A printed paper sign taped to the front door of on the center at 6581 Hylan Blvd. at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday read “FEMA Center Closed Due to Weather.”
The front doors of the disaster recovery center, which is housed inside the Mount Lorretto Catholic Youth Organization, were unlocked, but there was no staff anywhere in sight for at least a half an hour.
A set of buses which served as a pair of warming centers at the site for the past several days were missing, according to non-FEMA volunteers who continued to hand out supplies from a nearby building despite the storm.
Volunteers at a nearby donation distribution center said the buses vanished on Wednesday.
“FEMA packed up and left,” said Louis Giraldi, 47, a volunteer handing out cleaning supplies to victims.
“We don’t know where they are, so there’s nothing here but us.”
The site is listed on FEMA’s list of NYC recovery centers, and was supposed to be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. The site was also included in the city’s list of warming facilities supposed to open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at the site.
A FEMA R/V also sat empty next to the recovery center.
A pair of FEMA workers alarmed by a reporter’s camera came out of the building at 11 a.m. and took the sign down, saying the shelter would open at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.