‘It’s like the Wild West’: Lawlessness and fear take over the outer boroughs as millions in misery endure a sixth day without power
Residents claim they are the ‘forgotten victims’ of Sandy
Also say that lack of power and law enforcement means more looting and violent crime
Those in stricken areas stockpiling weapons like kitchen knives, machetes, and bats to protect themselves
Coney Island residents say they are forced to ‘scavenge for food like animals’
Power unlikely to be returned to Brooklyn, Queen’s and Staten Island until sometime next week
By Rachel Rickard Straus and Snejana Farberov
3 November 2012
As lights have begun flickering on in Lower Manhattan, residents of the Rockaways in Queens continued struggling without power, heat or food for a sixth day as their neighborhood slowly descended into chaos.
With little police presence on the storm-ravaged streets, many residents of the peninsula have been forced to take their protection into their own hands, arming themselves with guns, baseball bats and even bows and arrows to ward off thugs seeking to loot their homes.
It has been reported that crooks have been disguising themselves as Long Island Power Authority workers and coming by homes on the peninsula in the middle of the night while real utility workers were nowhere to be found.
We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed,’ Danielle Harris, 34, told the New York Daily News.
The woman added that she has been hearing gunshots likely fired in the nearby housing project for three nights in a row.
Meanwhile, local surfer Keone Singlehurst said that he stockpiled knives, a machete and a bow and arrow.
‘I would take a looter with a boa if a felt threatened I would definitely use it,’ he said. ‘It’s like the wild west. A borderline lawless situation.’
City Councilman James Sanders said he fears that things are going to get even worse.
‘We have an explosive mix here,’ he said. ‘People will take matters into their own hands.’
Sanders has directed much of his anger and frustration at LIPA, calling on the City Council to investigate the utility for ignoring the Rockaways for so long.
‘LIPA has failed the people of the Rockaways,’ he said. ‘It’s a question of class… serving the richer areas of Long Island and ignoring the Rockaways.’