports:
Just looked out - the River is already lapping over where the Pier was.
Roosevelt Island Subway Pier Flooding From Hurricane Sandy via Thomas Herlihy Tweet

Roosevelt Island resident Michael Girard shares these images from Roosevelt Island this morning.

Image From Michael Girard
Image From Michael Girard
Image From Michael Girard
Image From Michael Girard
Image From Michael Girard
Image From Michael Girard
Even the Tom Otterness' Marriage of Real Estate and Money sculptures are under water.

Image From Michael Girard

Here's the latest update from Mayor Bloomberg this morning.

Watch Hurricane Sandy from Roosevelt Island resident Mark Lyon's live webcam looking north from Manhattan Park showing Octagon, East River and Manhattan skyline. Also, resident Trevre Andrews provides this webcam facing Southtown's Firefighters Field and Queensboro Bridge.

Another resident reports:
Just like last time (when the irene hits) i would like to mention you about the logs on canine training park near to riverwalk bar and grill. They are still there, the psd dint move that yet.
when i called the roosevelt island public safety they told me they belong to nypd...
please help with this. i know you are on vacation.
I have been in Colorado the last few days, unable to get back to Roosevelt Island because of cancelled airline flights and have been covering Hurricane Sandy with the help of residents sending me reports and pictures. Please continue to do so and above all, STAY SAFE!!!!!!!!