The line wasn’t between those with electricity and those without, but between those who had recourse and those who didn’t.
By Sarah Seltzer | AlterNet
After an explosion at a power station cut off service to Lower Manhattan, photos showed a stark divide in Manhattan between lit-up uptown and downtown blanketed in darkness. The image was gripping and the frightening experience of many downtown is no joke—nor are the losses of life from the storm.
Still, when the inevitable posts went up declaring that “New York is now divided,” I had to laugh. Because it’s not the divisions we can see after a storm, but rather the city’s giant unseen fissure which makes events like Sandy so threatening.
Witness this piece from Gothamist, in which a citizen sleuth checked out what was happening in parts of Downtown where the poorest residents live and wrote in with his findings:
There is no running water or flushing toilets for people living in the Jacob Riis Houses and surrounding NYCHA buildings on the Lower East Side. In my estimate, this is roughly 20,000 people. One family I spoke with is packing their bags and moving to Brooklyn until services are restored. But it did not appear that all residents were evacuating, even as their toilets did not flush.
6) I did not witness a single Red Cross Truck or FEMA Vehicle or in lower Manhattan. Recall the assistance these agencies provided after 9/11 - this is NOT HAPPENING. There are bound to be hundreds of elderly people, rich and poor, who live on the upper floors of buildings with elevators that are now disabled. IF POWER IS NOT RESTORED, THIS WILL MOVE FROM BEING AN ECONOMIC DISASTER TO A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER.