New York officials reportedly consider closed prison for displaced Sandy victims

Officials in New York are reportedly eyeing a  recently-closed prison as temporary housing for people displaced by superstorm  Sandy and this week’s nor’easter.

The New York Post reports that state officials are  considering the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island to feed and  house as many as 900 victims with nowhere else to turn.

“Our facilities staff have to go through it to determine  what it would take to get it up and running for such a purpose,” Peter Cutler, a  spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, told the newspaper. “Of  course, the challenge is the fact that it was closed a year ago and all of the  major infrastructure components, such as boilers and wastewater system, were  deactivated.”

As many as 40,000 New Yorkers need shelter from extreme  weather events, according to city estimates. On Staten Island alone, about 5,200  people applied for temporary FEMA housing, but only about two dozen people have  been successfully placed, federal sources told the newspaper.

“It’s empty. They might as well use it,” said Rob  Conigatti, 39, who lost his Dongan Hills home and is now staying with his  extended family. “At least they have the right facilities. You can’t keep them  in schools. The kids gotta go to school.”

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