“They’re on the road now … they’re coming down to help and that’s going to make a difference,” Cuomo said. “LIPA is working very hard with these additional utility workers. I think we’re going to make progress.”
The second priority after restoring power, he said was to pump water from flooded homes and buildings.
“I spoke to President Obama,” Cuomo said. “He’s been very helpful all through this and he said, ‘What’s the one thing we can do right away?’ I said, get me the Army Corps of Engineers with pumping capacity, and the
Army Corps are bringing in the best pumps and personnel from all across the country to help pump out where we need to pump out on a priority basis immediately.”
In addition to National Guard troops and state and county police who are assisting the city, Cuomo said that officials from the Army Corps began arriving on Wednesday. “That pumping capacity is starting literally today. Utility workers are on their way … [power] will go on in phases, and it’s going to depend on what community you are in … I can’t give you a hard deadline of when it’s all going to be done,” he said.
When a reporter told Cuomo that “realistically,” Long Beach residents could be without power for a few weeks, the governor responded, “Realistically, you don’t know that.”
“This is not going to get better overnight,” Cuomo said. “This was a lot of damage, everywhere you look. It will be rebuilt, though. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; well, this is going to make us stronger. When you look around, it’s going to be a little daunting. But just remember, we are New Yorkers. We’ve been through a lot worse than this and we came back. We’re going to come back from this. We’re not just going to just rebuild, we’re going to rebuild better than ever before, and we’re going to make a better Long Beach when it’s over.”