NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tri-State Area utilities made progress, but tens of thousands were still without power Sunday, five days after Tropical Storm Isaias hit the region and wiped out service to more than 2.5 million customers.
Con Edison said it was optimistic most customers in New York City would have power restored by 11 p.m. on Sunday, and added most in Westchester County could have their lights back by 11 p.m. on Monday.
“To the customers who are still out, we are working diligently to get you back. We understand the hardship, and we’re not going to stop our singular focus until such time as you’re all restored,” Con Ed President Timothy Cawley said.
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The power restoration effort has been made more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic, which has turned homes into work places for many.
Ava Chang lives in Woodhaven, Queens and said she hadn’t seen any Con Edison workers in her neighborhood. She was frustrated and wants answers from the power company.
“No one is working. I don’t know where they are supposed to be fixing things,” Chang told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez. “We have to work from home and there’s no electricity and no internet. How am I supposed to do anything?”
“It has been awful, really. I had to throw out all my food from the refrigerator. It’s like crazy,” resident Vera Mairena added.
No power means no way to run Mairena’s air conditioner, too, making it a terribly warm and uncomfortable week for her, her daughter, and 7-year-old grandson, Lucas.
“I don’t have my iPad. No phones are working,” Lucas said.
“I’m trying to be understanding, because a lot of trees fell. This happened all over the city … But I think they left us for the last,” Mairena said.
“I am a little dismayed that I don’t see any action,” Woodhaven resident Claudia Combs added.
The race to restore power for desperately needed AC, refrigerators and electronic devices as another work week approached was in full swing under sunny skies as thousands of power company workers tried to restore energy before temperatures lurch toward 90 degrees on Monday.
Utility companies around the region said they were doing the best they can to repair damage left behind by Isaias.
About 300,000 Con Edison customers lost power in the storm in New York City and its northern suburbs and the company said as of 11 p.m. around 3,300 outages remained in its service area.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, PSEG Long Island reported about 35,000 of its 420,000 storm-affected customers were without power.
“While we have made steady progress, we are finding that each job is requiring more work than anticipated due to the extent of the storm’s damage. The more than 5,000 fallen trees or large limbs reported have contributed to the amount of work required to bring customers back,” the company said in a statement.
It added that power to some customers would not be restored until Monday.
About 45,000 customers of several utilities in New Jersey remained without power Sunday. As of 4:30 p.m. PSE&G had restored service to about 572,000, or 99.5%, of the 575,000 customers affected by Tropical Storm Isaias.
Jersey Central Power and Light was still working to fix 8,700 outages.
Eversource Connecticut said it had restored service to 741,000 customers and expected 90% of its clients to have power by Sunday evening. But its online map of communities showed that most communities would not be fully restored until Monday or Tuesday.
It said about 120,000 customers among its 1.3 million customer base remained without service.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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