The nor’easter that stymied recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy pulled away from New York and New Jersey today, leaving a blanket of thick, wet snow that snapped storm-weakened trees and downed power lines.
The storm didn’t appear to add much to the devastation, although it did hamper the restoration of power for some and caused others who had just gotten power back Wednesday to lose it once again.
Households from Brooklyn to storm-battered sections of the Jersey shore and Connecticut that had waited for days without power because of Sandy were plunged back into darkness in temperatures near freezing, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s just colder now,” Anthony Gragnano, who lives in Lindenhurst, N.Y., on Long Island in a hard-hit area, told the AP. “We still don’t have heat or power, but aside from a little snow, we’re good.”
In New Jersey, utilities reported 400,000 power outages early Thursday; 20,000 of those were new. In New York City and Westchester, more than 70,000 customers were without power after the storm knocked out an additional 55,000 customers.
There were 60,000 new outages on Long Island, where more than 300,000 customers were without power.
Gragnano’s basement was flooded and the family has been living off a generator. He has no idea when to expect the power to return.
Roads in New Jersey and New York City were clear for the morning commute, and rail lines into New York were running smoothly despite snow that was still coming down heavily in some areas.
The nor’easter, as promised, brought gusting winds, rain and snow, but not the flooding that was anticipated.
Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this sort wouldn’t be a big deal. But large swaths of the landscape were still an open wound, with the electrical system highly fragile and many of Sandy’s victims still mucking out their homes and cars and shivering in the deepening cold. As the storm picked up in intensity Wednesday evening, lights started flickering off again.
Airlines canceled at least 1,300 U.S. flights in and out of the New York metropolitan area, causing a new round of disruptions that rippled across the country.
Sandy killed more than 100 people in 10 states, with most of the victims in New York and New Jersey. Long lines persisted at gas stations, but were shorter than they were days ago. This morning, more than 292,700 homes and business in New York state were without power and another 403,000 in New Jersey lacked electricity.