Thousands in NYC public housing still without heat, power

Liz Goodwin

More than 13,000 people who live in 79 public housing buildings across New York City are still without electricity 11 days after storm Sandy blew through the region, causing major flooding and power outages.

The numbers climb to 20,000 residents in 123 public housing buildings when you include those without heat or hot water—some also have no power—as a nor'easter blew through Wednesday night, bringing a record-breaking early snow to the city.

The New York City Housing Authority released a statement Wednesday saying it hopes to restore heat and power to most of these buildings by the end of the week, by installing generators and new boilers.

The New York Daily News called the powerless homes "a living hell" in a story published Thursday. Elderly residents "survive without running water, and with toilets that don't flush, refrigerators that don't function and heat that seems to diminish each day as temperatures dip," it reported. The New York Post wrote that younger residents in a public housing building in Red Hook, Brooklyn, are bringing elderly residents food and water. Without elevators, many of these older people cannot get up or down the dozen or more flights of dark stairs to seek help.

Overall, about 700,000 people remain without electricity in the region, according to the latest estimate from FEMA. The nor'easter knocked out power to an additional 40,000 people Wednesday night.