Con Edison this evening cut the power in Lower Manhattan to 6,500 customers, bringing to 68,700 the number of Con Edison customers currently out of power as heavy winds knocked down trees into overhead wires. Seawater can damage underground electrical equipment and shutting the equipment down can help to limit the damage.
At 4:45 p.m., the company reported 21,800 customers without service in Westchester County, 18,500 in Staten Island and 18,200 in Queens, as the hurricane struck the New York metropolitan area with more destructive force than previously anticipated.
The storm has now been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone and is About 5 miles south west of Atlantic City, New Jersey and about 40 miles of Cape May, New Jersey with maximum sustained winds at 80 mph.
The National Ocean Service tide gauges have recently reported storm surge heights of 11.9 feet at Kings Point, New York, 8.4 feet at the Battery Park, New York and 8.6 feet at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
Within the past hour, a sustained wind of 49 mph with a gust to 73 mph was reported at JFK international airport in New York. A wind gust to 71 mph was recently observed at Farmingdale, New York. There have been more than 1,000 reports of tree damage in parks and on streets.
All NYC residents are being instructed to go indoors immediately and to remain indoors until further notice by the New York City government.
A crane that broke its top at 57th Street near 7th Avenue in NYC is still dangling in the winds as the conditions remain dangerous to secure the machine.
“As you may know, there is a partially collapsed crane atop a building on West 57th Street. In order to keep residents safe, all buildings on the north and south sides of 57th street between 6th and 7th avenues and all exposed buildings on 56th street between 6th and 7th avenues have been evacuated. One was a large hotel, but the hotel industry has found spaces for the people there. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but better safe than sorry,” said NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg earlier this afternoon.
Public transportation and bridges and tunnels remains shut down while public schools will remain closed along with city parks.