NEW YORK, Oct. 31 — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a conference Tuesday that Hurricane Sandy has left at least 10 people dead and hundreds of thousands without power and crippled much of the city's transit system, the restoration of which has yet to be known.
During the briefing, the mayor said while the worst of the storm has passed he expects the death toll to rise. He also announced that city public schools will remain closed Wednesday for the third day, and the city's 76 shelters will also remain open.
Meanwhile, Consolidated Edison said that more than 500,000 customers are deprived of power throughout the five boroughs, as of approximately 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, there were approximately 231, 756 customers in Manhattan without power, as well as about 74,423 customers without power in Brooklyn, about 86,206 customers in Queens, about 82,905 customers in Staten Island and about 42,518 customers in the Bronx.
"This will be one for the record books," said John Miksad, Con Ed's senior vice president of electric operations. "This will be the largest storm-related outage in our history."
Bloomberg said that the backup power at New York University Langone Medical center had failed and that 215 patients were successfully moved to nearby facilities.
Local media reports that the most severe damage from the storm is in and around the city's low-lying areas. Water has been seen in all subway lines in Lower Manhattan, but MTA crews said they will wait until the high tide and flood waters recede on Tuesday before they can pump out the water.
"In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now," MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in his statement. "All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal."
LaGuardia, Newark and John F. Kennedy airports remain closed.
"The storm has met our expectations," Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at a Monday night press conference.
Early Tuesday, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in New York and ordered federal aid to help supplement state and local recovery efforts. (PNA/Xinhua)