Mayor: Stay Out Of The Way During Storm Cleanup


bloombergMany residents are still trying to get their lives back to normal following the pair of tornadoes that crushed their neighborhoods last Thursday. On Monday, CBS 2 spoke with frustrated Queens storm victim Lorraine Gister who appealed to Mayor Bloomberg for help.

CBS 2′s John Slattery asked the mayor on Tuesday if he was considering another first-hand look at the tornado damage.

“I was out there before you even knew there was a storm, looking at trees and talking to people,” Bloomberg said, “I have not considered going out again.”

Bloomberg said the his presence and the media coverage in neighborhoods with major problems could be detrimental to the cleanup and advised that it would be better to stay out of the way and let professionals do their jobs.

Gister lives on 68th Road in Forest Hills, where tons of debris are on top of the downed phone lines. Gister said her husband and son need care and she has no cell phone.

“I’m very nervous without that phone,” Gister said.

Others in the area are also scared and looking for help to get back to a normal life.

92-year-old Lenore Sherman said she spoke to Verizon, who informed her of when they planned to fix phone lines.

“They’re not going to get here until October sometime – 3rd, 4th, 5th. Who knows what day,” Sherman said.

“I don’t know where to turn to. I just feel helpless, that’s all. I really do,” Mary Gonzalez said.

One element of that help was in the neighborhood on Tuesday looking to aid storm victims.

The New York State Insurance Department stationed a mobile command center at Queens Boulevard and 69th Road in Forest Hills to assist storm victims with insurance questions. It will be open until 9 p.m. Tuesday.