St. Louisans In New York Rode Out Hurricane Sandy
NEW YORK CITY, NY (KTVI) – People in the St. Louis area have had two responses to Hurricane Sandy: they are worried about loved ones in the storm zones, and also headed east to help out.
At least 540 Ameren line workers and tree-trimming contractors from Missouri and Illinois were headed to the region Tuesday night. One group headed for New Jersey had to make an unexpected stop in Pennsylvania.
“Now we’re in Bowmansville, Pennsylvania, awaiting instructions on where we might stay tonight,” said Lori Light, of Ameren Corp Media Relations, traveling with the convoy. ”Recently, we just all learned that the hotel we were all going to stay at was without power.”
Eventually, they made arrangements for another place to stay and got back on the road.
FOX 2 spoke with Randy Prywitch of St. Louis, who works on a reality TV show in Manhattan. He was safe in Queens, New York, with power but said there were signs of frustration and desperation all around.
“A lot of my friends, they have lost all cell phone signal, they have no power, they have no hot water. They really don`t have any means of getting in contact with anyone. I saw someone say online today they went outside and there was a line at the pay phones,” Prywitch said. “Everyone’s just trying to get their water, their flashlights, their food. It’s kind of a mad house.”
“The sidewalks are uprooted. The street lights are out. A lot of the roads are closed,” said Rose Banker, of East Meadow, Long Island.
Her brother-in-law, Matt Banker, of Waterloo, Illinois, was visiting for the weekend and stranded there with no way home. She made a new flight reservation for Wednesday for him, only to have it cancelled. She said he could be stuck until at least Saturday.
She also said they were without power; sharing a generator with relatives in 12 hour shifts, “I went to 7-11 today just to look for batteries. As I was pulling up, a truck of ice pulled up to make a delivery. People went berserk. The bags of ice did not even make it into the 7-11…there was a huge brawl at the gas station, over who was cutting in line, who was getting gas,’ Banker said.
Prywitch needs to see a doctor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan for a medical condition. At New York University Tisch hospital, 300 patients were evacuated because of a generator failure. A number of them were sent to Mt. Sinai. Prywitch said his care would have to wait.
“I had a doctor’s appointment today actually. It’s Mt. Sinai, which is a huge hospital on the Upper East Side. They cancelled all appointments, Monday and today (and) lower Manhattan is completely under water. There are cars that are completely submerged,” Prywitch explained.
Still he and the Banker clan were fine; inconvenienced but physically OK and feeling blessed about that given the death toll from Hurricane Sandy.