Sandy toll soars as NY subway reopens

November 2, 2012 7:15 am


A sign directs people to a cell phone charging area, where power strips are attached to a generator powered by two men on a tandem bicycle. Photo/ AFP
NEW YORK, Oct 2 – The death toll from superstorm Sandy neared 100 even as New York struggled back to life amid all the suffering, with the first subway trains rolling in four days.

New York authorities said Sandy killed at least 40 people in the city and the number was likely to climb further. At least 92 people have now been reported dead across the 15 states hit by the hurricane on Monday night.

Fuel shortages led to long lines of cars at filling stations in many states and the country faced a storm bill that some economists have estimated at $50 billion.

More bodies are being found as police and firefighters continue “their lifesaving mission, going block-by-block and door-to-door in the areas devastated by the hurricane,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

With about 650,000 people still without power in New York, Bloomberg said the city would start handing out food and water, while National Guard officers and police would go into high-rise buildings to help the elderly.

The Con Edison power company said some New Yorkers would have to wait until November 11 before electricity is restored.

National Guard officers helped rescue people trapped in flooded homes across the Hudson River from New York in Hoboken, where authorities estimated on Wednesday that 20,000 people were stuck in their homes.

The floodwaters receded slowly, leaving scenes of desolation. A yacht, thrown up by the storm, blocked one street near the Hoboken ferry terminal.

The Harman family was bailing out the flooded garage they had used as a storage space. Already, they had filled a dumpster with ruined belongings and a new pile — children’s toys, furniture and household equipment — gathered on the sidewalk.

Christine Harman, a 43-year-old lawyer, said Hoboken residents were trying to keep their spirits up despite the lack of heat, power and in some apartments, water.

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