Tens of thousands still without power in aftermath of Nor'easter

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Utility crews continued their efforts to restore power in parts of the Tri-State area trying to recover from last week's nor'easter, with another storm bearing down.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said thousands of utility workers, including 1,300 from out of state, are involved in the recovery operations.

On Monday night, about 75,000 customers were still in the dark in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, and Sullivan counties, over 47,000 of them in Westchester.

Over 50,000 were still without electricity in New Jersey, where hundreds of crews continued to work to clear trees and repair power lines damaged by the storm.

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Reporter Darla Miles has the latest a New Jersey town facing power issues in the wake of the no'easter.

Officials in many communities are still getting into neighborhoods where there is damage and continuing what could be a lengthy cleanup process.

"Many intersections remain without working traffic lights and power outages are affecting some critical infrastructure and facilities, including sewage and water pumping stations," said Westchester County Director of Operations Joan McDonald.

Officials announced that the Westchester County Center would be open Monday night and Tuesday to provide a place for residents to stay warm.

County Executive George Latimer said thousands of residents "are still sleeping in cold homes with no lights and downed power lines right outside their doors. I find this disgusting. I am outraged at both Con Edison and NYSEG's slow and inadequate response."

"I want power and obviously I want the power back, and if you can do that as fast as you can, that's what I want," said Yorktown Supervisor Lanny Gilbert.

He expressed his frustration three days after the storm left heavy damage and residents without power.

"It's very difficult for people to survive," said Gilbert. "And it's going to get colder tonight and we have another major snowstorm on the way."

Without power and trying to save what food they could, Yorktown residents lined up for dry ice made available by Con Edison. Many have hunkered down in their homes.

"I just slept with the dog and cat to get some extra heat because it's cold," said one resident.

On Barberry Road in Yorktown, a generator provided Frank Iurilli's home with a little bit of power. "Hooked up to our refrigerator and some of our heat," he said. "Some of our neighbors are not as lucky as we are but it's frustrating."

Down the block a giant tree took out the power lines, power pole and the transformer, plunging many in the area into darkness once the sun goes down.

"We have a little bit of heat in the house but it is just awful over here," said resident Deborah Woodard.

Elizabeth Melamed was one of tens of thousands without power for three days after a tree crashed on her block, and the temperature in her house continues to drop.

"Last night it was 49 degrees," she said.

In addition to no power, outside of her home are live wires. Sunday night, three small fires sparked. "It was a string of flames," Melamed said.

Her frustrations are growing with Con Edison. "We would appreciate them addressing this sooner than later since we are told we have live wires there are electrical fires," Melamed said.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas was making the rounds Monday, calming concerns and addressing why it's taking so long for the power to be restored.

"There are pockets of people without power, 2,000 meters are out, and were really concerned about why many of our utilities are underground not subject to wind damage," Mayor Thomas said.

Newscopter 7 was over dozens of trucks lined up in the lot of Rye Playland Monday, some all the way from Canada, ready to help with the restoration work all over Westchester.

In Mount Vernon, with a pending storm it means it is time for better preparedness.

Department of Public Works crews took down trees leaning onto power lines.

"These trees are big and it's impressive them bringing it down," said Adam Boyd, a resident.

That's because Boyd already had a tree crash into his backyard.

"We do have power, not now, but when the tree came down, it did take our meter box," Boyd said.

Meanwhile states of emergency remain in place in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties as another winter storm approaches New York.

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