New York

Frustration Grows as Tens of Thousands Remain in the Dark

Storm Team 4 is tracking another coastal storm for Monday, but at this point, it doesn't look like it's going to have any significant impact on the nor'easter-battered region

What to Know

  • Storm Team 4 is tracking the development of another storm that could swirl up the coast Monday
  • The latest model data seem to suggest that the bulk of the system will stay south and east of the region Monday leading into Tuesday
  • There's still uncertainty regarding the track, leaving the possibility that the storm could clip the coast, but minimal impacts are expected

The arduous recovery from the latest storm to pummel the tri-state area will likely stretch through the weekend as utility crews work to clear downed trees and power lines and restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers --with another storm in the offing, though that one likely won't be impactful.

More than 50,000 homes and businesses remained without power throughout New York and New Jersey Friday, two days after the second storm in less than a week pounded the Eastern seaboard, leaving behind more than 2 feet of snow in parts of the area. 

The heavy, wet snow from the storm pulled down trees, branches and power lines, leaving millions in the dark.

In Westchester, there were 50 percent more customer outages combined in the last two storms since Friday than the number of outages caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011, according to Con Edison. 

Irene caused 105,500 outages in Westchester; Sandy caused 320,900. Last Friday's nor'easter knocked out power to 110,000 customers, and Wednesday's storm put 50,200 customers in the dark. 

Frustration has been growing across communities without power for days.

In West Nyack, Rockland County, 89-year-old John Hiemstra and his wife Norma have been blocked in and bundled up in the cold since Wednesday. 

"It's been a challenge," he said. "We just keep adding more clothes, and our neighbors are helping us out." 

More than 3,000 National Guardsmen deployed to Rockland to help with cleanup from back-to-back nor'easters, much of the damage in Clarkstown, where downed trees and wires were obstructing about 70 roads. Rockland County Executive Ed Day says conditions warranted the arrival of National Guard, and troops will stay as long as it takes to clean up and get power back -- currently estimated to be back by Sunday night. 

Manvin Mayell in Rye Brook, who's been without power for more than a week, stuck a sign in his front lawn reading, "Eight days no power, how come Con Ed and Cuomo?" 

Rikkia Mills of Mount Vernon cried as she joined with Westchester lawmakers demanding a fix from Con Edison, describing having to bring her two children with special needs back to a cold house. She said the utility kept promising the power would be restored shortly.

"They kept telling us, 'It'll be back on, it'll be back on.' So we canceled our hotel room and then we couldn't find a hotel," she said. 

"We have no heat, we no hot water. This is not OK." 

Con Edison said Friday it has 2,000 workers on the job around the clock in Westchester. It also acknowledged inaccuracies in their outage maps and robo-calls, but said in a release Friday evening that about 11,800 customers, largely in Westchester County, were still without power. 

"We have seen significant problems with providing accurate and consistent information to our customers and municipalities. We deeply regret the impact this has had on our customers," said Con Edison CEO John McAvoy. "We are laser-focused on restoring service as safely and as fast as possible." 

In New Jersey, PSE&G said 20,000 customers were without power as of Friday night. It's restored 293,000 customers affected by the second no'reaster, and crews are expected to make additional progress through the day, "although there are still numerous fallen trees and limbs that still need to be cleared from roads, properties and power lines." The utility has hired 110 more tree trimmers to help clear branches and debris. 

Most PSE&G customers in New Jersey should have their power back by Saturday, the utility says. PSEG Long Island says it's restored service to all but 348 customers affected by the storm. The remaining homes and businesses should have their power back by Saturday. 

Jersey Central Power & Light, meanwhile, was reporting 52,922 outages across the Garden State as of 11 p.m. Friday

The rush is on to restore power as forecasters monitor a system making its way through the Ohio Valley toward the mid-Atlantic region. The storm is likely to graze the coastline of the tri-state with a few rain or snow showers, but accumulating snow is not likely. 

It will turn blustery again as the system passes and moves farther out to sea by the middle of the work week.

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