News / USA

Superstorm Sandy Victims Battle Falling Temperatures

Shane Decarolis stands with his scooter next to a fire outside his home on Beach 91st street in the Rockaways section of the Queens borough of New York, November 3, 2012.
Shane Decarolis stands with his scooter next to a fire outside his home on Beach 91st street in the Rockaways section of the Queens borough of New York, November 3, 2012.
VOA News
Victims of superstorm Sandy battled against near-freezing temperatures on the U.S. East Coast Sunday in the face of continued power outages and gasoline shortages.

The storm, which hit nearly a week ago, has killed more than 100 people and caused up to $50 billion in damages. More than two million people in the northeastern United States are still without power.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has urged people without power, especially the elderly, to head to a shelter to keep warm and have a hot meal.

Days earlier, the mayor had abruptly canceled the city's marathon, which was set for Sunday, after facing criticism that the race would divert resources from flooded areas.  However, hundreds of tourists in town for the marathon joined relief efforts Sunday, while some runners organized impromptu races intended to benefit storm victims.

Authorities were able to restore power to New York City's lower Manhattan Saturday, but residents in other parts of the city, especially Staten Island and Queens, are still without electricity.

Also, New York officials caused confusion when they said free gasoline would be available at distribution sites throughout the city, but later said emergency personnel and first responders would have priority over the general public.

In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie initiated a rationing plan that allows cars with license plates ending in an even number to fill up on even-numbered dates, while those with odd-numbered plates can fill up on odd-numbered days.

Connecticut's New Haven Register newspaper reports politicians have been extremely critical of the state's two largest electric companies because the utility companies do not expect to have power restored to most of their customers until Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Early estimates have put the cost of the storm damage along the east coast between $20 billion to $50 billion.

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