Tens of thousands without power after nor’easter dumps snow in New York
NEW YORK — A snowstorm left tens of thousands more people without power in the New York region Thursday, slowing efforts to overcome the devastation caused by last week’s superstorm Sandy.
The Department of Energy said 42,633 homes and businesses were without electricity as a result of the Nor’easter gale, which was accompanied by record snowfalls for early November. The total across six states was now 715,205, the federal authority said.
Although dire for people as winter rapidly approaches New England, this was far below the total peak customer outages of 8.6 million reported by the energy department as a result of Sandy and the Nor’easter.
Utility Con Edison said the latest storm “knocked out electricity to approximately 55,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County.”
“Crews were working to restore 67,000 customers from Hurricane Sandy when the latest storm hit,” the utility said. “The new storm temporarily delayed Con Edison’s customer restorations. Crews repairing overhead equipment cannot work safely in high winds.”
On Long Island, where more than a million people lost power during Sandy, there were 203,742 homes and businesses in the dark Thursday. That was well above the figure of 184,000 reported by the Long Island Power Authority on Wednesday, reflecting impact from the new gale.
Meanwhile, New York City authorities reported that the local death toll from Sandy had risen to 41 when an elderly man was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. With tens of thousands of people lacking heat in the city of 8.2 million, many are resorting to the dangerous practice of leaving on gas cooking stoves to provide some warmth.
Sandy, which began as a deadly hurricane in the Caribbean, pummeled 15 US states and prompted a huge tidal surge that killed at least 110 people in the United States and Canada and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage.
The nor’easter, with driving rain and snow, was much less strong but spread misery in a region where the National Guard and local emergency services are still handing out hundreds of thousands of meals, blankets, water and other vital supplies.
There was a record snowfall of 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) in New York’s Central Park, The Weather Channel reported.
However, with the snow melting and better weather forecast for the coming days, recovery efforts were expected to pick up again quickly.
Airlines that shut down flights around New York on Wednesday were running normally again. John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports all had minimal delays, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Motorists, however, remained plagued by difficulty in getting fuel supplies.
Although the situation has eased from the initial period following Sandy, 38 percent of gas stations in the New York area still had no fuel, the Department of Energy said.