10:27 AM EDT, November 2, 2012
Desperate men and women are dumpster diving for food, combing through garbage for something to eat. It's what some people are doing to survive as New York becomes a city of despair.
Three elderly folks looked happy to have filled plastic bags with food. It was thrown out by a supermarket in Lower Manhattan after power was lost in the wake of Hurriance Sandy. The owner tells INSIDE EDITION this is one of three dumpsters that attracted a crowd. He estimates he threw out over $150,000 worth of food.
There were similar scenes across the city. One supermarket threw out tons of spoiled food and stricken New Yorkers grabbed what they could.
There were long lines for free food and water at a housing project.
An INSIDE EDITION hidden camera investigation has found that several New York hotels are raising their prices in the wake of the crisis. At the upscale Essex House, a room was $399 a night before the storm. But, after the storm, we asked what the rate is.
"A queen would be $699, sir," said the hotel desk clerk.
$699 for just a queen room. That's a 75 percent increase.
At the DoubleTree Hotel in Times Square, a room that was $299 a night, also jumped dramatically to $579. That's a more than 90 percent incease.
"That's horrible. People have nowhere to go. How can they do that?" said one resident.
A spokesperson for Marriott International, which owns the Essex House Hotel, said any impression the hotel “jacked up” the rate is “100% false.” They also said the rates are determined weeks in advance and “Marriott’s guidelines prohibit hotels from raising rates in excess of normal retail rates sold within the preceding 30 days of a disaster or significant event. In addition, our hotels need to comply with all pricing laws applicable in these situations.”
The American Red Cross lost 12,000 units of blood in the hurricane and desperately needs fresh supplies. INSIDE EDITION's Deborah Norville was among those donating blood at special blood drive Friday.
To schedule a blood donation time or for more information, visit redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767.
People can make a financial donation to the Red Cross by visiting redcross.org, calling (800) 733-2767, or texting the word redcross to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
To donate to the Salvation Army, go to disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/give.
Despite the chaos and despair, there are many examples of neighbors helping neighbors. INSIDE EDITION found one restaurant owner cooking in the dark and handing out free food to people who need it.