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Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Tuesday Afternoon Update

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The Lower Manhattan skyline as seen from Essex Street at about 8:45 p.m. last night, shortly after a transformer explosion on 14th Street knocked out power to the Lower East Side.

It’s been almost 18 hours since the lights went out on the LES, and here’s what we know this afternoon:

Power: Con Ed announced this morning that it expects to restore power to Manhattan and Brooklyn “within four days.”

Transportation: All the East River bridges are reopened to traffic as of late this morning. MTA officials are hoping to have limited bus service operating by 5 p.m. today, and they will not charge fares. Roads are mostly open to traffic except where they are blocked by trees, but traffic signals are not working. Taxis and livery car services are operating, and have permission to pick up multiple passengers. The airports remain closed “until further notice.” Photos from LaGuardia show runways under water.

Education: NYC public schools will remain closed tomorrow.

Parks: All public parks remain closed.

Aid: The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers across the greater NYC region. Volunteers need to be in good health and available to work 12-hour shifts for multiple days. To volunteer, email staffing@nyredcross.org. The organization is not accepting donations of clothing or supplies right now, but financial donations are welcome and accepted online or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Those affected by the disaster should consider registering themselves at the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know you are safe during this stressful time. The site is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is accessible in both English and Spanish.

Food/groceries: Most restaurants, grocery stores and bodegas remain closed. Fine Fare on Clinton Street is closed but selling water and ice. Northern Spy restaurant on East 12th Street is serving free food this afternoon and evening.

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