Sandy Strikes, Churns 24/7 Limo Operations

Posted on October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy devastated Atlantic City. Major portions of the boardwalk have been shredded and all casinos are shut down until further notice.
Hurricane Sandy devastated Atlantic City. Major portions of the boardwalk have been shredded and all casinos are shut down until further notice.

NEW YORK — It’s been four days since Hurricane Sandy settled down on the east coast, eating cars and buildings and trees with its flood waters and wailing wind. A state of emergency has been declared from Vermont down to Maryland, with Virginia and the Carolinas keeping a close eye on the storm.

Flooded streets and power outages have affected life in the areas hit as people shut down their businesses and shutter their home windows against the gales. But the rest of the world continues to move, and there is business and travel to be had.

LCT reached out to some operators and vendors in the area to get updates about conditions on the ground:

Arthur Messina, president, Create-A-Card Inc., Long Island
Wed., 10/31, 12:57 p.m. ET

“We’ve got most of our staff back in the office, we have a generator set up and phone lines transferred over to the ones that work. It’s pretty interesting, it’s really makeshift but we’re open and doing business. The internet is working out here but Verizon is having some trouble with their service, some towers were damaged. AT&T cell phones are working fine.

“There are trees and wires down everywhere. We learned from Hurricane Irene and we got a generator, prepared our office by closing off the outside entrance and setting up sandbags.

“We turn off the generators at night to save gas, so it does get cold at night without heat or hot water. It’s been a challenge every day to find a gas station that’s open. I spent about two hours today to find gas to get us through tomorrow.

All the gas stations open right now are cash only, and there’s not too much going on as far as price gouging.

Almost 90% of Long Island residents are without power. The Long Island Railroad opened limited service but the subway trains have to wait until the city gets the water out of the tunnels.”

Douglas Schwartz, president, Executive Limousine, Long Island
Tuesday, 10/30, 2:30 p.m. ET

“The NYC area took a very hard hit. Many homes and neighborhoods were devastated. There is no way that you can prepare for this. On Tuesday, ground transportation is at a standstill. The city is practically shut. They anticipate it will take many days to get things back online. All airports remained closed and think that they’ll open tomorrow, but as New Yorkers we’ll band together and rebuild quickly.”

Wed., 10/31, 1:14 p.m. ET

“[Today is] business as usual. We washed the cars and we are rolling. No airports, but rides to NYC…[there is] no mass transit.”

Jim Powers, president, All Star Limousine, Long Island
Tuesday, 10/30, 4:56 p.m.

“Every major roadway, parkway and bridge is closed, the flooding is very dangerous. We are in a holding pattern until the police, firemen and government officials let us know that it is safe to travel.

We were very lucky and did not suffer any damage. Our power did go out but we have backup generators to run the office, traffic and computer equipment.

We were well aware of the impending storm touching down on the Tri-State area, so Chris MunGavin, operations manager, Tony Savarese, affiliate manager and safety director, and myself, quickly implemented our disaster recovery plan.

MunGavin reached out to a good portion of our clients to facilitate with any disaster relief or transportation needs, we wanted to make sure that that our clients knew we were here for them if needed. In addition, our management team took twelve hour shifts around the clock through-out the course of the storm to ensure that our staff and facility were safe, and that if our vehicles were needed for any disaster relief or transportation needs from the local police, fireman or authorities that we were here to provide them.

Wed., 10/31 1:51 p.m. ET

We are up and running at about 97%, experiencing some delays just due to closed roads, street lights out in Midtown Manhattan, Long Island, and Jersey. All parkways, highways are open, almost all bridges and tunnels are open. Limited airport service at JFK & Newark, LaGuardia is completely closed. Taking a lot of reservations for the weekend.

RELATED ARTICLE: Atlantic City, N.J. casino closure updates here.

Related LCT Blog post: Preparing For The Perfect Storm

— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

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