Housing crisis looms as storm victims battle cold By Ilaina Jonas and Edith Honan | Reuters – 5 hrs agoEnlarge Photo Reuters/Reuters – A U.S. flag flies from a flagpole tilting in the sand south of East Avenue in Bay Head, New Jersey, November 4, 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. REUTERS/Tom Mihalek RELATED CONTENT
Another storm headed toward weather-beaten NY, NJ By Associated Press – 5 hrs ago NEW YORK (AP) — Just what New York and New Jersey need after the devastation of SuperstormSandy — More wind.The National Weather Service said an offshore storm that could pack gusts up to 55 mph is in Wednesday’s forecast for the New York metropolitan area and the New Jersey coastline.Meteorologist Joe Pollina said the storm looks like a classic Nor’easter, coming up along the Atlantic coast. He said it will not be nearly as strong as Sandy but could compound the damage left by last week’s superstorm.The weather service said the strongest winds will likely hit eastern Long Island.Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said cold temperatures mean „tens of thousands” of people whose homes were damaged by the superstorm will need other places to live.
A state-by-state look at superstorm’s effects By The Associated Press | Associated Press – 7 hours ago View Photo Garbage lies piled on the street in the New Dorp neighborhood of Staten Island, N.Y., Sunday, Nov. 4, …View Photo Runners prepare to board the Staten Island with goods and supplies for Superstorm Sandy victims, Sunday, …View Photo Carrying a backpack with goods and supplies, marathon runner Eitan Tabak runs past debris in the hard … View Photo Supplies are piled on the deck of a moving Staten Island ferry boat in New York, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. …The massive storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, killing at least 107 people in the United States. Power outages now stand at more than 1.8 million homes and businesses, down from a peak of 8.5 million. Here’s a snapshot of what is happening, state by state.CONNECTICUT-Utility companies say all 192 polling places will have power on Election Day, although some might be from generators. Commuter rail service along the Danbury and Waterbury branches of Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line will resume Monday. There will be bus service on the New Canaan branch line, at least for two days. Deaths: 3. Power outages: 63,460, down from a peak of 625,000.NEW JERSEY-Rationing system for auto fuel in effect for its first full day, while water recedes in some shore towns. Students will return to class Monday in dozens of schools shuttered by Sandy. Deaths: 23. Power outages: 950,000, down from 2.7 million.NEW YORK-Thousands of runners poured in Central Park Sunday morning to run 26.2 miles, despite the marathon being called off Friday night; others ran to Staten Island to help storm victims. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says fuel shortage gripping area is a ‘short term’ problem, but will continue for days. Children go back to school Monday. Deaths: 48, including 41 in New York City. Power outages:657,000, down from 2.2 million.PENNSYLVANIA-The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is loaning 31 of its buses to NJ Transit, which will use the vehicles to support shuttle service for New Jersey commuters traveling to New York City. Deaths: 15. Power outages: 91,000, down from 1.2 million.RHODE ISLAND-Police and National Guard troops continued to staff checkpoints as officials in Westerly and Charlestown limited access to damaged beach communities to property owners and construction workers. Deaths: None. Power outages: none, down from more than 122,000.WEST VIRGINIA-The Secretary of State’s Office moved five precincts in three counties hard hit last week Sandy. More changes could come before Election Day on Tuesday. Deaths: 6. Power outages: 53,000, down from 270,000.Other states with storm-related deaths: Maryland (4), New Hampshire (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (2), Virginia (2)._Sources: Local and state authorities; AP reporting
Army Sgt. Adama Ilbouda (L) with the New York Army National Guard, and Tech. Sgt. David Tayler, distribute …NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Harbor energy network was returning to normal on Sunday with mainline power restored nearly a week after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the eastern seaboard.Yet damage to infrastructure near Linden, New Jersey, a major northeast fuel hub, kept a major refinery and some terminals shut, lending longer life to gasoline shortages that have persisted in the region.Another looming concern was that heating oil supplies were dwindling with temperatures expected to dip to freezing in New York by Monday.Commercial power was restored at Colonial Pipeline’s key terminal in Linden and the company was delivering to seven terminals on Sunday out of the 20 connected to the facility. More than two-thirds of Colonia’s customer terminals were still offline, spokesman Steve Baker said.NuStar Energy LP, whose Linden terminal had sustained severe damages after Sandy, said it hoped to restore pipeline and barge deliveries „very soon.Just six miles south of Linden, Hess Corp was set to receive its first barge since the