New York City Marathon Cancelled As Lights Come Back

In New York City, the lights are coming back on, and the annual marathon has been called off. Robert Siegel talks to Joel Rose.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In New York City, the lights are coming back on and the race has been called off. For details, I'm joined now by NPR's Joel Rose in New York. And, Joel, tell us first of all, where has the electricity been restored?

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: So we should emphasized that parts of Lower Manhattan have their electrical power back. Con Edison, the local utility, says that about 65,000 homes on the East Side have power at this time. That includes the East Village, parts of the Lower East Side and about 27,000 homes on the West Side, including the West Village and Flatiron.

But, you know, keep in mind that more than 200,000 homes did not have power in the city this morning. And you can see just from looking out the window here at our bureau in Midtown that large chunks of the middle of Manhattan are still dark at this time. So it's still a long way to go.

SIEGEL: Now we have the other development which concerns the New York Marathon. Mayor Bloomberg had insisted that the race would go on. What happened today?

ROSE: Well, I think the pressure just got to be too much. As you say, the mayor had been insisting all week and even as recently as this afternoon that the marathon is a major economic boom for the city and that it needed to go forward. But the pressure was really mounting from politicians and runners and people who, you know, just said that the resources that would be taken away from the recovery in outer boroughs and places that were hard hit was just too much.

And, you know, that led to a lot of disappointment, obviously among runners who've come a long way to run this race, including from other countries. I talked to one runner named Poppy Lentin(ph) who came all the way from London.

POPPY LENTIN: I just flown over from the U.K. to see the marathon, and I think it's just disappointment because I was running it for my father who died quite recently. So it's a bit of a shame. But (unintelligible) somewhat.

ROSE: And I heard that sentiment a lot at the Jacob Javits Center where the runners were picking up their numbers. A lot of people think this is the right decision, but just taken a little bit too late.

SIEGEL: OK. Thank you, Joel.

ROSE: You're welcome.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Joel Rose in New York.

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