Hurricane Sandy response grinds on
At latest count, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has disbursed more than $158 million in individual assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the agency says.
As of 3 p.m. Nov. 4, more than 182,000 individuals in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have registered with FEMA. President Obama also added Rhode Island Nov. 3 to the list of states included in a major disaster declaration made in response to the storm; Obama had already signed declarations for Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
As of 9 a.m. eastern time on Nov. 5, 20 percent of New Jersey residents remained without power, according (.pdf) to the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. In addition, 487,952 individual power customers in New York were without electricity, the office says.
Lowering temperatures in the Northeast have exacerbated the fallout of the storm. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has estimated in widely circulated press reports that 30,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers may require relocation due to the cold--a challenge in the low vacancy city.
Meanwhile, FEMA says it has deployed 4,800 personnel to support Sandy response. It also announced through a Nov. 3 tweet the addition of a "Rumor Control" section to www.fema.gov/sandy, a move made necessary by "a lot of misinformation circulating on social networks."
In one widely-publicized case, a Twitter troll going by the handle of @ComfortablySmug (revealed by BuzzFeed to be Shashank Tripathi) made several false Sandy-related tweets such as asserting that the New York Stock Exchange floor was flooded by 3 feet of water or that power was being shut down in anticipation of the storm.
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