The 'city that never sleeps' has been knocked unconscious by Hurricane Sandy, a massive storm that has essentially shut down the New York metropolitan area, killed at least six people, paralyzed the public transportation system and thrown hundreds of thousands of people into darknessWind gusts as high as 90 mph were reported around the city.Consolidated Edison Inc. said it has suffered the “worst storm damage ever,” with 650,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County out of electrical power as of 1 a.m. on Tuesday. The prior record was last year when Hurricane Irene in 2011 knocked out power for more than 200,000 residents."This is the largest storm-related outage in our history," said John Miksad, Con Edison Senior Vice President for Electric Operations.At least 200,000 residences in Manhattan alone are without power, primarily below 39th St. due to the flooding of a substation.
In Westchester County, 158,000 are in darkness, followed by 74,000 in Queens, 71,000 in Brooklyn, and 76,000 in Staten Island.
Low-lying areas of New York City and Westchester County remain under water.“Restoring electrical service to underground equipment demands cleaning all components of sea water, drying and testing to make it safe to restore power,” ConEd warned.
Meanwhile, the subways are grounded.“[We have] never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.“Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots."
As of late Monday evening, seven subway tunnels under the East River had flooded.“We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery,” MTA added.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.