After Sandy, residents 'feeling anxious' about fuel supplies (+video)
Sandy's toll was still being tallied Thursday, as clean-up efforts continued in New York City and surrounding areas. Concerns about safety, fuel shortages, and property damage are on people's minds.
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"It was like living through Titanic but on ground," said Krystina Berrios, 25, of Staten Island, looking at her bedroom caked in mud, furniture upended. "You would never think in a million years having to live through something like this."Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Sandy: Chronicle of an unrelenting storm
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Jersey shore floored
Sandy started as a late-season hurricane in the Caribbean, where it killed 69 people, before smashing ashore in the United States with 80-mile-per-hour (130-kph) winds. It stretched from the Carolinas to Connecticut and was the largest storm by area to hit the United States in decades.
In New Jersey, where entire neighborhoods in oceanside towns were swallowed by seawater and the Atlantic City boardwalk was destroyed, the death toll rose to 13.
Floodwaters receded from the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan, leaving behind a smelly mess of submerged basements and cars littering the sidewalks.
"The water was rushing in. It was like a river coming," said Benedicte Lenoble, a photo researcher from Hoboken. "Now it's a mess everywhere. There's no power. The stores aren't open. Recovery? I don't know."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to cover 100 percent of emergency power and public transportation costs through Nov. 9 for affected areas of New York and New Jersey, up from the traditional share of 75 percent.
More than 36,000 disaster survivors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have applied for federal disaster assistance and more than $3.4 million in direct assistance has already been approved, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
The Pentagon was airlifting power restoration experts and trucks from California to New York to assist millions of people still living in darkness.
Fuel supplies into New York and New Jersey were hit by idled refineries, a closed New York Harbor, damages to import terminals, and a closed oil pipeline.
The scarcity of fuel, electricity and supplies made cleanup more daunting for barrier towns.
Seaside Heights residents who obeyed the mandatory evacuation order were cut off from their homes. The entire community was submerged by the storm surge, which washed over the island and into the bay that separates it from the mainland.
Chris Delman, 30, saw a photograph of his house in a local newspaper on Wednesday. It was still standing.
"We ain't living in Seaside no more, that's obvious," Delman said. "I just want to know what I have left."
IN PICTURES: Sandy: Chronicle of an unrelenting storm