This is one heck of a power trip.
Much-needed generators sat idle all day yesterday in a rental company’s New Jersey parking lot after they were moved from the Staten Island staging area of the New York City Marathon — less than two miles from some of superstorm Sandy’s hardest-hit victims.
A truck carrying 19 generators pulled out early yesterday from Fort Wadsworth and drove to Linden, NJ, where they sat unused for five hours before being hauled to National Grid’s Far Rockaway power station.
The time-wasting move came the day after Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson claimed that all assets from the canceled marathon “will be redeployed to people who need it.”
A massive marathon generator — big enough to power dozens of homes — was still sitting in the lot late yesterday, with a “Road Runners” sign taped to its side. Another unit was trucked yesterday morning from the borough over the Goethals Bridge to New Jersey and parts unknown.
Even after The Post revealed last week how NYC Marathon organizers and the city were allowing precious generators to stand in Central Park while millions of city residents suffered without heat or light, 14 of the massive electrical units remained in the park last night. Only two were actually being used.
Meanwhile, 10 heaters were hooked up in the canceled race’s medical tent, even though they’re no longer needed.
One 200-kilowatt generator in the park was finally moved yesterday morning to the city-run Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island, where frail, elderly residents had gone without heat in their rooms for nearly a week, according to an insider. Yet, inexplicably, the generator was still not plugged in last night.
The two 300-kilowatt generators featured on the front page of Friday’s Post were wastefully running for days in Central Park until yesterday afternoon, when they were finally hauled off, supposedly to storm-ravaged regions.
Another 100-kilowatt generator was also hauled out after sitting idle for days.
The generator roulette enraged New Yorkers suffering with a crippling lack of power, fresh water, food and shelter after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the region last week.
“Staten Island needed those generators,” said Matt Naporko, 30, whose home was completely leveled by the storm. “Even if they helped power one or two more houses, it’s better than nothing. Why waste them by putting them away?”
“It’s like the end of the world here,” said Nick Moudataos, 55, of the devastated Midland Beach section of the island. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime disaster. We don’t have time to guess or play games. You’re playing with people’s lives . . . Give the people what they need.”
“Those generators were a lot of people’s last hopes,” said Brian Kelly, 38, of Midland Beach.
The generators were among at least 45 set aside by the New York Road Runners for the marathon, a race finally scrapped Friday by Mayor Bloomberg after thousands of runners, storm victims and politicians clamored for its cancellation.
Staten Island was still starving for juice, as officials yesterday announced that they were actually bringing in generators from out of state, according to a report.
Marathon officials on Friday had pledged to send marathon resources to help the storm’s victims.
“We have tents set up, we have a lot of Port-a-Johns, we have a lot of things that can be helpful,” said Mary Wittenberg, president of the NYRR. “Whatever we can do to help we’ll be doing helping, including generators and otherwise.”
But many generators have sat idle.
The Coler-Goldwater hospital became a shadowy house of horrors for hundreds of disabled and elderly patients “left to rot,” an insider told The Post — and a generator from the New York City Marathon sat unused at the hospital yesterday.
“The patients are freezing. There’s still no heat,” said a tipster at the home.
A Post reporter who visited Thursday night found one of two buildings lit and the other dark, with some small generators providing meager light in the halls.
One large generator was running yesterday, but a second, 200-kilowatt power source — which came from the marathon’s Central Park finish line and was brought in after The Post inquired about the miserable conditions — was not even turned on.
During the blackout, meals consisted of white bread with cheese or tuna, the insider said. Breakfast on Friday was just grits, with no juice or fruit.
Some in need of medical equipment were evacuated after the storm.
There was a skeleton crew and no batteries for radios, the tipster said.
“They’re letting people sit and rot,” the insider said.
And there is a simple for reason for that.
It's because Mayor Bloomberg and the merry men and women around him do not care about these people.
In so many ways, this really has turned into our Katrina.
When Bloomberg finally canceled the NYC Marathon on Friday, he said the resources that were being saved for the race would go to storm victims.
He certainly didn't work all that hard to keep that promise, did he?
There are two New Yorks as there are two Americas - and Bloomberg and the city government serve the one with the power (both literally and figuratively), the connections and the money.