Superstorm Deaths Reach 37 in NYC

(NEW YORK) — At least 37 people died in New York City as a result of superstorm Sandy, the mayor said in updating the figure today, but the number could rise as emergency workers comb through the most affected areas of the city.

Michael Bloomberg also told reporters at a news conference at midday Thursday that more than 500,000 residents are still without power about half of them in lower Manhattan.

But the city of eight million has gained more of its transit service three days after Sandy, as subway trains began rolling uptown from Penn Station shortly after 6 a.m. ET.

The subway system is "the lifeline of the city," said technology worker Abraham Rogers, who was taking the subway on his way home to Harlem. "It can't get much better than this."

After reopening its airports, theatres and stock exchange, city officials hoped the subways would ease the gridlock that had paralyzed the city, forcing cars and pedestrians to inch through crowded streets without working stoplights. But television footage Thursday showed heavy traffic crawling into Manhattan, as police turned away cars that carried fewer than three people a rule meant to ease the congestion that paralyzed the city earlier this week.

The decision to reopen undamaged parts of the country's largest transit system came as the region struggled to restore other basic services to recover from a storm that killed at least 80 people in the U.S., left more than five million without power and caused a total of between $30 billion and $50 billion US in economic damage, as well as $10 billion to $20 billion in insured losses, according to the risk-assessment firm EQECAT.

The New York City Marathon was also set to proceed on Sunday, stirring debate about whether a race that attracted 47,500 runners last year will disrupt recovery efforts.

But downtown Manhattan, which includes the city's financial district, Sept. 11 memorial and other tourist sites, was still mostly an urban landscape of shuttered bodegas and boarded-up restaurants, where people roamed in search of food, power and a hot shower.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License