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Tens of thousands still without power in NY, NJ a week after Isaias

Posted at 5:31 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 19:21:04-04

NEW YORK — Tens of thousands of customers across New York and New Jersey once again woke up in the dark Tuesday, a full week after Tropical Storm Isaias battered the tri-state on Aug 4.

The tropical storm's powerful, damaging winds toppled trees and power lines across the region, knocking out service to millions.

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.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he was disappointed by Con Edison and PSEG Long Island, even threatening to revoke both utility companies' licenses.

The return of temperatures in the 90s, as the region sees yet another heat wave this week, has compounded concerns about those still without power – and air conditioning.

New York outages

As of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, PSEG Long Island reported Over 27,500 customers were still without power. About 5,500 of those customer outages are related to Isaias, according to the utility.

A total of 420,000 customers had lost power in connection with the storm, per PSEG Long Island.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran voiced her frustration with the ongoing outages on the PIX11 Morning News Tuesday, giving PSEG an "F" grade for its response.

The county opened cooling and charging stations in Hicksville, Wantagh and Valley Stream to assist those without power or air conditioning.

Watch her full interview below:

Nassau executive gives PSEG an F grade for Isaias outage response

Con Edison reported over 11,100 customers were still without power across New York as of 12:45 p.m. Tuesday. A Con Ed official previously told PIX11 that a total of 260,000 customers lost power due to Isaias.

In New York City, there were over 4,600 customers in the dark. Queens remained the hardest hit as about 3,000 customers had no service Tuesday afternoon. The Bronx had over 1,100 customers without power and nearly 400 Brooklyn customers were still in the dark. There were 67 customers without power in Manhattan and about 20 in Staten Island.

New York City Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne 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.

"I get that this is a very frustrating situation and we're trying to get it done as fast as we can," Criswell said Saturday during a news conference in Queens.

Westchester County accounted for over 6,500 of Con Ed's outages Tuesday afternoon.

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.

Also north of the city, utility company Orange & Rockland reported just over 550 New York customers without power.

New Jersey outages

More than 2,000 customers across New Jersey were still dealing with outages as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.

At its peak, there were 1.4 million customers 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 about 450 customers without power Tuesday afternoon, a large drop from the more than 5,500 in the dark Monday afternoon.

PSE&G in New Jersey reported about 1,880 customers without service Tuesday afternoon, also a large decrease from the 4,600 without power Monday night.

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

Orange & Rockland reported that only 108 of its New Jersey customers were still without power Tuesday.

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.

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

This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.