Before: Aug. 31, 2012 (NASA/NOAA)
After: Nov. 1, 2012 (NASA/NOAA)
Hundreds of thousands may be without power in New York state for another week or more, according to power company officials.
Nearly 200,000 Con Edison customers on Staten Island and in Westchester County got the bad news that it may be next weekend before their electricity is restored.
“This storm has caused the most power outages in the company’s history,” said Con Ed spokeswoman Sarah Banda.
About 570,000 customers were without power as of Friday morning, including 226,000 in Manhattan. By Saturday night, company officials said, all of Manhattan and much of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx should be back online.
But for Staten Island and Westchester County, where the power flows through hundreds of thousands of lines that were knocked down by gusting wind and falling trees, the task is significantly more formidable.
Electricity in Manhattan is transferred through underground utilities, flooded and damaged by saltwater.
Con Ed has its utility crews hard at work, toiling through 12-hour shifts. An additional 2,000 workers from as far away as California were helping in the company effort, officials said.
“The bizarre thing is, we’re not able to get any news or anything,” said Melissa McClure, a resident in Manhattan resident. “My mother in Louisiana knows more about what’s going on than I do.”
She said she had to take a cab home last night to her darkened building, where the electric lock on the front door no longer works. When she went up to her fifth-floor apartment, she said, “it was so cold.”
Nationwide, nearly 4 million customers were without power due to super storm Sandy as of Friday morning, according to the Department of Energy.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would create a $100-million fund to pay for reconstruction and vowed to hold power companies accountable for their preparation and response to the massive storm.
In New Jersey, 1.5 million customers had no electricity Friday morning. Crews were working around the clock to restore power to the hardest-hit areas. The recovery effort in places such as the Barrier Islands and Atlantic City could take weeks or months.
Before-and-after blackout images: A pair of images from NASA show New Jersey, New York and eastern Pennsylvania as viewed at night. Power outages from super storm Sandy affected a wide swath of the East Coast. Before the blackout (left) shows bright lights along New Jersey's Barrier Islands. After, on Nov. 1, shows larges areas of darkness. Use the slider handle to reveal the images.More photos from super storm Sandy