More than 200,000 Westchester customers remained without power on Wednesday afternoon as crews and utilities continued with the daunting task of removing trees from downed power lines before service can be restored.
Con Edison reported that about 176,000 of its customers were still without electricity in Westchester. New York State Electric & Gas reported Wednesday morning that there were 31,800 customers out in Westchester and 32,200 in Putnam.
Con Edison maintained that it could be at least a week before a full restoration is completed while a release from NYSEG said the effort would be “lengthy.”
Throughout the tri-state area more than 100,000 primary wires were knocked down, along with thousands of secondary wires, Con Edison reported.
As many as 1,400 outside contractors have been secured by Con Ed from throughout the United States to assist in the restoration.
Meanwhile, the Westchester County Department of Health has warned residents with private wells whose properties were flooded to either boil their water or to use bottled water as a precautionary measure. Sewage and other harmful contaminants can be washed into private wells by storm waters. Residents should have their water tested if it is evident that their well cap was submerged.
“Until well water is either disinfected or confirmed to be safe, residents and food service businesses with private wells should boil their water at a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute prior to drinking it or using to prepare food, wash dishes by hand or brush teeth,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler said in a release Wednesday afternoon.
After a power failure, frozen foods that are hard and still contain ice crystals are safe to cook or refreeze. Frozen foods that have thawed should be cooked and consumed immediately, or discarded. Foods that have warmed to room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded.
Metro-North announced it resumed limited service at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Local municipalities have continued to urge parents to keep their children off the streets for trick-or-treating. County Executive Rob Astorino urged parents to heed the advice of local authorities about whether it is safe to trick or treat.
“While Halloween is a night that kids always look forward to, this year it is especially important for parents to exercise extreme caution due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy,” Astorino said. “Anyone living in neighborhoods where power lines and trees are down and electricity has not been restored should not go out to trick or treat. In places where things have started to return to normal, parents should exercise careful judgment and common sense. Parents should also be guided by any orders or restrictions issued by their local municipalities. The safety of our children and families comes first.”
The Town of New Castle, still under a state of emergency, has asked parents to postpone trick-or-treating until next Wednesday, Nov. 7. That is when the annual downtown trick-or-treating has been rescheduled, Town Administrator Penny Paderewski said.
In North Castle, Supervisor Howard Arden invited children and their families to trick or treat on Main Street in Armonk, where merchants have power, the only location in town without outages and downed wires. Children will be able to trick or treat from 4 to 6 p.m.