City flood response centers did not appear to open on time; OEM says they’re good to go

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NEW YORK CITY — The city government’s emergency response seemed to hit a snag Friday.

PIX11 News visited one of the city’s designated flood response centers to find, at least in one case, the people on the ground weren’t aware that’s where they were.

“I have no idea,” said the security guard at the NYC Department of Social Services building on Northern Boulevard, when asked about the flood resources at the location.

Just two hours earlier during a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, his emergency management commissioner had announced each of the cities five boroughs would get a flood relief center.
The city put the locations on its website: http://NYC.gov/ida

Christina Farrell, a Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs with Emergency Management, insisted work was happening, even with evidence to the contrary.

“DSS and NYCEM do have staff onsite, but the center is upstairs, and it took a few minutes for them to learn of your presence. City agencies have been working diligently on the storm response and setting these centers up quickly, but I understand the signage was not in place when you came by. We have spoken to the staff so they rectify that so it is clear to people where the center is located,” she said.

Flooding became the chief issue after heavy rains fell upon an already saturated ground as Tropical Storm Ida swept through the region. Recovery is just beginning.

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