Situation Update - Hurricane Sandy
The situation report is a service of BCLC's National Disaster Help Desk for Business, made possible by the Office Depot Foundation. The Help Desk is available for impacted businesses that need assistance understanding the recovery resources available to them, as well as to companies that want to learn the best way to donate to response efforts.
CURRENT SITUATION (updated 11/8/12)
The Northeast had been bracing itself over the last few days for the next storm, which arrived on Wednesday afternoon. New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia were pelted with rain and wet snow, and gusts of wind up to 60 mph accompanied the wintry precipitation. Across the region 200,000 are newly without power, many of whom had only just had their power restored in recent days.
The storm also brought power line repairs to a standstill because of federal safety regulations that prohibit linemen from working in bucket trucks when wind gusts reach 40 mph. All construction in New York City was halted as well, a precaution against incidents like the one in which a crane which collapsed because of Post-Tropical Sandy’s high winds. Drivers were advised to stay off the road starting at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.
In advance of this storm, officials in many New Jersey shore-area towns including Toms River, Brick, Berkeley Township, Highlands and Middletown encouraged residents to evacuate. Several parts of Long Island were evacuated as well. But despite the fierce winds and snow, there was no significant flooding from the new storm.
The storm is a further burden on area residents who are still struggling with insufficient energy supplies: 750,000 customers throughout the region were without power on Thursday, 400,000 of which were in New Jersey and 70,000 of which were in New York City and Westchester.
Access to fuel continues to be an issue too, although the problem is not a shortage of gasoline, but a lack of electricity. The New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience and Automotive Association estimated on Wednesday that 75 percent of the state’s gas stations were closed because they lacked gasoline or the power to pump it. And those stations which do have access to electricity are struggling to maintain supplies because of the damaged roads and difficulty coordinating deliveries. The Department of Energy reported Tuesday that nine of the New York metropolitan area’s 57 gasoline terminals remained closed.
EQECAT, Inc., a catastrophe risk modeling firm, has estimated the storm damage at between $30 and $50 billion.