Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan/Queens), spoke with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood today seeking urgent Federal disaster aid for the efforts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to pump out tunnels under the East River.
"The power is out in the East River subway tunnels, and Con Ed and the MTA cannot predict when power will be restored. Portable generators are needed to power the pumps to empty the tunnels, and that's what I've asked from both DOT Secretary LaHood and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Fugate," said Maloney.
"New York City took an enormous hit from this storm and our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this disaster. I am deeply grateful to all the first responders who braved the elements to help those in need-- and to the workers now in the field working to restore normal conditions.
"The storm's combination of wind and flooding caused the largest storm-related outage in Con Ed history and the worst conditions ever in the 108-year history of the New York subway system.
"Recovery efforts are now underway but it is going to take a significant period of time to repair this much damage. I will do everything I can to ensure that all available Federal assistance is forthcoming."
Following their conversation, Congresswoman Maloney sent the following letter to Secretary LaHood:
Dear Secretary LaHood,
Thank you for speaking with me earlier today about providing emergency federal assistance from the Department of Transportation to the MTA to help deal with record flooding in the New York City subway system. Providing this emergency federal disaster funding will greatly aid in the recovery process, by covering the costs of generators needed to address flooding in the subway system, as well as other immediate needs.
As you know, the subway tunnels going under the East River serving, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are totally flooded. MTA can't ascertain damage or time it will take to repair until the tunnels are pumped out, but they can't be pumped out because there is no power for pumps from Con Ed.
Sandy inflicted widespread and significant damage to our country's largest transit system and I deeply appreciate your assistance as we recover from this disaster.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress