A massive effort is under way along the northeastern U.S. coast to pump water from flooded buildings, restore power to millions of residents, and resume public transportation in one of the nation's busiest cities as the region struggles to recover from the deadly Atlantic "superstorm" called Sandy.
Hard-hit New York City showed signs of life on Thursday as officials resumed service on some bus and train lines, after the storm caused flooding that left roads and subway lines underwater.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the New York Marathon will be held as scheduled on Sunday. The annual race draws tens of thousands of runners and spectators. The mayor said city schools are set to reopen Monday.
Deadly and costly
In neighboring New Jersey, authorities are sifting through rubble in the hard-hit coastal region, where the storm made landfall Monday.
The massive storm has been blamed for at least 74 U.S. deaths, as well as 65 in the Caribbean last week.
Millions of people across the northeastern United States, most of them in the New York metropolitan area, remain without electricity.
The Pentagon said Thursday it is using military transport planes to airlift power restoration equipment and experts from California to New York.
Analysts with the EQECAT forecasting firm estimate total economic damage from the storm could be as high as $50 billion, with an estimated $20 billion in insured losses.
Struggling to survive
VOA correspondent Suzanne Presto is getting a first-hand look at the devastation in New York. She described the situation facing a woman living in a high-rise apartment building with her 71-year-old mother and young daughter.
"They are on the 15th floor. They don't have an elevator so they have to walk up and down, which her mother cannot do. They don't have power. They don't have heat. They don't have water," reports Presto.
On Wednesday, National Guard troops were deployed to Hoboken, New Jersey, located on the Hudson River, to rescue city residents trapped by toxic floodwaters.
Raymond Palermo, left, wears a protective mask as he helps to remove debris from his cousin's electronics store in Brooklyn, NY, Oct 31, 2012
Dry ice is unloaded from a flatbed truck in Union Square for distribution to residents of the still powerless Chelsea section of Manhattan, Nov.1, 2012.
People wait to for gas at a Hess fueling station in Great Neck, New York November 1, 2012.
A New York resident charges his cell phones from a generator connected to a 14th street market in the still powerless Chelsea section of Manhattan, New York, November 1, 2012.
A dumpster is filled with spoiled food behind a supermarket in the still powerless East Village section of Manhattan, New York November 1, 2012.
Commuters wait in Brooklyn, New York to board buses into Manhattan, due to the widespread subway closures throughout the city.
Flooding in the area after the storm is widespread. Joe Donnelly of Island Park, New York shared a photo of his flooded home on Halloween, October 31, 2012. (Courtesy photo)
Early morning traffic in Brooklyn, New York moves slowly beneath the still-dark Manhattan skyline, November 1, 2012. New York is trying to resume its normal frenetic pace, but still finding it slow going on gridlocked highways.
This aerial photo shows the damage to an amusement park left in the wake of superstorm Sandy on October 31, 2012, in Seaside Heights, N.J.
An aerial photo of the Breezy Point neighborhood in New York, October 31, 2012, where more than 50 homes were burned to the ground as a result of the superstorm.
Raymond Simpson, Jr., with Atlantic City's Department of Public Works, looks out over debris from superstorm Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J., November 1, 2012.
An historic roller coaster from a Seaside Heights, N.J. amusement park fell in to the Atlantic Ocean during superstorm Sandy.
PSE&G employee Percy Thompson III unloads new electrical transformers in a parking lot used as a staging area at the Quaker Bridge Mall, November 1, 2012, in Lawrence Township, N.J.