New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy are trying to resume normal lives despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages lasting several more days. Subway tracks and commuter tunnels beneath New York City sustained heavy damage and Metro-North Railroad service remains suspended today. Utilities have crews out repairing damaged and downed transmission lines. Hudson Valley Bureau chief Dave Lucas has an update:
Northern River cities were for the most part spared the expected deluges and flooding of the Hudson- except closer to the banks- Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is out touring areas that have suffered damage. NYSEG crews hope to have the lights back on for all of Shandaken this afternoon. NYSEG continues to move additional crews and support personnel, as well as contract line and tree crews, into the downstate areas and the Catskill Region that were particularly hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. The company re-stated that its power restoration effort in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties and the Catskill Region will be lengthy.
Orange & Rockland is rebuilding a huge chunk of its electric service system: 27 transmission circuits and 17 substations that sustained serious damage during the storm. Officials expect power restoration within 10 days to the majority of customers, but those in outlying areas could have to wait for weeks.
Many of the utilities are distributing dry ice and water - they advise checking their websites for more information. Central Hudson's John Maserjian says crews have made substantial progress turning power back on... by Wednesday morning electric service was restored to more than 60,000 Central Hudson customers.
Several of the communities hardest-hit last year by Irene and Lee suffered relatively little damage from Sandy: Prattsville, Windham and neighboring towns reported nothing more than sporadic electrical outages and a few downed tree limbs... The Schoharie Creek ran high, but there was no flooding.
There WAS some flooding in the Greene County community of Athens: a small number of homes were evacuated, but residents are back in them now.
Telephone service is back in some areas of Dutchess County after being down several hours on Tuesday, although officials says sporadic outages will likely continue thru the weekend... Dutchess County Government's VOIP phone system is still down for incoming calls due to issues with Verizon SIP Trunk Services stemming from Central Offices in NYC as a result of Hurricane Sandy. This problem is also impacting thousands of customers, from various telephone services carriers, throughout the Northeast. County officials are working with Verizon Management to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
All of the utilities want to hear from any customers still without service...
Commuters who rely on Metro-North may have to find alternatives - Metro-Norths's Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines are shutdown - an MTA official who did not wish to go on mic says there is no prospect of service today and no sense of what kind of service may be available tomorrow or Friday - many trees are still down and tracks are being repaired - some sections of the Hudson line do not have electric power.