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As heat returns, over 70,000 still without power in NY, NJ

Power outages in New York, New Jersey
Posted at 5:27 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 23:13:46-04

NEW YORK — Tens of thousands of customers across New York and New Jersey were still without power on Monday, nearly a week after Tropical Storm Isaias barreled through the region last Tuesday.

Isaias brought heavy rains and powerful, damaging winds that toppled trees and power lines across the region.

Power companies have called Isaias one of the biggest outage producers in recent years. But some elected officials have criticized the utilities providers' preparedness and response.

The return of temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s, after several days of mild weather, has compounded concerns about those still in the dark.

New York outages

As of 4 p.m. Monday, PSEG Long Island reported about 17,000 of the approximately 420,000 storm-affected customers were still without power. At 9 p.m., the utility's outage map lists over 42,00 outages.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said PSEG’s response had been unacceptable. The county opened cooling and charging stations in Hicksville, Wantagh and Valley Stream.

By 9 p.m. Monday, Con Edison reported over 5,000 customers still without power across New York. That's down from more than 53,700 customer outages Sunday morning and 26,000 Monday afternoon.

Westchester County accounted for over 15,000 of Con Ed's outages late Monday afternoon.

Also north of the city, utility company Orange & Rockland reported over 950 New York customers without power Monday afternoon.

In New York City, Queens remains the hardest hit as about 5,000 customers had no service Monday afternoon. The Bronx had over 5,000 customers without service. Just over 300 were affected in Brooklyn, while 140 in Staten Island and 67 customers in Manhattan were still without power.

A Con Ed spokesperson told PIX11 Monday morning that they anticipate restoring power to most customers before midnight.

Watch Con Ed's interview with the PIX11 Morning News:

Con Ed talks ongoing outages in Westchester, NYC

A Con Ed official told PIX11 last week that about 260,000 of their customers in total lost power due to Isaias.

"I get that this is a very frustrating situation and we're trying to get it done as fast as we can," NYC's Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said Saturday during a news conference in Queens.

Criswell said more trees were downed during the storm than the city anticipated and backup crews have been called in to help with response efforts.

Crews are prioritizing trees down on power lines and houses before they will move on to less life-threatening damage, Criswell added.

"They're very time consuming removals because of safety concerns,” she said of the downed trees, many of which are wrapped in power lines.

Con Ed is offering reimbursement of more than $500 worth of food and medication for customers who lost power for more than 48 hours due to Tropical Storm Isaias.

New Jersey outages

More than 8,000 customers across New Jersey were still dealing with outages by Monday afternoon.

At its peak, there were 1.4 million households without power on Tuesday. By comparison, there were 1.7 million customer outages during Superstorm Sandy.

"New Jersey got literally whacked and [Isaias] really left its mark throughout the entire state," Joe Fiordaliso, the president of the Board of Public Utilities, said last week.

Jersey City Power and Light reported over 5,500 customers dealing with outages at 4 p.m. Monday.

PSE&G in New Jersey reported just over 4,600 customers without power Monday night, up from Monday afternoon.

A PSE&G spokesperson told PIX11 that about 490,000 New Jersey customers in total were without power after Isaias.

Orange & Rockland reported just about 250 of its New Jersey customers were still without power Monday morning.

Fiordaliso and Gov. Phil Murphy said last week there were two main issues that slowed down restoration times in the Garden State.

First was that utility crews were unable to go out into the field on Tuesday during the height of the storm because the wind speeds were too high and made it too dangerous, Murphy said.

Additionally, the state power transmission system was damaged "considerably" during the storm, Fiordaliso said. Repairs needed to be made before utilities can restore power to distribution lines.

"So it’s going to take a little time," Fiordaliso said.

The state brought in 2,000 out-of-state crews to assist in the restoration process.

This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.