A Storyby Nick Fuller Googins
Five months ago, when they were new to America, this would’ve been the time for Lydda’s father to wake the girls, prepare them for school. Now Lydda rolls off the mattress, careful not to disturb Dalia, turns on the electric kettle, and begins to sweep. PS 143, like all the schools, like all the stores and delis and houses and most buildings in New York, is closed until the sewers get fixed, which the mayor says could be as early as next month. Then the water will be turned back on. The people will return.
Lydda’s father says the mayor doesn’t work underground, replacing burst pipes. The mayor has no idea. Manhattan alone will take a month, never mind Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens. Fourteen treatment plants, seven-thousand-plus miles of pipeline, all backed up, overloaded, in need of repair. Yigal Goldstein planned his attack thoughtfully. The damage is immense.