10:36 am Oct. 30, 2012
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder may not have a district anymore.
"I think my entire district is underwater, except for Ozone Park," Goldfeder told me just now.
"I just traveled the peninsula," he told me. "It's destroyed. There's trucks abandoned, cars turned on their sides, poles down, scaffolding down. Beach 80th Street, looking west, down the Boardwalk," he said, entire parts of the boardwalk were upended. "We're talking about huge ... pieces of wood scattered everywhere; 10-foot section of boardwalk" that somehow ended up "in the lobbies of some buildings. It's as bad as you can imagine."
Judging from some of the pictures he's been posting this morning, that's not much of an exaggeration.
Some parts of the peninsula are completely cut off, and emergency services are in need of rescuing, in some cases.
"Hamilton Beach, the fire company is completely buried, their fire truck and ambulances," Goldfeder said. "The volunteer fire department is completely gone."
And the "100th Police Precinct on Beach 94th Street was evacuated," last night, he said. They had "8 or 10 feet of water in front of their building. All cell phone service went down" and the police officers there were in touch with each other through their radios, he said.
The fire department, which fared slightly better, was completely overwhelmed, according to Goldfeder.
"In Breezy Point, whatever is not flooded is on fire."
"Sixty-plus homes are completely burned to the ground," he said. "No one could respond for a while. The fire department could not respond and when they did, they did not have anywhere near close to the resources they needed," said Goldfeder.
"Until people are safe, I can't even think about clean-up."
NY1, which has been broadcasting from the (now heavily damaged) house of political director Bob Hardt in Rockaway Beach, has more on what's happening in the area.
AP via @c_heller
AP via @BuzzFeed
AP via @Telegraph
AP via @Telegraph