Tapped In: Crane Secured, Gas Lines Stretch, Race for Relief

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TEETERING CRANE SECURED

After six days of precarious dangling 74 stories above the ground, the damaged construction crane alongside 157 W. 57th St. was secured on Sunday. The crane’s 150-foot boom snapped in the middle of Hurricane Sandy’s strong winds, which left it suspended by only a few metal beams at its base as it swung over the many residential buildings below. The city evacuated at-risk residents on West 56th and 57th streets between Sixth and Seventh avenues after the snap, then set to work figuring out how to handle the unwieldy danger.

The Department of Buildings and Pinnacle Industries, the crane’s owner, reportedly spent 36 hours on Sunday turning the crane’s mast so that the wayward boom could be tethered to the residential building. Most locals—many angered over the week by the repair’s slow progress—were allowed back into their homes on Monday.

GAS LINES STRETCH MORE THAN SIX BLOCKS

Upper West Siders in need of gas endured lines six blocks and beyond on Sunday, six days into a regional fuel shortage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that has many citygoers on edge. The shortage persisted despite assurances from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week that supplies would return to normal soon, so many residents found themselves with multiple hours to kill over the weekend along West End Avenue from around West 101st Street to the Mobil station around the corner on W. 96th Street.

According to the West Side Rag, the line stretched so far that gas station attendants had to close it off on Sunday around 2:30 p.m. to ensure that everyone in line received a portion of their dwindling supply. The line mirrored traffic jams across the city caused by fuel demand. At many stations, police were on duty to keep the gas-hungry from getting out of control.

MARATHON CANCELED; RUNNERS RACE FOR STORM RELIEF

Amid fervid debate over whether or not the New York Marathon should be run in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the cancellation of the Nov. 4 event last Friday. Bloomberg, who first supported the race after the storm, maintained that the 26.2-mile run through the city’s five boroughs would not divert resources from storm recovery efforts.

Nevertheless, he said, the controversy surrounding the event—which over 26,000 New Yorkers protested by signing an online petition—was too much of a distraction from the families and homes that needed aid.

“It is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division,” Bloomberg said in the announcement. “The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it.”

Many racers, however, decided not to let the cancellation darken their day, either. About 2,000 of the race’s 50,000 registered participants showed up in Central Park on Sunday morning to raise money for relief efforts by running laps around the park’s main road loop. (Four laps around the park about equals the marathon’s distance, and in fact used to be the New York Marathon’s course.) Other runners headed down to Staten Island to help families in damaged neighborhoods.

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