storm at its Port Reading, New Jersey terminal on Sunday night. It was also expecting first shipments after Sandy on the Colonial Pipeline.Power was partly restored to the company’s 70,000 bpd Port Reading, New Jersey, refinery, but it needs full power to complete a damage assessment. Hess said it could take several days before it could bring back utility systems necessary to consider restarting.Phillips 66’s Bayway refinery in Linden was idle over the weekend after the company was forced to shut 238,000 barrel per day plant when the storm hit. Phillips 66 said it does not expect updates on operations until Monday morning.In the New York Harbor, some of the four tankers carrying refined fuels and anchored offshore were transferring shipments to smaller barges for delivery, the U.S. Coast Guard said.One of the tankers, Glory Express, became the first allowed into the Arthur Kill Waterway after Sandy struck. It was headed to Kinder Morgan’s Carteret terminal in New Jersey on Sunday afternoon, Reuters shipping data showed.The outages hit the U.S. East Coast when gasoline and diesel stocks were hovering near all-time lows. Total East Coast gasoline inventories hit a record low for October in the first week of the month and barely recovered in the weeks since, according to U.S. Energy Department data. Similarly, East Coast distillate stocks were at a seven-year low three weeks ago.In a briefing on Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the fuel shortage is lifting in New York but problems are likely to persist for „a number of days.”In New York, 27 percent of gasoline stations surveyed by the Energy Department’s data arm were without fuel on Sunday, down from 38 percent on Saturday. This, along with the 30,000 gallons of gasoline distributed by the New York National Guard on Saturday, brought some relief to motorists troubled by the fuel outages.In an unprecedented move, Hess Corp, a dominant fuel supplier in the region, published information on stock levels at its northeast gas stations, urging customers to visit those that have more than 7,000 gallons in stocks.The data can be found here: http://link.reuters.com/jeq73t By Sunday afternoon, 1.86 million homes and businesses were without power in states hit by the storm. Power was restored to nearly 78 percent of customers that were without electricity after Sandy.New Jersey power provider PSE&G said it brought power back to 78 percent of gasoline stations in its service area.”We have restored power to all of the refineries and pipeline suppliers that we are aware of,” PSE&G President Ralph LaRossa said on a conference call.However, there were still signs of the shortages that have gripped the region, causing miles-long lines for gasoline.Fuel rationing based on license plate numbers in New Jersey, which was enacted by Governor Chris Christie, entered its second day. Only cars with even numbers could buy gasoline in the state on Sunday.In Montclair, New Jersey, some stations ran out of fuel after pumping gasoline on Saturday for cars with odd-numbered plates. This left few stations with gasoline to serve motorists with even-numbered plates, who waited for hours on Sunday.On the heating oil front, suppliers were optimistic there would soon be enough supplies, barring any transportation issues in the next few days.Two terminals with heating oil supplies – one in the Bronx and one in Brooklyn — were open for business on Sunday and some barges were expected to deliver heating oil to terminals operated by Bayside Fuel Oil Depot terminals in Red Hook, Brooklyn.”If all goes smoothly … we’ll have enough for this week and into the next weekend,” said John Maniscalco, head of New York Oil Heating Association.(Additional reporting by Ed Tobin; Editing by David Gregorio, Marguerita Choy and Bernard Orr)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – About 1.9 million homes and businesses remained in the dark on Sunday as pressure mounted on power companies to restore electricity to areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy nearly a week ago.In New York, utilities came under increasing calls to restore heat and light to some 650,000 customers. More than half of those were served by the Long Island Power Authority, which was singled out for criticism by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.In New Jersey, about a quarter of the state remained without power.After a peak of 8.5 million customers without power across 21 states affected by the massive storm, the rate of restoring power each day has slowed as line crews face increasingly difficult and isolated outages.By Sunday afternoon, 640,000 customers had been switched back on in the last 24 hours, down from about 1 million who had power restored a day earlier.After last year’s Tropical Storm Irene, most power was back within five days.LIPA, which said Sunday afternoon it still had 370,000 of its 1.1 million customers without power, has come in for some of the toughest criticism over its efforts, particularly with a new cold front now menacing the region.