Hundreds of thousands of people in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey may not have their power return for up to 10 more days, officials warned Thursday. Meanwhile, weather forecasters said a winter storm could hit the Northeast next week.
In New York City, the utility ConEd said the 228,000 customers in Manhattan still without power should have it back by Saturday, but that would leave more than 400,000 elsewhere potentially in the dark beyond Saturday. In a statement Thursday, ConEd said it hoped the vast majority of those would have power by Nov. 11.
The areas taking the longest, spokeswoman Sara Banda told NBCNews.com, are those with overhead lines. Crews have had to deal with 100,000 downed lines, ConEd said.
As for the potential for a new storm, Banda said ConEd has a team dealing with weather scenarios. “We’re going to have to take that into account,” she said.
ConEd also noted that many buildings in areas with restored service will continue to be without power until they repair any damage to their own electrical systems.
The outlook was similar along the Jersey coast as well as on Long Island, where 60 percent of homes were without power.
Sandy damage estimate reaches $50 billion
Superstorm Sandy could have caused $50 billion in economic damage, said Eqecat Inc., a provider of catastrophic risk models.
Experts still believe this to be less than Hurricane Katrina destruction which cost the US some $45 billion plus damage from a flood that followed the disaster.
Hurricane Sandy which swept through the East Coast killed over 80 people in the US and Canada and 150 in the Caribbean. Some 8 mln Americans saw blackouts and stock exchange markets were shut for two days.