New FEMA Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program to pay for fixes so New Yorkers can remain in Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes
A FEMA spokesperson said the program, specifically designed for Sandy, is essential amid a dearth of temporary housing and cooling weather.
By Kenneth Lovett AND Corky Siemaszko
November 15, 2012
The feds are hiring an army of private contractors to do basic repairs so thousands of struggling New Yorkers can stay in their storm-damaged homes.
Under a new Federal Emergency Management Agency program, the workers will patch holes in walls and roofs, replace doors, run temporary electrical lines, fix electrical meters, and even repair plumbing.
“This has never been done before,” FEMA spokesman John Mills said Wednesday. “This is a program specifically designed for conditions in New York. We have to make it possible for people to stay in their homes until they can make permanent repairs.”
Mills said FEMA is prepared to pay “thousands of dollars” in fixes per home under the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program.
Thousands of New Yorkers — particularly Long Island Power Authority customers in the Rockaways and Nassau County — remain in the dark two weeks after Sandy struck.
LIPA’s slow response prompted an outraged Rep. Pete King (R-Nassau) to write the White House directly for help.
“I am pleased the Obama Administration listened to the urgent needs of the victims and filled the void left by the Long Island Power Authority,” King said Wednesday.
City residents can register with the FEMA program by calling 311. In the ’burbs, they should call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.
Meanwhile, Con Edison and LIPA are facing a second investigation into their storm response. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to the utilities, a source said. The subpoenas went out a day after Gov. Cuomo announced a commission to investigate the utilities. LIPA had no immediate comment. Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert said, “We look forward to reviewing the company’s storm preparations and response and are cooperating with the attorney general’s request.”