Entries in Power (2)


Lines Abound in NY, NJ, as Resources Run Low

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As residents of New York and New Jersey await recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy they are finding that, more often than not, they need to wait in line.

The needs may be power, gas, pay phones or public transportation. Regardless, get in line.

In Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., drivers waited in their cars in lines that stretched half a mile long on Route 17 South just to inch closer to a Shell station, hoping for the big pay-off: the honor of forking over money to fill up their tanks or put fuel in their generators before gas ran out.

Some even waited on foot with gas cans in hand. The station owner told ABC News that a $30 limit was imposed, but it wouldn't be enough to help everyone in line.

After waiting for hours, many left empty-handed.

Even though 10 counties of New Jersey have been granted federal aid, New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez wrote a letter to the president Thursday requesting that the critical shortages plaguing residents be supplemented further.

"We are dealing with a crisis on the ground with rescue and recovery where millions are without power and without basic necessities," the senators wrote. "Furthermore, our constituents are sitting in lines up to a mile long waiting to fuel their vehicles, tying up local resources that are managing traffic conditions in these areas.

"You have shown extraordinary leadership helping us cope with this terrible storm," they wrote, "and we urge you to use the full force of the federal government, including using military assets, to bring this needed help to our state."

Even if people were able to get gas, it was highly unlikely that they could travel very far without getting stuck in traffic. While many bridges are open in New York and New Jersey, they are clogged with traffic as the reality of shuttered public transportation systems sinks in.

Newly imposed carpool rules forbidding cars with less than three passengers from entering Manhattan are intended to relieve congestion in the city. But they only seemed to add to the long lines. Checkpoints were set up on the highways to enforce ridesharing.

With subway lines out of commission, the swarms of people waiting for buses outside venues like Brooklyn's Barclays Center also had to wait their turns.

ABC affiliate WABC reported that more than 1,000 people waited just to hop aboard, lines stretching for blocks. As the stream of buses slowed down, many were left without rides.

"Where are the buses?" one man was overhead saying.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Utility Crews Work Fast to Restore Power as Temperatures Dip

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With concerns about hypothermia increasing — and another storm forecasted for next week — nearly 64,000 utility workers are now working around the clock to turn the power back on in a dozen states.

In remote areas of Appalachia, and from Ohio to New England, it’s been a race against time as temperatures drop into the 30s in places. Hypothermia or cold stress can strike anyone and can occur even in homes with temperatures in the lows 60s. It can also be deadly.

“It’s cold,” Elaine Collucio of Long Island, N.Y., said. “It’s dark.”

“We know this is a big deal,” said Michael Hervey of the Long Island Power Authority. “We know it’s cold out. We know we need to get lights on as quickly as we possibly can.”

Getting the lights on, however, means bringing in more than 40,000 workers from 49 of 50 states. In California, the Air Force began airlifting more than 60 utility vehicles to New York Thursday aboard large cargo planes. One crew takes about two hours to replace and repair one pole, meaning the team can’t fix more than a half-mile of power line in 24 hours.

Thursday night, workers from Alabama were helping out in hard-hit Atlantic City, N.J.

“Our crews really just, they understand the value of being able to serve others,” said Brian Lindsay of Alabama Power.

Immediately after the storm, more than eight million customers had no electricity. That number now has been cut down by half. A million get their power back each day — better than after Hurricane Irene.

On Long Island, one crew had been working 16-hour days repairing a downed line for powerless residents. The crew’s homes are also without electricity.

“I saw the trucks down the street,” said Lorelei Walton. “I said, ‘I hope they’re coming my way.’”

The crew was coming to help Walton and moments later, her lights were back on for the first time since Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio