Coney Island girl Kim Lofgren is a writer and performing magician who lives on the 7th and top floor of a privately owned building on Stillwell Avenue that’s been without power for 13 days. Before Hurricane Sandy, Kim was best known to us for her exquisite photos of Coney Island rainbows taken from her balcony across the street from Stillwell Terminal. On Monday, when we happened to see her having lunch at Tom’s on the Boardwalk, Kim pulled out her phone and showed us the horrifying video posted below of the storm surge on Stillwell. “I really felt that’s what it looks like when Armageddon begins. Lost power after that-water surged 4-8 ft looking inky in darkness,” she wrote yesterday after posting a link on twitter.
As one of @KimberLofgren’s twitter friends, we’ve been following her ordeal via a series of increasingly desperate tweets to Con Edison, some of which are posted below. As it happens, we have other friends in the building, which is of recent construction and very well maintained. Also living on the 7th floor are an elderly couple who evacuated from Sea Gate, where their home was destroyed, to the safety of their daughter’s apartment. The father is in very poor health. We have not been able to reach them by phone but have been getting reports via their relatives and mutual friends. Some of our other friends in Coney Island are in buildings where power was restored temporarily–and in some cases intermittently– by generators.
Looking at Kim’s video of the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, you’ll understand why each building needs to be certified and why everyone we know in Coney Island lost their car.
UPDATE November 11, 2012:
While Kim’s building got power back on Sunday at around 4pm, many other buildings in Coney Island –both privately owned and city housing projects– remain without power. According to a New York Times article on service updates, Con Edison said it had restored power to all but 2,617 customers (an apartment building is sometimes counted as one customer) in New York City as of Sunday evening. BUT that number does not include 22,000 still without power in low-lying neighborhoods like Coney Island who must first have an electrician certify the building as safe, which was the case with Kim’s building.
Friends in Amalgamated Warbasse – 5 buildings, about 2,700 families – are reporting intermittent power. “Here I go walking down 159 steps again! Building 4 Warbasse is doomed!” said a friend on Facebook. “Our power is still run by a generator and they keep switching them.”
Also as of Sunday, the following NYCHA housing in the west end of Coney Island had no electricity: Coney Island I (Site 8)- 1 building housing 361 people, Surfside Gardens- 5 buildings housing 1,167 residents, O’Dwyer Gardens- 6 buildings housing 974 residents. The following had no heat or hot water: Carey Gardens- 4 buildings housing 1,642 residents; Coney Island- 5 buildings housing 1,203 residents, Coney Island I (Site 8) – 1 building housing 361 residents, Coney Island I (Sites 4 and 5)- 2 buildings housing 1,075 residents, O’Dwyer Gardens- 6 buildings housing 974 residents, and Surfside Gardens- 5 buildings housing 1,167 residents. Excellent reporting on the dire situation in these buildings by the New York Daily News (Video) and The Guardian.
Related posts on ATZ…
November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy
October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island
October 29, 2012: Photos of the Day: Hurricane Sandy Approaches Coney Island