Mayor Bloomberg: Sandy Will Be 'Felt For Quite Some Time'

NYC mayor updates residents on the storm and lifesaving efforts throughout the city.
3:00 | 10/30/12

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Transcript for Mayor Bloomberg: Sandy Will Be 'Felt For Quite Some Time'
We're -- to update you on hurricane sandy which has now officially left the New York City area. But I think it's fair to say the path of destruction that she left him and wake is going to be felt for -- -- quite some time. Make no mistake about it this was a devastating storms may be the worst that we have ever experienced. Our first responders have been doing a heroic job protecting our city and saving lives. And they are still fighting fire is in conducting lifesaving search and rescue missions and we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. The storm brought something like 23 serious -- to parts of Staten Island Brooklyn queens as well as city Allen on the Bronx. The terrible fire on breezy point is now under control but we believe we lost more than eighty houses. And the search and recovery operations there are ongoing. If any of these the pictures on television it looked like. A -- fire out in the midwest the winds were just devastating blowing from one building to the next one -- those buildings were close together. We are hoping and praying that there was no loss of life in those -- as but. Even now we can. Even if we can save every life we know that many people have lost their homes. And I want to know them to know that we have they have our full support in the days and weeks ahead. The 76 shelters -- we opened will remain open today and we will continue to queue shelters open until people. Displaced by the storm can safely return to their homes or find temporary housing. Our first for right Parra hit priority in this storm was and continues to be protecting lives. And that's why we ordered an evacuation of the areas most at risk and why we worked so hard to get people out. Sadly the storm claimed the lives of people throughout the region including at least ten in our city. And tragically we expect that number to go up as information continues to come in. And I did want to extend my condolences to all the families who lost loved ones in the storm and ask -- New -- is to keep them in their thoughts and prayers. In addition of the lives we lost the -- -- suffered across the city is clearly extensive and it will not be repaired overnight. The two biggest challenges facing our city going full Lloyd are getting our mass transit system up and running and restoring power. This morning we have begun the work of clearing and reopening bridges and roadways. Both of which will take some time in the best ways New Yorkers can help us get this done quickly is to stay off the roads. The work is well under way East River -- have already been reopened. The work of getting our -- transit grid and -- power -- restored however. Is going to take more time and a lot of patience. MTA's CEO Joseph -- has described this as the worst disaster the agency has seen 108 years the subways have been running. And Con Ed has described the damage done to its power systems as unprecedented. In scope. So clearly the challenges our city faces in the coming days are enormous. The MTA and -- -- both have very strongly does an extraordinarily dedicated workers. They are working extremely hard and they will continue to work around the clock to get their systems fixed. Our administration will move heaven and earth to help them so we can get back up and running as quickly as humanly possible. But the -- is that they face really are enormous. Here's the information that we have as this moment regarding Con Ed in the MTA -- the most recent report. Approximately. Three quarters of a million New Yorkers without power. There are -- -- like 326. Buildings and 59 public housing developments without power. That's about 60000 people in more than 26000 apartments and many of them are in zone -- the steam system in Manhattan south of 42 street was shut down as a preventive step by Con -- That affects heating air conditioning ventilation systems including many of our hospitals. And because they shut it down preemptively were hopeful at the steam system camber restored fairly soon. I spoke to Con Ed CEO Kevin Burke to offer any assistance that we can provide. We will talk to him again later on but I think it is fair to say that you should expect given the extent of the damage. Power may be out in lots of places for to a three days and maybe even a little bit longer than that. There is extensive flooding in all under river what subway tunnels. Subway yards where rail trains are typically stored also flooded. And I think that shows the wisdom of Joseph -- and moving trains out of there to higher ground. I don't think there was any damage done to the rolling stock. But the tunnels all flooded and that's going to be a big problem to get them back -- Public transportation remains closed until further notice is a good ways to think about it. There's no firm time line for the reactivation of bus or train service. But I'm sure the MCA will do everything can have limited bus service perhaps this afternoon and hopefully will be able to announce or July ought to be able to announce. Restoration of most bus service by tomorrow. We certainly think the roads by tomorrow will be clear and free of water. All major airports serving the metro area are closed today runways are flooded and there are no flights leaving or arriving. How much damage was done to the navigation equipment lighting around them we don't know yet. To help people get around -- signed an executive order that permits cab drivers to pick up multiple passengers. Even if a passenger is already in the cab. It will also allow livery -- black cars to pick up passengers off the street anywhere is in the city. These measures will be in place as long as MTA service is out. If you use one of these cars please make sure that the car has AT LC license plate. Now let me bring up to date on our hospitals. We reported last night that NYU downtown and -- Manhattan veterans hospitals were closed. And -- you Lang gone also had to be evacuated overnight. That is virtually complete. Bellevue hospital has lost power but at the moment is going is operating on backup power. Connie Allen hospital has been evacuated the department of health is sending people to each -- -- hospitals and chronic care facilities in zone a and we've had significant challenges that many of our hospitals and health care facilities. Fortunately as of now there has been no storm related fatalities that any of them. Them are more than 6100 people in our emergency shelters. And I'm happy to say there -- more than 2200 city staff working in those shelters right now. A number of our shelters lost power last night but we able to get back up generators to those that didn't have one. We received almost 4000 trees service requests since the storm began. And those are for damaged or falling -- the majority of those are in Queens and let me just urge everybody 311 for downed trees please. Or text 31 -- report damage they represent a real and serious danger. And we see very proud tragic proof of that today. He has told a day partly damaged crane at a site on west 57 street -- required evacuation of the immediate vicinity. The department of buildings has the chairman of the crane is currently stable. -- we can't fully secure the crane until the wind dies down. The procedure there when the winds died down to try to. Get the -- and strap it to the building and then we could reopen the streets and then over a period of time. The contracting company -- have to figure out ways to build new crane on top and take that one down. As schools as you know are closed today and I am announcing they will also be closed tomorrow. As to city employees is we've told them New Yorkers need your help today working for the city we have an obligation -- others. If your office is open and if you can safely married -- safely get to work please do so. If your office is closed and you can safely report to a shelter to assist with operations. Please do so. For example all -- -- has -- for the people who need to access to benefits including replacement food stamp vouchers. For people who lost food as a result of the -- -- in addition we are beginning to reach out to small businesses to help them recover. -- business and stay and stay in business. 311 has long waiting times right now so please use 31 month on line or text 311. Verizon had some problems with the rail lines but we've managed to keep some of the 311 lines open. 911 has been going without a hitch delays -- up to five minutes last time I checked they were minimal. But 911 has to be reserved only for -- life threatening things. Not retreat please. And we've just got to make sure that if somebody has a real emergency. We can get to them and in terms of real emergencies if you see a power line down don't go near -- We've had some people killed first stepping in a puddle where power lines and also touched the water. We expected an unprecedented storm impact here in New York City and that's what we got. So while the worst of the storm -- past conditions are still dangerous -- just can't stress that enough. We will have some coastal flooding in effect today until about 3 PM. We'll update you if that changes. But stay away from the parks. They are all closed. Don't go near damage trees beaches sidewalks or sea walls. People who lost their lives I -- it's fun to look and it's fun to challenge nature. But nature is awful lot more powerful than we are. And we just don't need any more fatalities. That's a recap of where we are our two biggest challenge is going forward will be getting our transit system and power grid up and running. And we'll do everything humanly possible to assist the MTA and Con -- in doing that. This morning we continue to focus on life saving operations. Not only fighting fires for protecting our hospitals and nursing homes. But -- get through the days ahead we will get to the days ahead. By doing what we always do in tough times. By standing together shoulder to shoulder ready to help a neighbor comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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