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Nor'easter leaves behind lasting damage

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 5:31 p.m.
The aftermath of last Saturday's nor'easter can be heard through the sound of chainsaws cutting...
Partially submerged cemetery in Yonkers, NY (Kristin Fayne-Mulroy photo)

The aftermath of last Saturday's nor'easter can be heard through the sound of chainsaws cutting through blown-down trees.

The storm that brought over four inches of rain and winds up to 65 mph caused floods and toppled trees, crippling many neighborhoods across the New York City area. Many residents are still without power.

Fallen trees knocked out power to several homes and businesses in the city. Widespread outages were seen especially in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island.

As of Wednesday, Con Edison is reporting that nearly all electricity has been restored in Queens and Brooklyn, but a little more than 1,300 customers in Staten Island and more than 350 customers in the Bronx still don't have power.

In total, 147,000 customers had power as of Wednesday morning, according to Con Ed. Electricity should be back on for all customers by Thursday night. In Staten Island and Westchester, Con Ed distributed dry ice to customers that were affected.

"We've made significant progress, but we won't be satisfied until every one of our customers is back in service," said John Miksad, senior vice president of electric operations. "We will have even more out-of-state utility crews on the streets today and expect to see the number of outages drop significantly again by this evening."

Restoration crews swelled to 675 on Wednesday as the additional out-of-state utility crews arrived. Utilities from Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky and Massachusetts are assisting Con Ed's crews.

Along with power outages, flooding has been a problem in neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut, with many people having to leave their homes and stay in shelters.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency because of the damage from the storm.

In New York State Gov. David Paterson directed the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) to work with affected communities to clean up roads, repair power lines and aid in recovery efforts.

"This weekend's storm has taken a toll on New York," Paterson said. "Many state agencies have been working together to get the lights back on, including the Long Island Power Authority, which has restored power to 70 percent of their customers already. But there is still much work to be done, and many more New Yorkers who are waiting."

This weekend's nor'easter was blamed for seven deaths, according to authorities, and knocked out power to 300,000 customers along the Eastern seaboard.