As hundreds of thousands of Big Apple residents suffer in homes left without power by Hurricane Sandy, two massive generators are being run 24/7 in Central Park — to juice a media tent for Sunday’s New York City Marathon.
And a third “backup” unit sits idle, in case one of the generators fails.
The three diesel-powered generators crank out 800 kilowatts — enough to power 400 homes in ravaged areas like Staten Island, the Rockaways and downtown Manhattan.
Since emergency executive orders have been issued, the governor, mayor — or even President Obama — could take the generators for a more important use, explained Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman . . .
"We’re struggling here, and we want the city to know that,” Councilwoman Margaret Chin of Chinatown said yesterday.
She asked the Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday for a generator to run pumps to get water to stranded seniors.
“They’re telling me there are other priorities,” Chin said . . .
Meanwhile, sources told The Post precious city resources were also being diverted to prepare for the marathon, including more than a dozen NYPD flatbed trucks taken from disaster-relief work at sites including Breezy Point, Queens, where more than 100 homes burned to the ground . . .
Bloomberg defended the decision to keep the race on track.
“The marathon is not going to redirect any focus. Keep in mind, by Sunday, we’ll have electricity back downtown,” he predicted.
“That will free up an enormous number of police.” . . .
Plans call for up to 100 cops from all around the city to deploy the barricades today.
“You know what this is about? This is all so Bloomberg can stand at the finish line Sunday and tell the world we bounced back,” the source said . . .
“How can you run a marathon when you have people starving in Manhattan?” he asked.
Other sources said NYPD and Department of Transportation personnel who had been providing relief on Staten Island were told to drop what they were doing and report to Brooklyn today to get ready for the marathon.
Official race preparations yesterday included closing all lanes on the Staten Island-bound upper level of the Verrazano Bridge for more than an hour of work.
Staten Islander Joseph Masella, 62, called running the marathon “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Have some respect for our citizens . . . They’re still finding bodies here,” he fumed.
Staten Island Councilman James Oddo said, “The notion of taking one cop, one first responder, one resource, one asset and diverting it so that they stand at a post to watch runners go by when we’re still searching for bodies? It’s sinful to me!’’
Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile said, “With some neighborhoods still smoldering, I think postponing the marathon would be a better option.”Frankly, I don't understand how any self-respecting athlete could run in the New York Marathon knowing how many millions throughout the city are suffering through the worst storm to hit in more than a hundred years. It looks like Mayor Bloomberg's heart is as cold as President Obama's was when our officials at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya were on the phone begging his administration for help in their final hours on this earth. I suppose for the elitists who know they will have the comfort of living in the underground, well-stocked and secured facilities our government has diverted trillions of dollars to construct over the last couple of decades when the end comes for the rest of us very soon this is just par for the course.
Check out this story on people resorting to dumpster diving to find food. Unbelievable.