Irene Cleanup Workers Get Tetanus Shots Amid Mucky Cleanup

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cleanup crews are getting tetanus shots before heading out to work on the recovery efforts in Wallington, N.J. There is so much debris and garbage that some say it's a health hazard. (Published Friday, Sep 2, 2011)

    As Irene's floodwaters recede throughout the tri-state, cleanup crews are discovering muck, debris, garbage, and in one case, a skeleton.

    Tons of hazardous garbage has washed up along flooded streets throughout the area. In Wallington, N.J., workers are being warned not to touch the stuff.

    EXCLUSIVE: NJ Aerial Tour After Irene

    [NY] EXCLUSIVE: NJ Aerial Tour After Irene
    Only NBC New York was with Gov. Christie when he took an aerial tour over New Jersey to survey the damage of Irene. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Monday, Aug 29, 2011)

    They're even getting tetanus shots before heading out to work on the cleanup.

    One New Jersey man told NBC New York he got hives after wading into the floodwaters.

    "My feet broke out from being wet for two days, I got all these little red bumps on me," he said.

    On Staten Island, bones were found in a crawl space of a building that flooded on Broad Street in Stapleton. The medical examiner will determine if they are human, the New York Post said.

    Meanwhile, thousands are still without power as utility workers continue to repair outages caused by Irene.

    On Long Island, about 78,000 people are still out. The Long Island Power Authority said it is dealing with the most power outages since Hurricane Gloria hit in 1985.

    LIPA, which had called in 2,000 workers from out of state to help with its outages, said it is having to move its workers to shelters at the Nassau Coliseum, Bayshore High School and a local community college because hotel rooms are needed for Labor Day bookings.

    Crews have been working 16- to 18-hour shifts, and some workers say dealing with frustrated customers is sometimes their biggest challenge.

    "I understand why they're upset but we didn't cause the storm and we are just trying to work it," said LIPA worker Steve Thompson.

    Workers say downed trees have been a major obstacle. They have to wait for tree crews to cut branches and trunks before they can access the lines.

    The progress hasn't been fast enough for at least one Long Island man.

    A Hicksville man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he called the Nassau County Department of Emergency Management and made "numerous" threats against LIPA.

    The 46-year-old man was "irate" about having no electricity in his home days after Irene left the area, officials said. He was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and arraigned Thursday.    

    Upstate, another 38,000 customers still don't have power. And in Connecticut, some 170,000 are still out.     

    In New Jersey, more than 42,000 homes and businesses remain in the dark five days after the first bands of the storm hit the Garden State. The storm knocked out service to more than 1.5 million customers.    

    Jersey Central Power & Light has 40,000 customers without power. PSE&G has fewer than 2,500. Atlantic City Electric has 29 customers.  

    Restoration estimates range from the weekend to early next week.