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Sandy aftermath: Local troops, DWP crews aid Sandy relief

November 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dozens of airmen and DWP workers are leaving March Air Reserve Base for New York on Sunday to provide some relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

It's the second time since Thursday the base has played a role in the relief effort. More than 50 utility vehicles from local electric companies will be shipped across the country in addition to more than 90 crew members. The C-5 can carry as many as eight school busses plus personnel, while the C-17 can hold up to 100 people plus its cargo. Troops are loading up six planes, and all work should be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday.

Join Disney and ABC for our Day of Giving to help the Sandy relief effort

"It shows how air mobility assets are really used," said Air Force Reservist Lt. Col. Don Traud. "What that means is while they get all these vehicles over to the East Coast within hours, instead of putting them on flatbed trucks and spending four or five days getting them there. So the recovery efforts will begin a lot sooner now."

Meantime, runners who were expecting to take part in the New York City Marathon on Sunday instead turned their efforts to helping others recover from the superstorm.

Many racers headed to Staten Island in search of volunteer opportunities with Sandy victims as others held their own impromptu races through the recently reopened Central Park. Those runners were encouraged to bring food, clothes or money to donate to storm victims.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to cancel the race Friday because it was creating division. Many runners understood the decision, especially with the death toll from the storm at 107, including 41 in New York City.

Temperatures in parts of New York are falling into the 30s, putting those without aid and supplies in greater danger. About 875,000 still don't have electricity in the New York metropolitan area, including about 460,000 on Long Island. About 80 percent of New York City's subway service has been restored.

The city opened warming shelters in areas without power. Bloomberg especially urged older residents without heat to seek out the shelters as a haven. The city also was handing out 25,000 blankets to residents who insisted on staying in powerless homes.

Among the weekend's biggest challenges was a gas shortage. Bloomberg said that resolving it could take days. Lines curled around gas stations for many blocks all over Ney York and New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie imposed rationing that recalled the worst days of fuel shortages of the 1970s. At a gas station in Mount Vernon, N.Y., north of New York City, 62 cars were lined up around the block Sunday morning even though it was closed and had no fuel.

You can help victims of the storm by sending relief checks for the American Red Cross to ABC7. Checks can be made out to: American Red Cross, with Sandy Relief in the memo line. Send checks to:

Superstorm Sandy Relief
P.O. Box 5967
Glendale, CA 91221

See photos of superstorm Sandy along the East Coast

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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