- Con Edison, New York City’s main power provider, said on Tuesday that Tropical Storm Isaias caused the second largest power outage in the company’s history.
- Only Superstorm Sandy caused more widespread outages.
- Crews are working to restore power, prioritising buildings with vulnerable residents, like hospitals.
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Con Edison, the main power provider in New York City and Westchester County, announced on Tuesday that winds and rain from Tropical Storm Isaias had caused the second-widest power outage in the company’s history.
As of 4:00 p.m. ET, approximately 210,000 ConEd customers were without electricity. For comparison, Hurricane Irene caused 200,000 outages when it hit the city in 2011. Only Superstorm Sandy caused more ConEd outages, affecting about 3 million customers after it hit in 2012.
In addition to ConEd’s outages, more than 1 million New Jersey residents have lost power, according to the tracker website PowerOutage.us. In total, more than 2 million households have experienced outages because of Isaias.
The hurricane made landfall on Monday night in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm, but it has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. Its wind speeds are hovering around 65 mph.
The National Hurricane Centre has issued a tropical storm warning for the coastal area from Manasquan Inlet in New Jersey up to Stonington, Maine. Warnings are also in effect for Long Island, New York; Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts; and Block Island, Rhode Island.
As the storm barreled through North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, it downed trees and power lines and caused flooding along major streets. Accompanying tornadoes ripped off several roofs and caused car pileups in Pennsylvania.
One person was killed in New York City after a tree fell onto a vehicle in Queens, according to a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio. At least three others have been killed in Maryland and North Carolina, the Associated Press reported.
Manhattan residents have been spared in the outages, since its power grid is entirely underground, O’Brien said. But the four other boroughs and Westchester County have been affected; those areas all have a combination of above- and below-ground wiring.
As storm conditions subside in the New York City area, ConEd spokesman Philip O’Brien told Business Insider, ConEd teams will be dispatched to affected areas to evaluate the damage. They will convey information to the crews that will return to those areas and attempt to restore power.
That full process will likely take several days, O’Brien estimated, though some areas should have power restored sooner. Teams will prioritise critical buildings like hospitals and nursing homes, he added.