Superstorm Sandy Update

(NEW YORK) — New York City's subway is likely to be out of service for another four to five days after monster storm Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg said on Tuesday at a press conference. He also said that the city was hoping to resume limited bus services by Tuesday evening at 5:00PM.

New York City experienced 23 fires during the storm, with a severe one in Breezy Point, Queens, that burned more than 80 houses.

Throughout New York state, 15 people died in connection with the storm, which touched down in New Jersey late on Monday, Bloomberg said.

More than 8.1 million U.S. homes and businesses were without power on Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy tore down power lines, flooded electrical networks and sparked an explosion at a Consolidated Edison substation on Manhattan's East River.

About a quarter of New York City's homes and businesses were without power 15 hours after Hurricane Sandy roared ashore accompanied by a nearly 14-foot tidal surge that flooded empty subway and highway tunnels.

Con Edison warned parts of New York City would be without power for a more than a week. Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference the subway would be unlikely to resume service for at least four-to-five days.

Power providers reported outages in every state from North Carolina to the Canadian border and as far inland as Ohio and Indiana. New Jersey was hardest hit state with 62-percent of customers suffering blackouts. Seven states had a fifth or more of all customers without power.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT, total U.S. outages were above 8.1 million according to the the Department of Energy, and were approaching the 8.4 million peak seen during Hurricane Irene last year. The figures cover homes and businesses, meaning the total number of people affected will be far higher.

"This is the largest storm-related outage in our history," said John Miksad, Con Edison's senior vice president for electric operations.

An explosion at a substation on Manhattan's East River on Monday night contributed to the power cuts, and could complicate efforts to restore electric supplies. Large sections of the island below 39th Street - just south of Times Square - are without power.

Con Edison told customers via Twitter that the hardest hit areas may face more than a week without power. A total of 787,000 homes and businesses were without power in New York City and Westchester as a whole, out of a total of 3 million Con Edison customers.

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