The U.S. East Coast is still trying to get back to business after
getting slammed by superstorm Sandy, but it is still anything but
business as usual.
Residents hoping to get to work got in their cars very early Friday
morning, with New York City's subways and buses still operating on
For some, even being able to get the car moving was a victory. Betty
Bethea in nearby Newark, New Jersey spent much of Thursday trying to
find someplace to gas-up her car.
"It's terrible. You can't even get there. The police have blocked
everything off," Bethea lamented. "You cannot get no gas. Everywhere I
went the police said 'no gas.' So I come down here and I've been in line
over two hours. He said two hours, I've been here almost three hours."
And it could be days before the fuel-crunch eases.
The American Automobile Association says about 60 percent of gas
stations in New Jersey and about 70 percent of those on New York's Long
Island are closed. Many gas stations are unable to operate because they
still do not have power.
For others across the New York area, the concerns are much more basic.
New York City's Stephanie Laureano was one of hundreds of city residents
waiting in line Thursday for supplies.
"We have no water at all, no electricity, all the food we had to throw
out of the refrigerator, so this is very needed right now," said
Police say at least 59 people were killed as Sandy pummeled New York
City and New Jersey. Overall, officials now say more than 90 people died
when Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast.
NY Marathon on
Despite continued power outages and ongoing clean-ups in flood- and
fire-ravaged neighborhoods, New York City officials are promising to
carry on with Sunday's annual, world-famous marathon.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is no reason to put it
"By Sunday we'll have electricity back downtown, that will free up an
enormous number of police," said the mayor. "Also, a lot of the
transportation needs that we have during the week aren't there on the
Bloomberg and other officials are also expressing hope that the marathon
can help give the city a needed economic boost. Event organizers say the
marathon will bring $340 million to the city.
Preliminary estimates have put the total cost of the storm for the East
Coast at between $20 and $50 billion. And each day businesses remain
closed reduces the region's economic output by about $200 million a day.
Still, the decision to run the marathon is generating controversy. New
York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is among those worried about
the marathon's impact on recovery efforts.
"My concern is just to make sure our first responders can be available
to continue to help with the recovery," said the senator.
New York Road Runners Chairman George Hirsch was more optimistic.
"I think on Sunday afternoon people are going to look at this marathon
and say 'I'm glad that they did it.' It was a risky political decision
for the mayor, but I think either way, I think if he had cancelled the
marathon, there would have been a controversy," Hirsch said. "There's no
question in my mind: how can you take away New York's single most
the meantime, emergency workers are pumping out flooded tunnels and
buildings as the city and its suburbs struggle to recover. To avoid
traffic gridlock, cars with fewer than three people inside are not
allowed into the city.
In addition to the deaths in the United States, Sandy claimed 65 lives
in the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.
Sandy disrupted life across much of the Atlantic seaboard, bringing
power outages and floods to coastal cities and heavy snow to the
Areas devastated by
Sandy need volunteers and donations. Here's how
you can help: