As hundreds of thousands of Big Apple residents suffer in homes left without power by Hurricane Sandy, two massive generators are being run 24/7 in Central Park – to juice a media tent for Sunday’s New York City Marathon.
And a third “backup” unit sits idle, in case one of the generators fails.
Since emergency executive orders have been issued, the governor, mayor – or even President Obama – could take the generators for a more important use, explained Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman.
Such an emergency action would need the approval of the City Council, state Legislature or Congress. And they would have to compensate the owners of the devices.
But plenty in the city wish they had taken such decisive action. After all, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie postponed Halloween for safety reasons, so Gov. Cuomo or Mayor Bloomberg should issue an executive order for lifesaving generators.
“We’re struggling here, and we want the city to know that,” Councilwoman Margaret Chin of Chinatown said yesterday.
She asked the Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday for a generator to run pumps to get water to stranded seniors.
“They’re telling me there are other priorities,” Chin said.
One hotel on Staten Island has its priorities straight.
Frank Sanchez, the general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn, said he will not honor marathoners’ reservations if it means throwing out storm refugees.
“While we understand they have reservations, we know they are going back to their regular lives in two days. Our neighbors will not have that opportunity,’’ he e-mailed The Post.
The New York Road Runners Club, which organizes the world-famous race, is paying for the generators, which were supplied by Long Island-based On Site Energy for the massive, 80-yard-long tent, which also will be used by runners carbo-loading during a pre-race pasta dinner tomorrow.
Neither would say how much the machines cost, but a Fire Department permit revealed a $37,500 fee to run them constantly through Nov. 6.
“These are our private generators. We are not draining any resources from the city’s plan to recover,” Road Runners spokesman Richard Finn angrily insisted.
Still, Con Ed said yesterday that some of its customers would remain without power for more than a week.
Meanwhile, sources told The Post precious city resources were also being diverted to prepare for the marathon, including more than a dozen NYPD flatbed trucks taken from disaster-relief work at sites including Breezy Point, Queens, where more than 100 homes burned to the ground.