New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has warned residents of the risk of hypothermia as temperatures plunge amid the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.
Temperatures are set to plunge to 2 Celsius overnight in the area, as some residents remain without gas for heating or electrical power.
Mr Bloomberg said that the Long Island Power Authority (Lipa) “has not acted aggressively enough” to restore power to storm-hit residents in the region.
He called it “unacceptable” that the worst-hit areas were not given priority for repairs, as some residents are told it could take two weeks to restore power.
Earlier on Saturday New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced a decision to cut natural gas supplies to the Barrier Islands, due to the risk of explosions caused by gas leaks.
Some residents of New Jersey have been moved to tents set up by a utility company due to the length of time they are expected to be homeless due to the storm that hit the east coast last Monday.
Mr Bloomberg’s attack on the power company comes just hours after US President Barack Obama showed reporters a photo of a US Air Force transport plane being used to bring electrical utility cherry-picker trucks from other parts of the country to the damaged areas.
The mayor had earlier agreed to cancel the New York Marathon after outrage from residents left homeless or beset by power cuts.
Energy companies have said they were working around the clock to restore power to parts of New York devastated by the powerful storm.
In the last 24 hours, engineers in Manhattan have managed to repair 11 power grids damaged by the high winds and storm surge.
Around 5,800 homes were still without electricity in Manhattan as of Saturday morning.
The worst-hit area of New York remains Queens – with 81,000 people still without power. Brooklyn and Staten Island both have 31,000 and the Bronx has 25,000 without electricity.
A statement from energy firm Con Edison said it had now restored power to 70% of customers – around 645,000 homes.
It said: “The hurricane is the worst natural disaster to strike Con Edison’s customers in the company’s history.
“Crews are facing thousands of downed wires in New York City and Westchester County.
“Some cannot be re-energised since they are in flood zones with damage that bars the safe re-introduction of electricity.”
Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/1006640