Nation e-Edition

Power returns to some in US

Power returns to some in US Rockaways resident Linda Allen, (r), has been living without heat, power, gas, or fresh food all week. (AP)

Sat, November 03, 2012 - 7:15 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — More New Yorkers awoke today to power being restored for the first time since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the region, but patience wore thin among those in the region who have been without power for most of the week.

From storm-scarred New Jersey to parts of Connecticut, a widespread lack of gasoline added to the frustration.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Defense Department will set up emergency mobile gas stations at five locations around the New York City metropolitan area to distribute free fuel with a limit of 10 gallons (38 liters) per person. Cars and emergency service vehicles will be able to fill up directly from the 5,000-gallon (19,000-liter) trucks.

"Fuel is on the way," Cuomo said. "Do not panic. I know there is anxiety about fuel."

Gas rationing was to starting at noon Saturday in northern New Jersey, where drivers will be allowed to buy it only every other day.

In Washington, President Barack Obama visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for an update on superstorm recovery efforts and said "there's nothing more important than us getting this right."

"Obviously we've now seen that after the initial search and rescue, the recovery process is difficult and it's painful," Obama said. "But I'm confident that we will continue to make progress as long as state and local and federal officials stay focused."

Obama cited the need to restore power; pump out water, particularly from electric substations; ensure that basic needs are addressed; remove debris; and get federal resources in place to help transportation systems come back on line.

Power has been restored to about 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area, with about 900,000 still without electricity, including about 550,000 on Long Island, Cuomo said.

About 80 per cent of New York City's subway service has been restored, he added.

The storm forced cancellation of Sunday's New York City Marathon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg reversed himself Friday and yielded to mounting criticism about running the race, which starts on hard-hit Staten Island and wends through all five of the city's boroughs.

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