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Friday, November 2, 2012

Sandy death toll rises, recovery pace criticized — RT

As the waters of Sandy recede in the US, the death toll continues to rise, with the total now at 92 as more bodies are being discovered during clean-up operations. Millions are still left without power and victims are beginning to feel ignored. New York State officials said the local death toll had increased to 39 on Thursday, including two boys, age two and four, who were swept away from mother’s arms while stuck in a car amidst floodwaters. At this point 3.8 million Americans remain without power, including 3.2 million in the states of New Jersey and New York alone. Nearly 400,000 Pennsylvania residents are still suffering from power outages, and a quarter of a million people share their fate in Connecticut. Most other states along the East Coast have had power completely or mostly restored. 
One of the hardest-hit regions was New Jersey, with 14 reported deaths. Thousands who have fled their homes to escape the flood are unable to return home due to high water levels and 1.6 million still remain without power there.  Most of the state’s transit system is not functional and gasoline shortage is making it difficult for people to use their own vehicles. "Literally digging through rubble, we have found some of our exposed, broken pipes with flare-ups on the ends of them," said Micah Rasmussen, a spokesman for New Jersey Natural Gas.
In Hoboken, New Jersey, 20,000 residents became stranded in their homes when the Hudson River broke its banks and flooded parts of the city. Residents were told to stay away from the water, as it was tainted with sewage and chemicals from the area's various industries. “When the storm hit, it looked like rushing rapids outside. The water was chest-level. Now, three days later, there’s raw sewage and oil in the street. It’s a real health hazard. I saw people walking barefoot,” said local homeowner Deborah Cohen as quoted by France 24. “A lot of people have left town, because they don’t have heat or electricity. We’ve been flooded before, but this is by far the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s going to be pricey to repair.”
A sign is seen outside a home in Long Beach, New York November 2, 2012, warning looters will be shot. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
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