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.