A MESSY mix of wind, rain and snow lashed New Jersey and New York, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in darkness once again and compounding distress in communities still dealing with the fallout from Superstorm Sandy.
For many along the battered Jersey Shore all the way to Brooklyn, Long Island and parts of Connecticut yesterday, the storm bore down just as they were recovering from what in some instances was an eight-day long power outage.
Others were still left in the dark, and in some cases without water and heating, when the second storm in as many weeks magnified already freezing conditions, provoked fresh power cuts, knocked tree limbs and disrupted regional rail and air links in the middle of the week. More than 200,000, and possibly up to 300,000, people were affected by the new outages, heaping additional pressure on utility crews.
Early yesterday, more than 670,000 homes and businesses across the region were without power as a result of outages persisting since Sandy and the new cuts wrought by the new storm (known as a Nor'easter in the US).
New York power company Consolidated Edison, whose crews were working to fix connections for some 67,000 customers hit by Sandy, reported that the new storm had severed links to about 55,000 in the New York City and Westchester County area.
In Long Island, the local power authority and utilities reported that more than 200,000 homes and businesses were without electricity. On Wednesday, before the Nor'easter, the figure stood at 170,000.
Although not as severe as Sandy, the new weather system added to the headache faced by officials and left locals frustrated as their forbearance, tested last week by one of the worst storms ever to strike the most densely populated corridor in the US, wore thin. Earlier, as the storm approached, New Jersey's Governor Chris
Christie summed up the feeling across these storm-ravaged communities: "I'm waiting for the locusts and pestilence next." (© Independent News Service)