Stuy Town parkers driven mad after cars are totaled by Sandy

The driver of this Volvo reportedly tried to make a break from Garage 5 as the surge was coming, but abandoned ship. Photo by Lincoln Anderson

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON  |  Stuyvesant Town parkers were feeling “garage rage” after Hurricane Sandy wrecked their cars in a place they were assured would be safe during the storm.

Angry and concerned car owners gathered outside Garage 5, on Avenue C near 15th St., on Tuesday afternoon, but it was gated and there were no attendants in sight. Inside the garage a white car could be seen sitting in water still several inches high.

A GoodYear tow truck operator whose name patch read “Bernard” let them know they were in for the worst due to the salt water’s effects on their wheels.

“Every car out here — totaled,” he said. “If it ever starts running again, it’ll have electronic problems for a long time.”

Parkers were livid that they had received a letter before the storm from Quik Park, which took over the operation in August, telling them to move their cars out of Garages 2, 3 and 4 — with the assumption being that Garage 5 was safe. No. 5 is the biggest garage of the lot.

All the Stuy Town garages along Avenue C are in Zone B. Zone A, the most flood-prone area, stops in the middle of 14th St. But the storm didn’t know from A or B.

“I have an ‘87, cherry red BMW,” said Diana Lee Wolozin, who owns a co-op nearby on 14th St. “It’s like my life savings. … I’m a massage therapist and my massage equipment is in the back of my trunk.”

Saying her car was “vintage” and so didn’t have electronic computer controls, she hoped Bernard would confirm that the vehicle would be O.K., but he didn’t sound convinced.

George Kane, 57, a lifelong resident of the complex said this was the worst storm — and worst garage carnage — he had ever seen, including the ‘92 storm that inundated No. 5 with salt water.

“Even Dec. 11, 1992 — we had a nor’easter and it wasn’t this bad,” he said. “What you had here was a nor’easter combined with a full moon.”

One woman, who didn’t give her name, said that, recalling that ‘92 garage swamping, she took her car out of the garage two days before Monday’s storm, and parked it on First Ave.

Outside the Quik Park, cars sat scattered haphazardly at angles, some half on and half off the pavement, left where they had settled after floating in the water on the flooded avenue. Wolozin checked out a white Mercedes.

“Its inside smelled like the East River,” she reported.

Farzad Sabouhi was annoyed that when he had parked his car at 6 p.m. on Monday the attendants didn’t seem particularly concerned about the onrushing Sandy-pocalypse.

“They didn’t mention nothing,” he said.

“This has to be a class-action suit here,” said sports writer Alan Kreda, who has been parking in the garage since 1993.

Diane Fraher said parkers had been assured that the garage would be “sandbagged up” before the storm hit, but it was never done.

She said when she came by earlier on Monday an attendant had been there and told her the story behind the Volvo XC 60 that sat parked at an angle on the garage’s threshold. It hadn’t been tossed there by the water.

“It was a young guy who tried to get away at the last minute,” she said, “and he panicked, and he jumped out.”

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5 Responses to Stuy Town parkers driven mad after cars are totaled by Sandy

  1. Lorraine Slattery

    Sorry about your cars. My 86 yr. old, partially blind aunt is still without heat in her apt. 278 First Ave. 11G Frances Rausch. She has neighbors with heat in the same apt. house, one level below. PLEASE someone check her apt. I've left messages all afternoon to your emergency #'s.

    • This is the latest resident update I received below. They are emailing these and distributing paper copies under each apartment door. I just returned to my apartment in the neighborhood this evening after leaving for the weekend on Friday night. The heat is coming up, but slowly and the apartments had been getting cold on Friday. It is still chilly, especially near the windows. If this issue has not yet been resolved in her apartment please post a comment. I would be happy to purchase some blankets for her in the morning or walk with her to the heating station (Community Center). The notice says that it is open from 6 am to midnight. I don't know if she is able to willing to do this. I work during the day, so I would be unable to stay there with her, but it looks like there are several people using it.

    • i live in texas and watch the aftermath because i have daughter at NYU. Have you been in contact with your aunt?
      Is she o.k.?


