In a press conference a few minutes ago, Mayor Mike Bloomberg said there were “no solid timelines for Con Ed and MTA” to restore service. Pressed by reporters for an estimate,, he said: “If I had to guess, four or five days — and I’ll be glad if that’s all it is.”
We are out collecting information about the neighborhood this morning and will post updates as we have them. What we know so far:
There are many trees down, especially in the blocks closest to the river.
All power is out from 39th Street south; Con Ed officials have not provided a timeline for restoring electricity to Lower Manhattan. A transformer explosion at a plant in the East Village caused the outage, company officials said early this morning.
All public transit is halted; no estimates for service resuming yet.
Most neighborhood businesses are closed, including the two Fine Fare grocery stores. However, Cowboy Pizza on Clinton Street is open and serving scones and cookies this morning.
The city’s all-news AM radio channel, 1010 WINS, was damaged in the storm, but is temporarily broadcasting on FM 92.3 for those residents with battery-powered radios.
If you are out and about, stay safe and send us reports if you can: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few minutes ago, Con Ed shut down electrical power on the Lower East Side and much of downtown Manhattan. The outage means we’ll have limited posting ability but will continue to provide updates on twitter for as long as possible.
More on the possible electrical power outages being weighed by Con Ed this evening. It’s possible that residents living east of Broadway between Wall Street and the tip of Manhattan and Wall Street to the East River will lose power after 8 p.m. Con Ed has been advising customers of the prospect via robo-calls, but it appears that no definite decisions have been made.
A short time ago management at the Seward Park Cooperative (a 1700 apartment complex on Grand Street) advised residents that Con Ed was anticipating the shutdown due to flooding in power stations serving Lower Manhattan. We’re trying to learn more information and will update as soon as possible.
The mayor’s office has announced that all East River bridges will close at 7 o’clock tonight due to high winds. The closure order includes the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Right now winds are about 35 mph, but could increase to over 50 mph later this evening.
Reuters is reporting that Con Edison, the city’s electric company, may shut down power to Lower Manhattan neighborhoods tonight to protect electrical systems and equipment. A final decision is expected at 8 p.m., when the tide is expected to reach its highest point, according to a company spokesman.
Blackouts could affect streets as far north as 34th Street, in line with the Empire State building, a Con Edison spokesman said, though would likely be limited to those avenues closest to the East and Hudson rivers. The central avenues are not expected to be affected.
“We have contacted customers on the southern tip of Manhattan and on the lower sections of the Hudson and East River,” Con Edison spokesman Alfonso Quiroz told Reuters, saying the firm’s automated calling system had placed calls to homeowners and businesses in the affected area.
The company said all streets in New York City’s evacuation zone around Battery Park City on Manhattan’s southern tip would be affected by the potential blackout, as well as some on the east and west of the island serviced by the same electrical networks.
Sandy’s storm clouds looming over the LES. Photo by H. Spencer Young.
Thanks to Lo-Down reader H. Spencer Young for sending along this fantastic photo of Sandy’s storm clouds looming over the L.E.S. late last night. Here is our current list of what’s open this afternoon. Let us know of any others at: email@example.com.
The Rite Aid on Grand Street is open.
Fine Fare on Clinton Street is open but will close at 5 p.m. and will have to wait and see about tomorrow.
May May kitchen (Chinese takeout) on Clinton next to Fine Fare is
open and delivering.
Pushcart Coffee on East Broadway is open.
Cowboy Pizza on Clinton plans to stay open until 11 p.m., or as long as possible.
When we were at Catherine Slip this morning, water had washed over part of South Street. Right now it has mostly subsided. But the rain and wind are picking up and the flood waters will no doubt return in the next couple of hours.
Here are the latest developments as Hurricane Sandy churns towards the New Jersey coastline:
The storm is now about 200 miles southeast of Atlantic City New Jersey and her winds have strengthened to 90 mph. New York City will likely see the worst effects around 8 p.m. Authorities are concerned an 11-foot wall of water could swamp Lower Manhattan, including low lying areas of the Lower East Side.
The New York Public Schools will be closed for a second day tomorrow. In a news conference that wrapped up a short time ago, Mayor Bloomberg said the continued shutdown of mass transit made the decision to cancel Tuesday classes inevitable.
Forecasters fear winds in New York City could exceed 100 mph by 9 p.m. The mayor guessed that up to 50% of those living in the mandatory evacuation area have remained in their homes. He indicated the time for evacuation had nearly come to an end. This afternoon it will be too dangerous for people to be making a move to a shelter, he said.
State Senator Dan Squadron tweeted a few moments ago that the shelter at Seward Park High School is only 60% as full as it was during Hurricane Irene.
Pushcart Coffee at 221 E. Broadway, along with several other locally owned java joints, is open today.
Lower East Siders don’t let a little stormy weather keep them from their morning coffee routines. Around the neighborhood today, many locally owned coffee shops were not only open, but doing robust business and planning to keep serving as long as they had power to brew and customers to imbibe.
“We’ve seen all our regular customers, and a lot of other people’s regular customers, too,” said Wally Corrales, who opened 12 Corners coffee shop at 155 E. Broadway in August. Corrales and his partner Mary Colgan, who live nearby at Hester and Mott streets, plan to stay open as late as possible today and will try to open tomorrow as well. They are stocked with coffee supplies and baked goods, though they were unable to get bagels this morning because Kossar’s was closed.
Emergency crews are still at the Smith Houses, where police and housing authority staff are urging residents to heed the mayor’s evacuation order. Everyone was supposed to be out by 7 o’clock last night.