YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY — As many as 45,000 customers in Westchester County woke up on Thursday without power, and a few thousand of them had spent much of the last week with no electricity in the wake of last week's nor'easter.
"We were out since Friday, until yesterday," Anthony Spinari, a Yorktown Heights resident, said. "[On Wednesday], the power comes on for about four hours. Then, at 7:00 [Wednesday evening, it] goes back out again."
However, by sundown Thursday, the number of customers without electricity in Westchester was reduced by thousands.
Still, among those without electricity on Thursday was Gina Gray's family in Briarcliff Manor. Hers was among 200 homes in her neighborhood left without power when a large tree fell across Macy Road onto power lines last Friday, pulling down the electrical lines in four different places along the road.
"We now have snow on top of the tree," Gray said on Thursday morning. "No one one from the town has been by to assess cutting the tree down and this is the first time I've seen Con Ed on the block."
Nonetheless, by late Thursday morning, a work crew from Con Edison was joined by a tree crew from Indiana, hired by Con Ed. By nightfall, a contracted electrical crew from Canada had joined the scene, according to Gray. Still, though, she and her neighbors were on course to be a full week without power, if not longer.
It was a different story in Yorktown Heights. Almost exactly 24 hours after it had plunged into darkness, the lights came back on, at 6:26 p.m. Thursday. It brought to an end a practice that many businesses in the area have engaged in since Superstorm Sandy, and even before -- remaining open by any means, under any conditions.
Yorktown Colonial Diner used a small, pull-cord generator to power its cash register all day Thursday, and relied on sunshine to light up its dining room. Its natural gas service was fine, so it could at least offer a limited menu. The dining room was more than half full at lunchtime.
"All the power is out around the town," diner owner Nicholas Karkambasis said. "So [residents] have to go someplace to eat."
Thanks to the power being restored Thursday evening, the diner can now keep its normal schedule of remaining open until midnight, and reopening at 6 a.m.