Restoration Continues in Westchester, Putnam Counties
The monumental effort to restore power and rail service to counties north of New York City continues, but as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas, communities are struggling with a variety of other challenges... Most of the electricity is back on, the MTA and CSX have crews working on railroad services, but there's still a lot of debris that needs clean-up and still a lot of problems with landline and cellular telephone service.
Putnam County remains under a State of Emergency. The Sheriff's Office says they expect that will be lifted Sunday night - County offices are closed today and resources are being directed at getting roads open, assessing damage and making repairs.
The Westchester County Town of Ossining rescinded its "State of Emergency" at Noon: Susanne Donnelly is the Town Supervisor. She says services are coming back online slowly but surely.
About eight miles away, many residents of Mount Kisco are still waiting for the lights to come back on - dealing with spoaradic telephone outages - and nobody's at town hall: officials are all out on the road working with utility crews and making sure residents are okay as roads are re-opening and people try to get "back to normal" -- The Mount Kisco Public Library has extended their hours of operation for WiFi users thru 7pm tonight and 9:30am to 5pm Saturday.... back in Ossining Susanne Donnelly is telling her neighbors to be patient.
According to Con Ed, Westchester County residents still without power could be looking at up to another week-and-a-half in the dark.
Problems with gasoline become more apparent as one gets closer to New York City... Motorists heading south are being advised to fill up the tank. On Wednesday afternoon, Delaware County filmmaker Jessica Vecchione documented a drive along the Thruway from upstate New York to New Jersey, where gas stations that weren't closed had long lines of cars waiting - she made a similar trip this morning
Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the Albany-based New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, is out on Staten Island today: he explains the stations are closed because either they have no electricity and can't operate their pumps -or- they've pumped out all their gas and await new shipments from suppliers.
So far there have been no complaints about higher gas prices or gouging, but Bomabardiere warns that prices may rise if supply in the region does not improve soon. Triple A says the average price at the pumps in New York is $3.92 a gallon, down 5 cents on the previous week. In Connecticut, the Gasoline & Automotive Service Dealers Of America said around 15 percent of gasoline stations were shut and warned drivers could see higher prices in the coming days.
On a press conference call last evening, Con Ed officials responded to a reporter's inquiry about restoring power quickly to gas stations, asserting that the priorities are hospitals, nursing homes, and other public services facilities.