Background: Coping in New York City
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BETTY ANN BOWSER: Linda Benswanger is thinking about moving.
LINDA BENSWANGER: It’s really scary — really, really scary. It makes me think about leaving, going to the country or going somewhere else.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Her friend Cecily Sachi is frightened.
CECILY SACHI: I’m scared of immediate things like another immediate attack — you know, the things people are talking about — you know, chemicals, trucks coming in. And then I’m just scared for the whole world, for a war… For… You know, just the world for our babies and our children.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Some of the toughest, edgy, steely willed people in the world — New Yorkers– are frazzled. (Horn honks) Police, National Guardsmen, and state troopers are everywhere. Boats loaded with soldiers and big machine guns go up and down the Hudson River everyday, on the lookout for suspicious people. Police are stopping huge numbers of trucks before they’re allowed to enter Manhattan, following reports of terrorists trying to take deadly chemicals into the city. For the first time in 21 years, traffic into the city is being limited. Only cars with two or more people are allowed below midtown’s 63rd street in the morning hours. There have been a lot of bomb threats. Yesterday the upper level of the George Washington Bridge had to be closed at rush hour so police could investigate a suspicious package. When there is an emergency like that, response to it is coordinated at the Emergency Operations Center. The entire recovery effort is organized here– police, fire, state, and federal government agencies. To say that security is extremely tight is an understatement. Officials don’t even want us to mention where it’s located. Richard Scheirer, director of New York’s office of emergency operations, set all this up.
RICHARD SCHEIRER: People’s nerves are very frayed, and our job– a big part of our job– is to make sure that the people out there doing the work have all the information, all the resources they need, so we can help assure the public that they still have the best protection of any city in the world.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Not only are New Yorkers nervous, a lot of them are uneasy about the future. 15,000 families have temporarily or permanently lost their homes in and around the former World Trade Center. Emergency room doctor Vicky Sadock and investment analyst David Cavalier don’t know when they can move back into their apartment at 71 Broadway.
DAVID CAVALIER: Actually, I think we’re pretty lucky. It’s just dust, nothing was really broken. I’m kind of expected to come in and see the windows blown in and things burnt.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Cavalier was in the apartment when the first plane hit.
DAVID CAVALIER: Our view right there used to look right onto the world trade center. I saw the north tower burning, wreckage coming out, start to see some people jumping out of the windows. Saw people… They were actually falling backwards out of the windows. And I thought maybe it was going to be a little bit difficult to sit here and look out at that view with a big, gaping hole in it now.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Sadock would just like something in their lives to be normal.
VICKI SADOC: It’s just hard because I’m at work all day in a hospital and it’s tiring, and you just want to come home and have– even if it’s just an hour– to kind of remember what your life was like before this happened, in your own apartment, with your own stuff. And we don’t have that, so I never get just that five minutes of trying to forget about this.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Bond analyst Sharon McGarvey and her investment manager husband Paul Martin lived in Battery Park, a few blocks from where the terrorists struck. Their two children, seven-year- old Megan and five-year-old Matthew, used to play in the mall area of the twin towers on rainy days. They’re currently living in temporary quarters…
PAUL MARTIN: I’m going to ask you a couple of words for next week’s session. Roll. >> R-o-l-l.
ELIZABETH BRACKETT: …And McGarvey isn’t sure she ever wants to move back downtown.
SHARON McGARVEY: I can’t imagine taking our kids back there. I mean, I would be… I’m sure I will be horrified when I see what has happened down there. I mean, my son is five. I can’t imagine what it would do to him to see this. I mean, it has to be completely terrifying. It’s terrifying to look at it on TV, let alone that’s your… “That’s your home.” ( Drums pounding )
BETTY ANN BOWSER: In Greenwich Village, things look pretty normal now. But people are still talking about September 11, and how it has changed their lives. Maria Santos doesn’t fly anymore.
MARIA SANTOS: I’m nervous. But I get up every morning and I face fear, and I come in to work like everybody else. I think that many of us are really taking stock and figuring out what is it that we really want for our lives, and how do we want to live.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: City officials said today it could be at least a year before clean-up at ground zero is completed, and they have given no indication if, or when, the heightened security will be lifted.