Months without power in wake of Sandy

Climate chaos0

Months without power in wake of Sandy

November 11, 2012

Henry Goldman, Freeman Klopott


Ruined … members of the US Coast Guard help clear a house in the Midland Beach area. Photo: Reuters

ABOUT 100,000 homes and businesses in New York City and Long Island were so damaged by hurricane Sandy that restoring power to some of them may take months, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has said.

About two-thirds are on Long Island’s south shore, with 36,000 clustered in Staten Island and the Rockaways where the most flooding occurred, Mr Cuomo said.

”You have some people who have buildings and have homes that you cannot turn on the power until that building or home is repaired or replaced,” he said. ”Those are going to be the most difficult situations.”

Sandy slammed the East Coast with winds of almost 160km/h and a tidal surge more than four metres above normal.

The October 29 storm displaced thousands of people, crippled mass transit, knocked out power to more than 8.5 million customers in 21 states and killed more than 100 in the US, including 42 in New York City.

Mr Cuomo said on Friday that electricity has been restored to 96 per cent of the region, though that did not include the 100,000 power customers whose properties were so damaged it could be months before service was restored.

About 434,140 homes and businesses, in New York and New Jersey, remained without power , according to the US Energy Department.

New Jersey’s Republican Governor, Chris Christie, said about 240,000 homes and businesses in the state remained without electricity on Friday.

Mr Cuomo, a Democrat, has been critical of the utilities, some of which have struggled to get the lights back on in less damaged homes for almost two weeks. Friday, he said he’ll be taking a hard look at what caused some utilities to perform worse than others, after the emergency is over.

”I want the utilities to work better and faster,” Cuomo said. ”You have people without power for a very long time. It’s gotten cold. It’s uncomfortable. Yes, we’re understanding, but we’re also impatient.”


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