CNN BREAKING NEWS
Penn Station Power Outage Update
Aired August 15, 2003 - 05:38 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Want to head live to New York now, at least on the cell phone. Let's talk to one of our producers, Liz Neisloss. She is walking towards Penn Station.
And at least your cell phone is working now.
LIZ NEISLOSS, CNN PRODUCER: Well, actually I'm on a payphone right now.
NEISLOSS: But, and the cell phone has died at this point.
I actually did spend a bunch of time running circles around Penn Station gathering information. And Penn Station, as you know, it's a major commuting hub for New York City.
Police told me there are about 3,000 to 4,000 people who have been camped out in and outside Penn Station. And walking along the streets, you can see people lying on the ground. It looks like a lot of homeless people, really. Some people are businessmen and others are sleeping with their heads on briefcases, mashed up shopping bags, you know anything they can use for pillows. People are also camped inside Penn Station.
I am told there is no train service to Long Island and that's part of these massive crowds. There's no subway service yet in New York City and there's no estimate yet on when those will be up. One commuter who was trying to go to Long Island told me it looks like Long Island railroad doesn't exist anymore. That when you go into the station it's all locked up and roped off.
Commuters to New Jersey were a bit luckier. Their trains have been back up since Thursday night. Police are saying there is some Amtrak service between New York and Washington. They are putting crews and equipment together, but there is still no service on Amtrak North. That's between New York and Boston and New York and Albany, but that's right as of this moment.
But overall police say things have been pretty quiet, pretty calm. People on the street told me overnight it was pretty calm outside Penn Station. One reason things are calm maybe in New York City is apparently there were over 9,000 police on the street. Usually there are between 1,000 and 2,000. But as one police officer told me, New Yorkers are pretty resilient. They're used to a lot.
COSTELLO: You're not kidding. One of the reasons that the trains can't just get up and run, and even if the power were to go on back right now, is it takes about six to eight hours for the trains to warm up. Is that right?
NEISLOSS: Well my -- that may be one reason. Another reason I have been told is that actually crews and equipment have to be matched and put together, literally, to get things going again.
COSTELLO: All right, Liz, we'll let you get on your way to Penn Station and you can get away from that payphone right now, but we appreciate you calling DAYBREAK this morning.
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