Sandy's black­outs leave 2.5m cus­tomers lack­ing power

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


Util­ity crews worked through the night to re­store power to about 1 mil­lion more homes and busi­nesses, leav­ing 2.5 mil­lion still with­out elec­tric­ity to­day, mostly in New Jersey and New York.

A fifth day of black­outs in the U.S. North­east taxed the pa­tience of city and state of­fi­cials con­cerned that util­i­ties are mov­ing too slowly to re­pair the rav­ages of Hur­ri­cane Sandy.

Frus­tra­tion grew among con­sumers, many also with­out wa­ter, heat or phone ser­vice, as power com­pa­nies ad­vised that some ar­eas may not get power back for an­other two weeks. A cold front is fore­cast to bring rain and pos­si­bly snow to the North­east next week. "We knew this storm was com­ing, we went through this with Irene," New York Gover­nor An­drew Cuomo, a Demo­crat, said at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. "There was no great shock."

Cuomo wrote a let­ter to the state's seven util­i­ties this week warn­ing he'd re­voke their oper­at­ing cer­tifi­cates if their restora­tion ef­forts fall short. New Jersey Gover­nor Chris Christie, a Repub­li­can, pledged to hold util­i­ties to the time­lines they've given on get­ting power back, and "if they don't meet these dead­lines, they're go­ing to have prob­lems with me," he said at a press con­fer­ence.

"I know peo­ple want power and heat as quickly as pos­si­ble. We're at­tempt­ing to do that, and no one knows how to pres­sure peo­ple as well as I do," Christie said.

As of yes­ter­day, the pace of re­cov­ery from Sandy's power losses had trailed that of last year's Hur­ri­cane Irene for a sec­ond day, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg. Elec­tric­ity had been re­stored to 4.6 mil­lion cus­tomers as of yes­ter­day morn­ing, or about 57 per­cent of those blacked out, com­pared with 74 per­cent at the same stage of cleanup for Irene, ac­cord­ing to data from the U.S. En­ergy Depart­ment an­a­lyzed by Bloomberg. Sandy, one of the costli­est storms in U.S. his­tory, wrought the great­est dev­as­ta­tion ever faced by the re­gion's power in­dus­try. Man­hat­tan Gets Power Back Post-Sandy as Sub­way Ser­vice Expands

Robert Me­suk, 76, and his wife, San­dra, 73, say they're wor­ried about how they'll cope an­other week with­out elec­tric­ity at their home in Wayne, New Jersey, served by Pub­lic Ser­vice En­ter­prise Group (PEG) Inc.'s util­ity. "We're in the dark with no food, no heat­ing and no hot wa­ter," said Me­suk, who is re­cov­er­ing from kid­ney surgery he had last month. "We were sup­posed to have our power back on to­day, then they told us Mon­day and now they are telling us Novem­ber 10th." "If we have to suf­fer an­other week or two weeks, I don't know how we will man­age," San­dra Me­suk said yes­ter­day.

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