    We have made significant progress today in our efforts to restore services. We remain on schedule in the restoration efforts posted yesterday, and in many cases have seen progress ahead of schedule.

    ConEd is on-site and continues to work on repairs. ConEd continues to have issues with power distribution which has effected elevators in some buildings that otherwise have power. We apologize for previous updates that indicated these elevators were operable. Restoring services and correcting additional issues which arise as power is restored remains our top priority. We will continue to provide you with updates as quickly as they become available.

    Heat & Hot Water Service: Additional buildings in Peter Cooper Village regained hot water service today, but not heat service. We anticipate full restoration of both heat and hot water service for the entire property within the next six days, as announced yesterday. Please refer to the attached matrix to see the status of your building.

    Electricity Service: Additional buildings regained power yesterday and today, though several of those buildings had issues, particularly with elevator outages and certain apartment lines remaining without electricity. This is due to issues ConEd is having with their power distribution system. Full electrical service from ConEd has not yet been restored in these buildings. ConEd is on site working to repair their equipment so that these services may be restored. Otis, our elevator service company, is also on site to ensure elevators are operable as soon as possible following the completion of ConEd repairs.

    Those buildings without power continue to have critical electrical equipment repaired in order to ensure resident safety when power is restored. This work is partially dependent on ConEd which has made the completion schedule difficult to estimate, though the timetable for power restoration to the balance of the community remains Tuesday evening at the latest. Depending on the location, certain buildings currently without power may have electricity sooner.

    Elevator Service: Several buildings that have had power restored continue to have issues with elevator service. Please refer to the matrix below to understand the status of your elevator service. These service disruptions are due to continued ConEd repairs. ConEd currently has significant resources onsite working with management engineers and Otis, our elevator service company, to restore elevator services as soon as possible. If you your building is currently without power, elevator service will likely be delayed by 12 hours following the restoration of electricity. The exceptions to this statement are the three buildings which had elevators damaged by flood waters: 7 Peter Cooper Road, 8 Peter Cooper Road and 440 East 23rd Street (please refer to the matrix for details).

    Gas Service: We have no further updates regarding gas service at this time, though we continue to assess the damage and evaluate remediation options. We will report back as soon as the updates become available.
    Water Service: Basic water service is restored in Stuyvesant Town. In Peter Cooper Village, nine of the twelve pumps that distribute water to PCV buildings will undergo repair, currently allowing for basic service, though pressure drops may continue to occur during peak usage periods.

    Heating Centers: On Monday, November, 5, the ice rink tent will be available as a heating and charging station between 8am and 8pm; the Community Center is available as a heating center for elderly residents from 6am until midnight. Please let your elderly neighbors know.

    Resident Check-Ins: Today, November 4th, we knocked on the doors of all residents in buildings without power; and the doors of all elderly residents without elevator service. Elderly residents who requested food received food deliveries.

    Playgrounds: All playgrounds have now reopened. Due to daylight savings, the operating hours will be from 9am to 5pm.

    Security: We continue to have additional Public Safety staff on-site, and particularly in the buildings without power. In case of emergency only, please call (347) 680-2212. For all other inquiries, please continue to go to Resident Services at Oval Café or call (888) 885-8490.

    Laundry Service: Laundry Service is available in all buildings where electricity service has been fully restored, though certain buildings continue to have only cold water. We will continue to provide updates regarding restoration of laundry services in buildings which sustained damage to laundry machines. Oval Concierge will be open to all residents for laundry services from Monday through Saturday, from 8am to 8pm, and is located at the First Avenue Loop Road between buildings 276 and 274. Please note that they only accept credit card payment.

    Garages: Quik Park expects all garages to be open for damage assessment by Wednesday morning November 7th. Customers who have not had access to their garages should assume their vehicles suffered significant damage and act accordingly with their insurance companies. Beginning the morning of Wednesday, November 7th, insurance adjusters will be allowed into the garages to inspect vehicle damage.

    Amenity Spaces: All amenity spaces have been closed indefinitely. This includes Oval Fitness, Oval Kids and Oval Study. Membership billing has been suspended indefinitely. Oval Concierge remains open at standard operating hours.

    We will continue to update you regularly.

  3. Is there grounds for a class action suit? We were not warned to evacuate.


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