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Workers race to fix power as Sandy fades

Updated: 2012-11-02 14:08
( Xinhua)

Workers race to fix power as Sandy fades

A couple look out at the skyline of New York with most of Lower Manhattan remaining in the dark as they stand in a park along the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey, Nov 1, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - Workers in New York City and nearby towns raced to fix damaged power grids and disrupted transit systems after "superstorm" Sandy left a swath of destruction across 15 US states and cut power to more than 8 million people.

"In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now," said Joseph Lhota, chairman of MTA, which operates New York City's subway system that has been suspended due to historic flooding in some tunnels. Partial subway service was resumed on Thursday.

"All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal."

Much of the lower half of Manhattan is still without power. Thousands of homes and small businesses may have to put up with darkness at least until this weekend.

Nearby areas, including the New York City borough of Staten Island, the New Jersey shore and the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, are struggling to recover from flooding and damages after Hurricane Sandy lashed the US East Coast and made a landfall at New Jersey Monday evening.

At least 95 people have died from Sandy in the United States since Monday, including 39 from New York City, police said. In New Jersey, the death toll had reached 13 as search and rescue teams gained access to devastated ares.

As Sandy faded further inland, bus and bridge services in New York City were resumed late Tuesday, but road congestion was ubiquitous in Manhattan because of a loss of subway service across NYC.

One New Yorker told Xinhua she and her husband had been trapped in their apartment in lower Manhattan without power and water supply in their residence for two consecutive days.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that since Thursday morning, cars entering Manhattan must have three or more passengers because "the streets can only handle so much".

The mayor also said small and medium-sized businesses which had been suffering from power outage and other damages could apply for emergency loans of up to $10,000 to help them recover from the disaster.

President Barack Obama stressed the federal government is focused on helping worst-hit states, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

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