Con Ed To Restore Power To 95% Of Customers In NYC By Sunday Night: Officials

Isaias Queens
Photo credit Kristie Keleshian/WCBS 880
By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – NYC Emergency Management said Saturday that Con Edison was working to restore power to most customers in the five boroughs still without electricity from Tropical Storm Isaias by the end of the weekend.

Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said Con Ed aimed to have power restored to 95 percent of customers by 11 p.m. on Sunday.

There were still over 30,000 customers without power across the city Saturday, four days after Tropical Storm Isaias hit Tuesday. Con Ed said crews have restored electric service to more than 270,000 customers in the tri-state this week.

Most of the remaining outages in the city—over 18,000—were in Queens. There were over 9,000 in the Bronx; over 4,000 in Staten Island; and over 1,000 in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the city is continuing to clean up hundreds of downed trees left in the wake of the storm.

“Queens has the majority of trees as well as the majority of overhead lines and a lot of the power outages as a result of that interaction with the trees and the overhead lines going down,” Criswell said.

She said the priority for the agency was removing trees from Queens neighborhoods like Flushing, Bayside, Astoria and Woodside.

“We’ve brought crews in ahead of time to make sure that we were prepared for the response,” Criswell said. “We did have more trees down, I think, than we probably anticipated, and so we brought in immediately some extra crew to help facilitate removing these trees.”

More than 700,000 homes and businesses in the tri-state area were still without electricity Saturday morning as utilities continued trying to get the lights on after Isaias.

Tuesday's storm dealt the region a surprisingly sharp blow, killing at least one person, downing trees, halting commuter trains and initially knocking out power to more than 2.5 million customers. A customer can be a single home or a skyscraper, sometimes even an entire apartment complex.

As of 9 a.m. Saturday, over 288,000 customers were in the dark in Connecticut, more than 298,000 in New York City and its suburbs, and more than 133,000 in New Jersey, according to various utilities.

Power companies called Isaias one of the biggest outage producers in recent years. Con Edison said Saturday that crews are rebuilding entire sections of the overhead wire system in some places.

The company said over 1,700 of its workers were in the field, with 1,200 reinforcements from other companies and contractors and another 320 due to arrive Sunday.

Some of the region's elected officials have blasted the utilities' preparedness and response, with New York and Connecticut launching investigations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.