In high density urban areas where several million people lose power and tens of thousands have moderate to severe damage done to their homes, the number of people seeking shelter assistance begins at the baseline level during during the emergency and then increases steadily.
As the power outages continue, water and food supply issues increase shelter demands, creating a refugee situation.
This diary is sharing information taken just now from the news wire to show what is developing in the region. From the reading it looks like a real humanitarian crisis is developing in the Mid-Atlantic states.
New York Transportation
With the loss of the subway system, the surface streets are snarled, this will greatly impact the ability of goods and people to travel within the city. The continued loss of power and related food spoilage will also create strain on the surface infrastructure as people are trying to get their basic needs met over the next week. Commute traffic could remain nearly impossible for the next 2 weeks.
While the Mayor guessed at 4 days for the subway to resume operation, MTA has reported just now that there is 500 million gallons of water currently in the flooded subway tunnels. A 2011 report on the possibility of a 100-year storm flooding the subways said it would take 21 days for 90% recovery.
With this many homes damaged and over a million people without power in the coming weeks, a MASSIVE national recovery and assistance response must be undertaken right now. People are just starting to realize the extent of their situation now and there will be a doubling and then quadrupling of people seeking shelter and food assistance over the next week.
Their needs MUST be met, or we will see violence in the streets as people try to meet their basic survival needs.
From the Atlantic Wire
All the busses and cabs in the city can't quite handle the masses. "Wow. Lines for MTA buses are like 40 ppl deep in Jackson Heights. And when the buses show, they are already full," tweeted Billboard's editorial director Bill Werde. The New York Times says to "expect delays, detours and crowding" on buses. Other modes of transportation aren't much better. Another tweeter says the traffic in Park Slope, miles away from the bridge, is at a total standstill. To avoid the cars, some, like Reuters's Megan McCarthy have resorted to walking across the bridge. And it could be like this for weeks.Below are the seven flooded subway tunnels, note PATH tunnels (not shown) are also flooded and need the same repairs.
On Tuesday, Con Edison estimated that customers in Brooklyn and Manhattan served by underground electric equipment should have power back within four days.New Jersey
Restoration to all customers in other areas served by overhead power lines will take at least a week.
Officials at Con Edison were not immediately available to say where most of the outages were Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, the company said about 250,000 customers in Manhattan, 180,000 in Westchester County, 108,000 in Queens, 109,000 in Staten Island, 87,000 in Brooklyn, and 45,000 in the Bronx were without power.
Jersey Central Power & Light, which provides power to communities along the coast that were among those hardest hit by the storm, said almost 85% of its 1.1 million New Jersey customers were in the dark Tuesday and many could remain without power for seven to 10 more days.These basic issues are already causing significant burdens on shelters in the region, there will be a massive federal response needed here to prevent a significant amount of additional suffering and damage.
In the event that the water supply becomes tainted in either of these areas in the next week or a significant winter weather event occurs we will see the capacities of the support and shelter infrastructure exceeded within a matter of hours.