By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Nathan’s Famous is back and Coney Island is on the upswing seven months after Superstorm Sandy. The latest news on the community’s comeback comes from Washington DC. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced May 29 that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds will be used to pay for repairs to street lighting along the famous Coney Island Boardwalk.
FEMA will use more than $1 million in funding to fix the lights.
“Coney Island’s much-loved boardwalk was seriously damaged by Superstorm Sandy, including its lighting system. This federal funding will get the lights back on, just in time for summer, and make sure that New York City residents are not on the hook entirely for these expenses,” Schumer said.
“The iconic Coney Island boardwalk was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, with its street lighting completely destroyed,” Gillibrand said. “This necessary reimbursement is an important step as we continue to meet New York's needs to recover and rebuild,” she said.
FEMA will provide $1,220,599 in federal funding to the New York City Department of Transportation for the repairs of 122 ornamental light poles.
Coney Island, which was devastated by the Oct. 29 storm, has been inching its way back to life over the past few months. Last weekend, the orignal Nathan's Famous, the world-wide known hot dog emporium and a symbol of Coney Island, reopned its doors after an extensive rebuiding effort.
In other Sandy-related developments, Schumer and Gillibrand also announced that over $2 million in FEMA funds will be used to reimburse the costs of backup generators to provide emergency power to Coney Island, Bellevue, and Coler- Goldwater hospitals.
“Several of New York’s major public hospitals were devastated by Superstorm Sandy and needed emergency backup power to provide critical health care services to patients,” Schumer said. “With this funding, Bellevue Hospital, Coney Island Hospital and Coler-Goldwater Hospital will be reimbursed for the generators they needed to get these hospitals back up and running after Sandy,” he said.
“This critical reimbursement is a critical step forward as we continue to meet New York’s needs to recover and rebuild.” Gillibrand said.
Coney Island Hospital evacuated over 200 patients after Superstorm Sandy. Severe flooding in the basement destroyed the hospital’s electrical system, officials said.
FEMA is providing $2,014,562 in federal funding to the hospitals for over 2,123 hours of use of generators to temporarily restore power to the hospitals that lost electricity after the storm.