120K customers in NY, NJ without power from storm

Consolidated Edison says the cost of the storm could reach $450 million.

NEW YORK — About 120,000 homes and businesses in New York and New Jersey are still waiting for the lights to come back on about two weeks after Superstorm Sandy.

The Long Island Power Authority in New York still has the most customers out with about 100,000 on Sunday night.

The totals include 55,000 customers who are without power even though their local grid is back online. LIPA says it isn't safe to connect those homes and businesses yet because their wiring and other equipment was flooded.

Consolidated Edison had more than 3,000 customers in New York without power Sunday. About 14,000 New Jersey residents were still without electricity.

The prolonged lack of power as well as dearth of information about when it will be restored has angered residents and government officials alike.

Response and restoration costs for the storms were estimated at $350 million to $450 million, ConEd said in a statement.

ConEd said it used its experience with Hurricane Irene in August 2011 - previously the largest storm in the company's history - as a basis for the cost estimates, but said Sandy caused five times as many outages as Irene.

Hurricane Sandy came ashore on October 29 in southern New Jersey. A record storm surge across the Northeast, including in New York City, caused flooding and widespread damage to much of ConEd's underground electrical equipment. In areas with overhead power lines, workers had to contend with more than 100,000 downed wires, blocked roads and flooding.

ConEd said it was working with the New York City Buildings Department to expedite restoration for those customers, and it continued to work closely with the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the Westchester Office of Emergency Services and other emergency officials.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report