26 November 2012, 14:19

Americans thankful for Russian blankets

Americans thankful for Russian blankets
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Voice of Russia correspondent Vasili Sushko reports from New York on the Sandy aftermath.

Overall, apparently there’s been a great success with Russian airlift of blankets through N.Y.C.

It was, with cold temperatures coming in. Even now temperatures are even colder than they were a few weeks ago. It definitely is a success. And that day that I went over to Far Rockaway, they handed out a couple of thousands in one day. And, to think that there were around 20,000, you can imagine how people got these blankets. I don’t actually know if they managed to hand them all. If the rate is 2,000 a day, I’d imagine that at least they handed most of them out. And, again, people in those areas are very thankful to have those blankets. They still don’t have power in those areas.

In times like this, when disaster hits a highly populated area like N.Y.C even blankets mean something, because it’s chilly in this time of year and people need just a basis.

Absolutely, when I was there in Far Rockaway area there were a lot of volunteers from all across the world. And people were handing out not only blankets, but hot meals and water. It’s quite remarkable, especially in Southern Queens, Southern Brooklyn and Long Island areas.

So, at this point there’re still neighborhoods without power?

There are. And there’s not much more that utility companies can do. These are homes that were flooded so severely that their own electrical systems are damaged and they can’t rely on utility companies anymore. People have to try to fix their own electricity anyhow. That’s causing a lot of problems, because you have houses that couldn’t be livable anymore. People clean up as much as possible, if there’s a chance to make houses livable again, they’ll do their best to restore them, but so far we don’t know how many houses will have to be abandoned.

Briefly, do you have any knowledge of how many people will have to move out of that area?

About 5,000 people will have to move. You wonder, when they’re going to rebuild these houses. The thing is they were built when there were no safety regulations, when people weren’t worried about flooding. So I think in areas, such as Breezy Point they might very well decide that no house ever again will stand in the same location, simply because of any sort of flooding.

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