The federal Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center in downtown Buffalo is activating another 26 “reservists” to start taking calls on Wednesday, as the facility ramps up to handle the flood of calls pouring in from victims of Superstorm Sandy.
One day after Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline and pummeled New York City, the telephone service center at 130 S. Elmwood Ave. began receiving calls from storm victims, with 109 calls from New York and 33 from New Jersey, said Colleen S. Hiam, deputy director of the facility.
That’s just 14 percent of Tuesday’s total volume of 1,108 calls, as most of the calls still involve damage from Hurricane Isaac, which pounded Louisiana and Mississippi a few months ago. Calls spiked Tuesday because of a filing deadline for emergency aid for Isaac. However, more calls are expected from Sandy as New York and New Jersey have already received “major disaster” declarations by President Obama.