City putting Flatiron evacuees in hotels

Fifth Ave looking south on Monday

Con Ed crew at work at the explosion site (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

As of Tuesday afternoon, the city said it is working with the Hotel Trade Council and Hotel Association of New York City to help displaced Flatiron residents, and that 10 families and one dog had so far been assisted.

Residents seeking a temporary room were advised to visit the reception center at the Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street, which has remained open. It’s open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. each day and according to the city, has seen 362 visitors since Thursday.

Hotel 17 in Stuyvesant Square, which now has an extended stay model and offers emergency housing, is one of the hotels housing evacuees, an employee there said. However, he said he couldn’t reveal how many individuals were staying there as a result of the blast.

Out of the 49 buildings evacuated for asbestos testing, 27 have been cleared for residents to return. Twelve contained some sort of debris that must be cleaned before they can be reoccupied.

Meanwhile, the so-called “hot zone” has shrunk somewhat. The city’s updated boundaries are:

  • Crosstown and pedestrian traffic is open throughout the area, with the exception of the immediately affected areas around the explosion site at 21st Street and 5th Avenue.
  • Pedestrian and vehicular traffic along 5th Avenue between 20th and 22nd streets is suspended – MTA buses are passing through.
  • 5th Avenue is open to MTA buses, and buses are bypassing all stops between 18th and 23rd Streets along 5th Avenue.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, portions of 20th and 21st Streets between Broadway and 6th Avenue may close to pedestrian traffic as cleaning and abatement work continues.
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