Spotlight: Superstorm Sandy Disaster Response Services
Immediately following Superstorm Sandy in late October, LiRo received calls from many of our clients, including the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) , the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA), the Battery Park City Authority, New York City Development Corporation, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, DASNY, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. These agencies reported hundreds of buildings which had sustained damage from the unprecedented storm surge and winds of the storm. Primarily located in the coastal areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and lower Manhattan, these buildings were left without power, heat and hot water. In addition, high water levels had left building interiors sodden and mold prone; had impacted foundations, slabs and paved areas; and had created hazardous materials situations. Many building sustained damage to flashings, roofing, and parapets as a result of the extensive winds.
LiRo mobilized teams to assist these clients in assessing the extent of the damage and the required corrective action, and to prioritize anticipated work. Dewatering procedures were immediately put in place. Environmental assessments were conducted to determine the presence of spilled fuel oil, ACM, and sewage. Abatement work was quickly implemented to remediate locations where water had impacted hazardous materials. In several locations, fuel oil tanks were breached, resulting in active spills requiring immediate remediation.
As storm damaged mechanical and electrical equipment was removed from the buildings, LiRo worked with contractors and vendors to locate available temporary generators, electrical distribution equipment, mobile boilers, sump pumps, hot water heaters, and other mechanical components from throughout the Northeast to enable service to be expeditiously restored to the buildings. Fuel for generators was a major problem so LiRo also immediately established a centrally located fueling depot and distribution system.
Within two weeks of the storm, LiRo had coordinated the provision of temporary power and heat at 32 housing developments operated by NYCHA, and had enabled 50 schools managed by NYCSCA to reopen. Temporary power was provided to the Battery Park City Community Center and to Pier A. LiRo also assisted NYCEDC in the preparation of piers to receive Navy vessels arriving in New York City to house first responders assisting with Superstorm Sandy efforts.
LiRo environmental engineers provided oversight for the decontamination of areas of damaged asbestos containing materials within Bellevue, Coney Island and Coler-Goldwater Hospitals, and performed air monitoring for airborne asbestos and mold during abatement. Similar services were provided for DASNY at affected areas within Borough of Manhattan Community and Hunter Colleges.
Now that temporary services have been restored, LiRo is continuing to assist several of these clients with the design of relocated and repaired boiler rooms and utilities, and will provide oversight services for permanent installations.
In Nassau and Suffolk counties, LiRo performed assessments of damaged county parks, structures, and sewage treatment plants immediately following the storm. We provided safety and oversight inspection services for the repair of the Bay Park Waste Water Treatment Plant to restore damaged services. Teams of inspectors continue to coordinate debris and tree removal from streets and public areas.
Finally, LiRo is assisting Nassau County in their efforts to return homeowners to their damaged properties. The Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program matches contractors with homeowners to assess the damage to the home and make the necessary emergency/temporary repairs so these households can have safe power, heat and hot water and to shelter in place for the winter. LiRo is assisting the County with the registration process for the homeowners; managing the activities of the electrical, plumbing, and carpentry contractors related to assessments, preparation of work orders, and scheduling of work at these homes; and providing inspectors to monitor and verify the contractors' work. LiRo is also assisting with the rigorous documentation that is required for this FEMA funded program.
Building & Construction Northeast, Winter Issue 2013
Read about LiRo's work in response to Hurricane Sandy in "Recovery and Renewal".