New York—As the last vestiges of what was once the mighty Hurricane Sandy linger, metropolitan New York City is trying to recover from the worst storm in a century–one that has left midtown Manhattan and the Fashion District virtually paralyzed.
As of press time, New York state and city officials continue to urge New Yorkers to remain at home in safe surroundings as recovery efforts continue in many parts of the city.
About 200,000 customers are without power in Manhattan alone, most of them below 39th Street which borders New York’s Fashion District, which includes all major buildings housing the showrooms and offices of the accessories industry.
“This is the largest storm-related outage in our history,” said John Miksad, Con Edison’s senior vice president for electric operations. Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed this morning that it could be as much as three to five days before electrical power is restored.
It may be three to five days, too, for the New York subway system to open at least partially, officials said today. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel.
With the closure of these major transportation arteries, most schools and businesses are closed until further notice. The New York Stock Exchange is expected to open Wednesday since most transactions can be carried out online.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this morning that bus service would resume at 5 p.m. today in area where streets are passable.
Other businesses are taking a wait-and-see before opening. Macy’s Inc., for example, closed 130 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores in the Northeast due to the storm.
“The determining factor is if the store and shopping center have electricity, and if associates are able to get to work,” said Jim Sluzewski, a Macy’s Inc. spokesman.
Saks Fifth Avenue reportedly plans to open its Fifth Avenue flagship tomorrow albeit with a smaller staff since some employees may still not be able to get into midtown to the store.
While New Yorkers emerged to find the extent of flood damage, felled trees, and other wind damage, city, state and federal authorities were still performing recovery efforts today. So far, there have been 12 reported fatalities due to the storm which Gov. Cuomo called the “worst seen in decades or ever” in New York.