Marathon canceled, but generators and supplies still sit unused in park
What a run-around!
The city left more than a dozen generators desperately needed by cold and hungry New Yorkers who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy still stranded in Central Park yesterday.
And that’s not all — stashed near the finish line of the canceled marathon were 20 heaters, tens of thousands of Mylar “space” blankets, jackets, 106 crates of apples and peanuts, at least 14 pallets of bottled water and 22 five-gallon jugs of water.
This while people who lost their homes in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Staten Island were freezing and going hungry.
Michael Murphy, of Staten Island, who had no power and no heat, said yesterday, “We needed 100 percent of the resources here.”
“If those generators were here, we maybe could have had some light for the cleanup effort,” he said. “Those generators would really have come in handy.’’
Larry Gold, 61, of Rockaway Park, who has difficulty breathing, can’t use his oxygen tank without electricity.
“I need power to breathe,’’ he said.
“Right now all I can do is sit outside my house and pray that they bring us a generator.’’
A marathon security worker still working yesterday from a generator-powered trailer in the park, said the power sources had not been moved to devastated areas of the city because of an impromptu race run by marathon holdovers in the park.
“Once we found out they’d still be running a marathon, we had to call all the towing vendors and tell them they couldn’t come,” he said.
“We can’t have these trucks coming in with the runners. It’s a safety issue.”
But most runners in the non-sanctioned run around the park were upset to learn they were being held responsible for disrupting rescue efforts.
“I’m sure they could have asked the runners to pause to remove the things,” said Scott Hawley, 31, of Hell’s Kitchen.
“It shouldn’t take long, and if any of us knew this, we would want that to be the priority.”
And the city had no explanation for why it didn’t simply ask the runners to stay out of the way of the trucks — or send cops to clear a path.
City Hall also did not explain why the equipment and food were not moved out of the park on Saturday — since the race had been canceled a day earlier.
Richard Finn, a spokesman for the New York Road Runners, which pledged all its supplies for disaster relief, also declined to say why the food and equipment weren’t moved out earlier.
The club “focused on routing any available resources to the needy in partnership with local authorities, and making our own personal contributions where we can,” he said.