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s website put LIPA’s outages closer to 313,000 as of Sunday evening. That was the most of any utility serving the state. Con Edison, which serves about 3.3 million customers in New York State, was second at just under 200,000 customer outages.Speaking at a press conference on Sunday morning, Cuomo again criticized LIPA’s restoration efforts and vowed to hold power companies „100 percent” accountable for their performance during restoration efforts.Earlier this week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had joined in the criticism, saying LIPA „has not acted aggressively enough” to restore power to customers. The utility’s New York City customers reside in Queens.Local residents likewise expressed frustration with LIPA’s restoration efforts.Tab Hauser, deputy mayor of the still-dark Village of Flower Hill on the north shore of Long Island, said that not only has the clean-up been too slow, LIPA „is doing nothing to prepare for the future.” He would like to see the utility consider underground lines and metal rather than wood poles. „Every year it’s a band aid,” he said. „This can happen next year and nothing will change.”LIPA spokesperson Mark Gross was not available for an interview Sunday evening. However, he said in an email that the utility expected to have 90 percent of its customers restored by Wednesday evening. The remaining 10 percent, which includes areas devastated by flooding, would take longer.THE LABOR-INTENSIVE STUFF–Nearly a week after Sandy’s landfall, industry experts warned that the overall pace of restoration might slow as utilities move to repair lines and poles that affect smaller numbers of customers.”That’s the real labor-intensive stuff that it’s just street-to-street, house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood,” said Brian L. Wolff, senior vice president of external affairs at Edison Electric Institute, an industry group.He added that some 150,000 to 200,000 customers „have such a level of physical destruction that they won’t be able to restore electricity for quite some time.”In New Jersey, where many coastal towns experienced severe devastation, about 25 percent of utility customers were still without power on Sunday, according to the Department of Energy. Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) – two major providers – each had about half a million customers without power.PSE&G, which provides power to about 2.2 million customers across a wide swath of central New Jersey, said 493,000 were still without power as of Sunday morning. But critical infrastructure serviced by the utility already had its power restored, PSE&G President and Chief Operating Officer Ralph A. LaRossa told reporters on a conference call Sunday.About 78 percent of gasoline stations had power restored, as well as 80 percent of schools, LaRossa said.POLLING PLACES–Seven power substations, including six in Hudson County, were still being repaired, and the utility was busy coordinating power restoration efforts with local authorities for polling places in time for Election Day.”We’ll be in pretty good shape by Tuesday,” LaRossa said.JCP&L, which provides power to 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties, had 473,000 customers without power as of Sunday afternoon. That’s the vast majority of the 551,000 customers JCP&L’s parent company, energy provider FirstEnergy, reported across all its affected service areas.In service areas outside of New Jersey, which include Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, FirstEnergy expected to have service restored to the majority of polling places ahead of election day, Jennifer Young, a spokesperson for FirstEnergy, said in an email.In Pennsylvania, power provider PPL Corp. was zeroing in on its remaining outages. Power had been restored to all polling places and schools in the utility’s 29-county service zone, spokesperson Michael Wood said. The company had about 15,0000 customers still without power as of late Sunday, he said”Nearly all of those customers will be repaired today,” Wood said.BRACING FOR THE WORST-But weather continued to complicate restoration efforts on Sunday as cold weather set in throughout the region, plunging temperatures and raising concerns about those still without light and heat.Meteorologists also predicted that another „Nor’easter” – a coastal storm capable of producing strong winds and heavy rain – could hit the region by-midweek.”It certainly can have an impact on slowing our crews that are making restorations,” John Miksad, Con Edison’s senior vice president of electric operations, told reporters on a conference call Sunday. The storm could also cause additional outages, he said.Con Edison had about 198,000 customers without power as of late Sunday afternoon, Miksad said. Of those, 86,000 were located in Westchester County, 54,000 in Queens, 23,000 in Brooklyn, 19,000 in Staten Island and 11,000 in the Bronx. About 5,000 Con Edison customers in Manhattan also lacked power.Con Edison aims to restore power to most of its customers by Friday.(Additional reporting By Jilian Mincer and Robin Respaut; Editing by Jonathan Leff, Marguerita Choy and Ken Wills)
Cold weather and new storm add to victims’ misery By JENNIFER PELTZ and MICHAEL HILL | Associated Press – 1 hr 27 mins agoEnlarge Photo Associated Press/Mel Evans – First responders who worked through last Monday’s storm surge by Superstorm Sandy, listen as they are acknowledged by Diocese of Trenton American Roman Catholic Bishop David M. …more RELATED CONTENT