5:30 p.m. EST: Both the Achiezer and Hatzolah phone lines have been inundated with calls regarding the safety and well being of the elderly and handicapped population. We are strongly urging that anyone who can safely evacuate these relatives or friends out of the neighborhood, should do so. We are facing a prolonged period of time without heat, lights, or communications and it is simply unsafe for them to remain at home. Should you need help in moving them safely, we have volunteers standing by ready and able to assist.
POWER, ELECTRIC, SHELTER
Please be advised that at 4:30 PM today, LIPA held a conference call with community leaders and officials to discuss power restoration for our neighborhood. Unfortunately they are predicting at this point, that the power will be out until at least Shabbos. LIPA said this outage will include the Far Rockaway and Five Towns neighborhoods. It is for this reason that we strongly urge all residents who are able to do so, to make alternate living arrangements until power is restored. For those who need, there is a fully operational Kosher Shelter in West Hempstead, located at 400 Nassau Boulevard. If you require transportation to this location, please call our hotline.
TRANSPORATION & RETURNING TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Certain roads in the area, such as Brookville Boulevard, portions of Rockaway Turnpike, as well as sections of the Rockaways still remain impassable. Other roads, as well as most bridges, are gradually being re-opened. However, there are numerous downed trees and wires throughout most of the area and we are strongly advising that extreme caution should be exercised when attempting travel on all roads. We will try to continually update specific road conditions and periodically inform the community as details become available to us.
SCHOOL CLOSINGS & FOOD SUPPLY
As of the writing of this email, the Achiezer office has been informed that all schools and Yeshivas including the Public School System will be closed tomorrow, October 31st. Stay tuned to your particular schools’ hotline for specific updates.
With regards to food, especially when dealing with the elderly, please be careful that perishable food not be eaten if it is possibly contaminated (for example: perishables that have not been refrigerated since the start of the storm). There are a group of Bayswater representatives who are working on preparing a potential food distribution center should the supermarkets and food supply sources remain closed. We will keep you posted if and when such a service becomes necessary.
We understand that there are many people concerned with the possibility of looting. We have spoken numerous times with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder’ who is working with the NYC Police Department, as well as the Nassau County Police Department and they have assured us that they are doing everything humanly possible to ensure a strong police presence throughout the night to hopefully deter any potential burglaries.