To the relief of many, Hurricane Irene did not wallop New York with as much of a punch as feared, but thousands still lost power, had to deal with flooding and were cut off from home and work as the city’s subway system remained down.
The storm knocked out power to more than 62,000 households across the city, with Queens the worst hit, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. There, more than 28,000 homes were without electricity yesterday.
Despite warnings from Con Ed that the utility company may turn off power to Lower Manhattan, the lights stayed on downtown, and Wall Street was expected to open again for business this morning.
Flooding was also an issue. There was about a foot of water on the streets in the South Street Seaport at mid-morning yesterday. Out in the Rockaways, waves from the Atlantic Ocean breached 94th Street between 127th and 132nd streets, according to the mayor.
Bloomberg said Sunday afternoon that no serious injuries or deaths were caused by the storm, but around 5 p.m., police pulled a body from the water at Sunset Marina on City Island in the Bronx. Police said they do not yet know how he died, and would not confirm if they are investigating the death in connection with the hurricane.
In Staten Island, firefighters used inflatable rafts to rescue 61 people, including three babies, who were trapped in their homes. Willowbrook Park Pond overflowed, an FDNY spokesman told Metro, sending five feet of water into homes at about 8 a.m. yesterday.
Across the city, winds of up to 60 miles per hour brought down trees, damaging cars and buildings.
“My sister called me and said her car alarm was going off at 4 a.m.,” said Veronica Hall-Lake, whose sister’s car was smashed by a tree on Hancock Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “There was nothing we could do. We couldn’t go outside, the wind was blowing things around like it was paper.”
Crime pauses for hurricane
Even New York’s criminals stopped what they were doing and prepared for the storm. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly reported 45 arrests Saturday night, compared to 345 arrests on an average Saturday night in August.