Sandy-Torn Northeast Deals With 200,000 New Outages
Utility crews worked to restore power to an additional 200,000 customers in the New York area after a nor'easter blasted the region that's still trying to recover from Super Storm Sandy.
Wednesday's storm left a blanket of snow that snapped storm-weakened trees and downed power lines.
More than 200,000 new outages hit Sandy-battered parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. New outages in New York City were being dealt with quickly, power officials said. About half the current outages in New Jersey were from the latest storm.
The nor'easter, as promised, brought gusting winds, rain and snow, but not the flooding that was anticipated.
"The good news, thank goodness, is except for maybe 2 inches of snow, there were no other problems," said Randi Savron, 51, a schoolteacher who lives in the Rockaways section of Queens, one of the areas that flooded badly last week. The idyllic beachfront boardwalk was loosed from pilings and ended up outside her apartment building door.
In Lindenhurst, in a hard-hit area of Long Island, Anthony Gragnano's basement was flooded, and the family has been living off a generator. He has no idea when to expect power.
"It's just colder now," he said. "We still don't have heat or power, but aside from a little snow, we're good."
(Read More: Scenes From Super Storm Sandy)
Roads in New Jersey and New York City were clear for the morning commute, and rail lines into New York were running smoothly, despite snow still coming down heavily in some areas.
Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this sort wouldn't be a big deal. But large swaths of the landscape were still an open wound, with the electrical system highly fragile and many of Sandy's victims still mucking out their homes and cars and shivering in the deepening cold. As the storm picked up in intensity Wednesday evening, lights started flickering off again.
Residents from Connecticut to Rhode Island saw 3 to 6 inches of snow on Wednesday. Worcester, Mass., had 8 inches of snow, and Freehold, N.J., had just over a foot overnight.
There was good weather news: temperatures over the next few days will be in the 50s in southern New England, said meteorologist Frank Nocera, and on Sunday it could edge into the 60s.
In New York and New Jersey, rain and 60 mph wind gusts swept through Wednesday evening.
"I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.
Ahead of the storm, public works crews in New Jersey built up dunes to protect the stripped and battered coast, and new evacuations were ordered in a number of communities already emptied by Sandy. New shelters opened.
All construction in New York City was halted — a precaution that needed no explanation after a crane collapsed last week in Sandy's high winds and dangled menacingly over the streets of Manhattan. Parks were closed because of the danger of falling trees.
Airlines canceled at least 1,300 U.S. flights in and out of the New York metropolitan area, causing a new round of disruptions that rippled across the country.
Sandy killed more than 100 people in 10 states, with most of the victims in New York and New Jersey. Long lines persisted at gas stations but were shorter than they were days ago. By early Thursday, more than 292,700 homes and business in New York state were without power, and another 403,000 in New Jersey lacked electricity.
Elena McDonnell lived through Sandy last week and remained without power in her Staten Island home, she didn't fear the storm and said it was just a blip in the cleanup efforts.
"We're going to go back in a little while and start packing more stuff," she said. "There's so much more to do."