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Power Outages, Lingering Debris Cause Mounting Frustration Across Tri-State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Frustration is mounting across the Tri-State Area between ongoing power outages and lingering debris from Tropical Storm Isaias.

Residents in Queens said downed trees are keeping them trapped inside their homes, CBS2's Christina Fan reported Saturday.

The destruction is widespread. Trees knocked down power lines, landed on homes and crushed cars in Flushing.

The city finally managed to clean up the mess on Friday, after deputizing the FDNY.

MORE: Queens Residents Exasperated As Power Outages Linger Days After Tropical Storm Isaias

Armed with chainsaws and heavy equipment, crews cleared the road. They'll attempt to clear some 10,000 downed trees reported across the borough.

Teresa Kanaval had a tree come down on her roof. Kanaval's nephew said the timeline for its removal is anywhere from six days to one month.

"I just want somebody to come and take the tree," she said.

Watch Christina Fan's report --

Fear was written all over 48-year-old Juan Betancur's face when a massive oak tree uprooted and landed on top of his house.

"The whole house shook, and so there's damage upstairs, on the roof, on the attic," he said.

He says NYC 311 sent him a service request update saying the removal of the tree on his home could take 23 days.

"Without them, the insurance is not going to do anything, and the storms are coming next week and I'm concerned. There's wires hanging, I don't know what they belong to, and it could cause a fire," Betancur said.

Though he never lost power, thousands of his Queens neighbors did.

In Ozone Park, people stood outside watching crews make repairs to high voltage wires and fallen power poles.

"Oh my god, can't sleep," one woman said.

"Sleeping at night without a fan or AC is a problem," one man said.

Some affected are being patient.

"We understand the situation," one woman said.

But others are getting frustrated.

Flushing resident Christine Formato is on day five without power and her patience is running thin.

"It's a little frustrating. They say the underground people can't work with the over ground people, so since Con Edison had a presence here, now how long is it going to take before they get back?" Formato said.

Con Edison president Tim Cawley said Saturday about 27,000 people were without power in New York City and 44,000 were also in the dark in Westchester County.

Cawley said the among of damage left behind by strong winds is the reason for long restoration delays.

"Fifty-plus mile an hour sustained winds really took down trees and limbs, and those cause significant damage to our overhead distribution system, the poles and wires and transformers," he said.

Cawley says Isaias impacted more than 300,000 customers, but new technology could change that in the future.

"If we install these smart switches, that tree damage can be isolated so a much smaller segment of customers, maybe 200 to 500 might be impacted," he said.

Power Outages

Click on the links below for information from utilities in your area.

New York:

New Jersey:


So far, a total of 3,000 workers have been out in the field across all five boroughs. Con Edison is also getting help from more than 800 workers from as far away as Texas, Florida and Wisconsin.

CBS2's Cory James saw crews in Jamaica on Goethals Avenue and 164th as neighbors stood outside, wondering when the outage will end.

One woman said she was told their power would be back by the end of the day.

"If for some reason they don't, we'll have to deal with what reality is," one man said.

Con Edison plans to have everything restored in New York City by 11 p.m. Sunday and in Westchester County by Monday.

MORE: Frustration Growing For New Jersey Residents, Businesses After More Than Three Days Without Electricity

It's a similar situation in other parts of the area.

In Franklin Lakes, N.J., residents are frustrated with the response by Orange and Rockland Utilities.

"We called, probably, three or four times a day. And I keep telling them it's sort of a health hazard at this point because you can't use your toilets, you can't flush the toilets, you can't get water," said Vera Stern.

On Long Island, residents of a Woodbury senior community were stranded in upstairs apartments - unable to operate stair lifts to get down.

MORE: Long Islanders Running Out Of Patience While Waiting For Power To Return Days After Tropical Storm Isaias

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