Low nighttime temperatures over the next couple of days aren’t going to make things easy for East Coast residents still without power after Superstorm Sandy and this week’s nor’easter.
But warmer daytime conditions will be ideal for recovery crews, including utility workers hoping to get many more homes powered and heated by this weekend.
Temperatures are expected to rise into the upper 40s and lower 50s in New England, New York and New Jersey on Friday after morning temperatures that dipped into the 30s.
But it’ll be back to around 40 degrees Friday night in Oceanside, New York, where residents – without power for 11 days – gathered to demand help in front of TV cameras on Friday morning.
“Gov. Cuomo … send the National Guard in here today to turn the power back on!” Hempstead Councilman Tony Santino said in a microphone to the crowd.
As of 7:15 a.m., about 519,000 people were without power in 10 states from Maryland to Maine – down from 551,085 on Thursday, and from about 2.4 million last weekend, according to power companies there.
Most of the outages Friday were in New York (282,500) and New Jersey (235,140).
The nor’easter that came through Wednesday and Thursday, dumping several inches of snow on the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, complicated power restoration efforts.
A resident of West Hempstead, New York, said he and his family finally got power restored to their home around noon Wednesday, but the nor’easter put them back in the dark and cold just 12 hours later.
Joshua A. Martinez told CNN's iReport.com that the power went out again around 12:55 a.m. Thursday, just more than 12 hours after it was restored. His home, which he had heated to 68 degrees, quickly chilled – the interior was down to 63 degrees in minutes, he said. So, he said, it was back to wearing layers of clothes and covering up with about five blankets at night.
Thousands of people, whether their homes were destroyed by Sandy or their homes have no heat, still are looking for proper habitation. About 5,300 people affected by Sandy stayed in more than 70 shelters on Thursday night, the American Red Cross said Friday.
The Camerada family of Staten Island, New York, is staying at home despite having no electric or natural gas service since Sandy. The Cameradas are heating their house with a propane stove.
"My youngest is 8 years old. We have to do homework with blankets – not just one blanket, two, three blankets on – and he’s freezing," Diane Camerada told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. "I have to keep him in my lap and make him do homework with me."
She said, “I’ve had offers from people to take us in and get hot showers, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart, but I can’t leave my home. I’m afraid to leave my home."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that except for homes in certain devastated areas on New Jersey’s barrier islands, most of the state’s remaining power outages should be fixed by Saturday.
Saturday’s temperatures should be a bit more welcome for storm victims and recovery crews alike: Highs in the region should be in the 50s and lower 60s.
Meanwhile, officials in New York City and on Long Island on Friday began a temporary gas-rationing system to fight long lines at gas stations due to power outages and supply disruptions.
The system generally allows only people with even-numbered license plates to buy gasoline on even-numbered days, and people with odd-numbered license plates to purchase fuel on odd-numbered days.
New Jersey started a similar, temporary system last weekend in 12 counties. For more on the recovery efforts and gas rationing, read this story.