Leading off today:
Many across the Northeast awoke to sheer devastation Tuesday morning after Hurricane Sandy pounded a wide swath of land, including much of New York.
With the death toll climbing, an estimated 2 million state residents without electricity at the start of the cleanup and a daunting cleanup ahead, it will not be business as usual for quite awhile. That includes schools and the high school sports schedule that goes with it.
Downstate sections scrapped games and practices again on Tuesday, and there's an abundance of uncertainty as to when activity will resume. And when it does, will everyone play to the conclusion of the schedule?
Nassau and Suffolk County are in a particularly challenging situation after taking big hits from the storm. Even as the task of cleaning roads and restoring power begins, relief supplies and imported utility crews for Long Island have to travel through the bottleneck of New York City, itself hit hard by the rain, wind and tidal surges.
"We're in a holding pattern," Section 11 Executive Director Ed Cinelli told Newsday, echoing the sentiment of Section 8 counterpart Nina Van Erk.
"We'll have to wait until schools are back in session and then we'll take a look at the playoff scenarios for all sports," Van Erk said.
Already, the Long Island sections have called off games and meetings scheduled for Wednesday as most schools will remain closed either out of safety concerns or because they are being used as shelters or staging areas for relief efforts. Even if schools are open Thursday, nothing is likely to be played until at least Friday, when Nassau and Suffolk were scheduled to start football playoff quarterfinals.
Since Long Island does not participate in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association football tournament, opening the quarterfinals early next week would not be overly disruptive. Other sports, however, have less margin for error. Sectional and overall champions in boys and girls soccer need to be crowned by Nov. 12 to give teams a reasonable shot of traveling and competing in final fours Nov. 16-18.
Representatives for this weekend's state girls tennis tournament have already been selected and will leave for Latham on Friday.
To the northwest of Long Island, about 185,000 Con Ed customers were without power in Westchester County alone, indicative of the cleanup and repair work facing schools in Sections 1 and 9. Both of those organizations postponed their schedules once again on Tuesday, and Section 1 will also not hold contests Wednesday either.
Section 9 will reschedule 11 Tuesday contests in various sports.