WEB EXCLUSIVE

Lights are back on, but Sandy's effects linger

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Life has largely returned to normal in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area after superstorm tore through the city more than two weeks ago.

Con Edison announced it had restored power to all those suffering from storm-related electricity outages in the area by Monday. Though there were still some lines for gas last week, hours-long waits were also a thing of the past by Monday, as deliveries finally caught up to demand in the Bronx.

Still, there are lasting effects of the storm.

New Yorkers from neighborhoods badly battered by Sandy have continued to take refuge in the Bronx, which fared far better under the storm’s 80 mph winds.

On Saturday night, the Hebrew Home of Riverdale admitted 20 people displaced from Brooklyn’s Methodist Nursing Home by Sandy. The center continues to care for many of the 15 rehab patients from NYU’s Rusk Institute and 18 Menorah nursing home residents sent to the Hebrew Home last week. Lehman College, which remains the only emergency shelter in the Bronx, has continued to field folks from Far Rockaway and other badly battered neighborhoods. Its APEX building housed 165 evacuees as of Tuesday morning.

On Monday, dozens of exposed wires dangled from a ripped-open power line across the street from the Riverdale Country School River Campus. A wooden tower and at least six electrical wires lay tangled in a puddle flooded with leaves, a soda can and other litter just south of West 247th Street along Palisade Avenue.

Lulu Tellone, a retired David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, MS/HS 141 teacher, stopped to assess the mangled mess while walking her dog on Nov. 12.

“This is dangerous. It’s sitting in water,” she said.

It was one of numerous similar scenes across the neighborhood, which though it fared better than others in the storm, is not exactly a back to normal.

Yet to be collected garbage and recycling stretches the better part of some blocks.

Bronx court calendars were set back when about 500 Supreme Court cases scheduled for the Monday and Tuesday of the storm turned into 117 pages of reschuled court dates.

“Losing two days of work is critical,” Efrain Alvarado, administrative judge for Bronx criminal court, later adding “I would say that we’d be working through that hiatus for at least 30 days.”

The Department of Parks and Recreation said it received 233 requests to clean up fallen trees or clip hanging limbs from within Community Board 8. According to Parks press representative Zachary Feder, the department received 1,728 tree removal requests borough-wide. Of those, 865 have been completed, including 154 requests from within CB 8.

Councilman Oliver Koppell has requested a meeting with Con Edison to discuss ways to prepare for future storms, including placing electrical wires underground. He noted that Fieldston and other neighborhoods faced long delays in restoration because falling trees damaged overhead utility wires.

"I look forward to continuing to 'turn the heat up' on Con Edison to find more workable solutions in the event of future disasters," Mr. Koppell said in a statement.

In the meantime, the city continues to wrestle with how to cope with the $120.9 million storm recovery price tag City Comptroller John Liu reported on Nov. 9.

Reporting contributed by Kate Pastor and Adam Wisnieski

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