CBP Open for Business Following Hurricane Sandy
NEW YORK—A day after one of the most devastating storms to hit the northeast in history, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is open for business - on site and on duty at the major facilities ready to serve the traveling public and trade community as airports and seaports resume operations.
"We're making good progress in resuming operations today by processing the first international flights into JFK and Newark," said Robert E. Perez, CBP's Lead Field Coordinator. "We're working alongside our travel and trade stakeholders, our federal partners and local officials to resume routine seaport and airport operations throughout the area as efficiently and as safely as possible."
CBP is fully staffed and prepared to handle both incoming cargo and passengers, expecting 75 international flights, with approximately 18,000 passengers, to arrive at JFK. At Newark, CBP expects 30 international flights with approximately 6,500 passengers.
The U.S. Coast Guard has closed local waterways and as a result, seaports in the area remain closed. CBP is working closely with the Coast Guard and the Port Authority on plans for the resumption of cargo traffic.
Despite the conditions, CBP's Manhattan-based Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) which serves the pharmaceutical, health equipment and chemical industries, remained operational.
CEEs allow for one-stop processing to lower the trade industry's cost of business, deliver greater consistency and predictability, and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. By having the CEEs focus on industry-specific issues, CBP is able to provide tailored support to unique trading environments.
Northern New Jersey and Southeastern New York bore the brunt of Sandy's impact. More than 5 million residences and businesses -- of the estimated 8.1 million along the East Coast -- lost power in this region. The storm surge flooded most coastal towns and cities along local waterways. A fire destroyed an entire Queens neighborhood. City subway tunnels remain flooded and others without power.
CBP deactivated LFCs for Regions I and III earlier today.
As always, CBP urges residents in the impacted area to continue to follow FEMA and their state Emergency Management Agencies for continuing safety and recovery messages, and disaster assistance.
Members of the trade community should continue to monitor CBP.gov for updates on port operations and on CBP's efforts to minimize disruptions. Airline and cruise ship passengers are encouraged to check their carrier's website or travel agents for more information.
Please visit CBP's website for continuing updates of CBP response and business resumption efforts following Hurricane Sandy.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.