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Hundreds of thousands still without power after Tropical Storm Isaias slams NY, NJ

Tree toppled over power lines after Tropical Storm Isaias
Posted at 8:29 AM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 22:08:07-04

Over a million customers across New York and New Jersey woke up Wednesday still without power after Tropical Storm Isaias barreled through the tri-state area Tuesday afternoon.

By Wednesday night, the number of those without electricity had slimmed, but still remained in the hundreds of thousands.

Isaias brought heavy rain and flooding, as well as powerful, damaging winds that toppled trees and power lines.

As of 9:55 p.m. Wednesday, Con Edison reported at least 160,641 customers across New York still without power. That's down from over 191,000 customer outages at 10:30 a.m.

Initially, Queens residents were hit hardest in the five boroughs, with over 45,000 missing service into the morning Wednesday, while the Bronx had over 22,000 and Staten Island still seeing nearly 20,000 customers affected by outages.

Westchester accounted for nearly 95,000 of Con Ed's outages in the area, with no estimation of when service would be restored.

A Con Ed official told PIX11 Wednesday morning that they had so far restored service to over 50,000 customers, after approximately 260,000 total lost power due to Isaias.

However, a Con Ed spokesperson said it could be days before some areas see power restored.

On Long Island, PSEG reported over 264,625 customers were still without power as of 9:55 p.m. Earlier in the day, nearly a third of their customers in the region were without power, though tens of thousands saw power restored Wednesday. Outages were split nearly evenly between Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, about 977,000 customers were still dealing with outages Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Phil Murphy said. Over 400,000 restorations have been completed, as of Wednesday 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.

Utilities are aiming to restore power to 80% of affected customers by Friday and the remaining 20% by the end of the weekend, according to Joe Fiordaliso, the president of the Board of Public Utilities.

"New Jersey got literally whacked and [Isaias] really left its mark throughout the entire state," Fiordaliso said.

As of 9:55 p.m., Jersey City Power and Light reported 396,307 customers still affected, down from 551,344 customers Wednesday morning — nearly half of the utility's customers in the state. Monmouth and Morris counties were the most affected.

Watch JCP&L give the PIX11 Morning News an update:

JCP&L power restoration update in NJ after Isaias

PSE&G New Jersey reported over 184,173 customers without service as of 9:55 p.m., which is down from over 300,000 Wednesday morning.

A PSE&G spokesperson told PIX11 that at the peak of the outages Tuesday night, about 490,000 of their customers in New Jersey were without power. She said it could be days before service is restored to some areas.

Watch PSE&G give an update on the Morning News:

PSE&G update on NJ outages after Isaias

There are two issues slowing down restoration times in the state, according to Fiordaliso and Murphy.

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 need to be made before utilities can restore power to distribution lines.

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

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