Waking Up in a City Without Newspapers

While Papers Never Made it to Many Parts of Manhattan, News Coverage Was Plentiful

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For a media-saturated, always-connected city, the aftermath of Sandy has in some ways been stranger than the storm.

There were no newspapers on newsstands -- if newsstands were open -- across large portions of the city on Tuesday, reported Crain's New York Business. (New York1's Pat Kiernan had to read from the website of Washington, D.C.'s Newseum for his popular "In the Papers" segment.) And mainly because of power outages in parts of Brooklyn and most of lower Manhattan, there were some 245,000 Time Warner Cable customers without service, according to a spokesman.

On Queens and Long Island, there were "widespread service interruptions " for Cablevision subscribers, according to the company.

Some prominent New York-based websites, including Gawker Media and The Huffington Post, went down because of damage to their servers. Both continued limited operations, however, and Huff Post was back up by early Tuesday afternoon.

Even radio, normally the surest bet for keeping in touch during a disaster, suffered from the storm. WNYC's AM transmitter, located in Kearney, N.J., got knocked out of commission Monday evening when the region flooded, and it was still not functioning on Tuesday (the station's FM transmitter, atop the Empire State Building, was fine).

Like everything else with Sandy, the media disruption was uneven. Bridge and tunnel closures blocked delivery of The New York Times in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, a spokeswoman said. But trucks were able to get through to parts of Queens, Long Island and Brooklyn from the paper's printing plant in College Point, Queens.

Time Warner Cable also surprised customers in western Brooklyn by restoring service to that region early Tuesday morning. They had lost power Monday night when massive flooding hit a cable hub, but workers gained access to the site sometime after four a.m., and were able to activate backup generators.

"We were already positioned in the boroughs and New Jersey, because we knew we wouldn't be able to move around" after the storm hit, a spokesman explained.

Residents in neighborhoods without power had their own ways to keep up with the news and stay connected. David Katz, a paralegal whose home on East 6th Street and Avenue D went dark Monday night, has been listening to 1010 WINS and CBS News 880 -- on his iPhone.

"I have a radio somewhere," he said during a telephone interview as he headed to his car. He was planning to recharge his phone's fading battery.

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