Sandy's blackouts leave 2.5m customers lacking power
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.