Monday, November 5, 2012

Many Flooded Manhattan Buildings Stay Closed

New York City’s buildings commissioner said that scores of the 445 Lower Manhattan buildings his inspectors had labeled contaminated or otherwise temporarily uninhabitable, including some that house huge financial services companies and other large businesses, could remain so for weeks or possibly months. Nine buildings received red stickers, marking them as too dangerous to enter and may have to be demolished.

The commissioner, Robert D. LiMandri, said in aa interview that since Hurricane Sandy struck, his department had inspected 853 buildings, in an area bounded by the Hudson and East Rivers below Delancey Street on the East Side and Canal Street to the west. Most were in the evacuation zone and hit hard by the storm surge.

Mr. LiMandri said 393 were found to be habitable and were marked with green stickers identifying them as such. Nine buildings received red stickers, marking them as too dangerous to enter, along with six others that were scheduled for reinspection this weekend.

But of the 445 that received yellow tags, he acknowledged, scores could be out of commission for weeks or months.

Mr. LiMandri said some of these buildings were large structures with thousands of workers that produced “a lot of economic activity for the neighborhood” and were subject to closing because of the flooding and fuel oil contamination that damaged their electrical, heating and other systems.

He said most of those buildings were operated by large corporations, with resources and personnel that could in some instances provide the means to temporarily solve the building’s problems and allow it to reopen.