Monday, October 29, 2012

Blackouts Affect 1.5 Million As Sandy Approaches East Coast

Blackouts affect 1.5mn as Hurricane Sandy approaches East Coast

Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:30AM GMT

Blackouts affecting 1.5 million people have occurred on the East Coast of the United States, hours before Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall, with many electrical utilities saying the outages are only likely to get worse.

On Monday, utilities reported power outages for more than 1.5 million customers from Maine to South Carolina as of 6 p.m. EST Monday.

The worst outages were reported in New Jersey. Jersey Central Power & Light reported 287,826 outages, mostly in Ocean and Monmouth counties. Public Service Electric & Gas, which serves about three quarters of New Jersey's population, had 93,500 customers without power.

Consolidated Edison, New York City's primary electrical utility, reported at least 71,543 customers in the city and in Westchester County were without power Monday afternoon.

Other utilities across the Northeast reported limited power outages, with affected customers typically numbering in the thousands. Most of the outages are the result of flooding and falling trees knocking down power lines.

Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, was expected to make landfall near southern New Jersey or Delaware, hours before meteorologists initially anticipated.

It has been described as a hybrid "super storm" created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm.

The storm has killed at least 65 people since Wednesday, mostly in Haiti, as it was charging through Caribbean islands.

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