NEW YORK — Subways started running again in much of New York City on Thursday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy, but traffic at bridges backed up for miles, long lines formed at gas stations, and big crowds waited impatiently for buses.

The trains couldn't take some New Yorkers where they needed to go. There was no service in downtown Manhattan and other hard-hit parts of the city, and people had to switch to buses. But some of those who did use the subway were grateful.

"It's the lifeline of the city. It can't get much better than this," said Ronnie Abraham, who was waiting at Penn Station for a subway train to Harlem, a trip that takes 20 minutes underground but 2 1/2 hours on the city's badly overcrowded buses.

Three days after Sandy slammed the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, New York and New Jersey struggled to get back on their feet, the U.S. death toll climbed to more than 80, and more than 4.6 million homes and businesses were still without power.

The total damage from Superstorm Sandy could run as high as $50 billion, according to the forecasting firm Eqecat. That would make it the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina. The estimate include property damage and lost business

In New Jersey, where large swaths of the coastline lay in ruins, some residents finally got a look at what was left of their homes. Sandy wrecked houses, businesses and boardwalks.

"A lot of tears are being shed today," said Dennis Cucci, whose home near the ocean in Point Pleasant Beach was heavily damaged. "It's absolutely mind-boggling.

In a piece of good news for many New Yorkers, Con Edison said it is on track to restore power by Saturday in Manhattan, where a quarter-million customers were without electricity. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg said meals and bottled water would be distributed in hard-hit neighborhoods around the city through the weekend.

Downtown Manhattan, which includes the financial district, the Sept. 11 memorial, Chinatown and Little Italy, was still mostly an urban landscape of shuttered bodegas and boarded-up restaurants. People roamed in search of food, power and a hot shower. Some dispirited and fearful New Yorkers decided to flee the city.

"It's dirty, and it's getting a little crazy down there," said Michael Tomeo, who boarded a bus to Philadelphia with his 4-year-old son. "It just feels like you wouldn't want to be out at night. Everything's pitch dark. I'm tired of it, big-time."

Rima Finzi-Strauss was taking a bus to Washington. When the power went out Monday night in her apartment building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, it also disabled the electric locks on the front door, she said.

"We had three guys sitting out in the lobby last night with candlelight, and very threatening folks were passing by in the pitch black," she said. "And everyone's leaving. That makes it worse."

She said people were on the street buying "old, tiny little vegetables" and climbing 20 floors into apartments where they couldn't flush the toilet and had no heat. New York dipped to about 40 degrees Wednesday night.

The death toll in New York City alone was close to 40. Police on Thursday said two brothers, ages 2 and 4, who were swept away Monday night when waves of water crashed into an SUV driven by their mother in Staten Island were found dead.

Flights took off and landed Thursday at LaGuardia Airport, the last of the three major New York-area airports to reopen since the storm.

In the morning, more than 1,000 people waited outside an arena in Brooklyn for buses to Manhattan. When one bus pulled up, passengers rushed the door. A transit worker banged on a bus window and yelled at people on the bus and in line.

With the electricity out and gasoline supplies scarce, many stations across the metropolitan area closed, and the stations that were open drew long lines of cars that spilled out onto roads.

"Either they're out of gas or the lines are ridiculous," Katie Leggio said from her car, in line on Long Island. "I need gas. I think it's ridiculous that they're doing this to us when we're down, but what are you going to do? We're desperate, and we're helpless."

Police enforced carpooling at bridges into the city, peering through windows to make sure each car carried at least three people. TV helicopter footage showed lines for miles.

Across the region, people stricken by the storm pulled together, providing comfort to those left homeless and offering hot showers and electrical outlets for charging cellphones to those without power. That cooperative spirit extended to politicians, who at least made the appearance of putting their differences aside to deal with the destruction wrought by Sandy.

"We are here for you," President Barack Obama said Wednesday in Brigantine, N.J., touring a ravaged shore alongside Republican Gov. Chris Christie, one of Mitt Romney's most vocal supporters. "We are not going to tolerate red tape. We are not going to tolerate bureaucracy."

In New Jersey, signs of the good life that had defined wealthy shorefront enclaves like Bayhead and Mantoloking lay scattered and broken: $3,000 barbecue grills buried beneath the sand and hot tubs cracked and filled with seawater. Nearly all the homes were seriously damaged, and many had disappeared.

"This," said Harry Typaldos, who owns the Grenville Inn in Mantoloking, "I just can't comprehend."

Most of the state's mass transit systems remained shut down, leaving hundreds of thousands of commuters to deal with clogged highways and quarter-mile lines at gas stations.

Darryl Jameson of Toms River waited more than hour to get fuel.

"The messed-up part is these people who are blocking the roadway as they try to cut in line," he said. "No one likes waiting, man, but it's something you have to do."

On New York's Long Island, bulldozers scooped sand off streets and tow trucks hauled away destroyed cars while people tried to find a way to their homes to restart their lives.

Richard and Joanne Kalb used a rowboat to reach their home in Mastic Beach, filled with 3 feet of water. Richard Kalb posted a sign on a telephone pole, asking passing drivers to show some mercy: "Slow please no wake."

___

Contributing to this report were Verena Dobnik, Eileen AJ Connelly, Karen Matthews, David B. Caruso, Leanne Italie and Lou Ferrara in New York; Samantha Henry in Hoboken, N.J.; Wayne Parry in Mantoloking, N.J., Katie Zezima in Seaside Heights, N.J.; Frank Eltman in Mastic Beach, N.Y., Larry Neumeister in Long Beach, N.Y., and Vicki Smith in Elkins, W.Va.

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  • Breezy Point Fire

    Damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point is shown Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, in the New York City borough of Queens. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Firefighters look up at the facade of a four-story building on 14th Street and 8th Avenue that collapsed onto the sidewalk Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Firefighters respond at the scene where the facade of a four-story building on 14th Street and 8th Avenue collapsed onto the sidewalk Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Vehicles are submerged during a storm surge near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy zeroed in on New York's waterfront with fierce rain and winds that shuttered most of the nation's largest city Monday, darkened the financial district and left a huge crane hanging off a luxury high-rise. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • The New York skyline remains dark Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as seen from the Williamsburg neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York. In an attempt to lessen damage from saltwater to the subway system and the electrical network beneath the city's financial district, New York City's main utility cut power to about 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan. But a far wider swath of the city was hit with blackouts caused by flooding and transformer explosions. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • This image from video provided by Dani Hart shows what appears to be a transformer exploding in lower Manhattan as seen from a building rooftop from the Navy Yard in Brooklyn during Sandy’s arrival in New York City. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Dani Hart)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A darkened Manhattan is viewed after much of the city lost electricity due to the affects of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York, United States. At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was his especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: People look at damage from a broken window in the financial district of Manhattan, October 30, 2012 in New York. The storm has claimed at least 16 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    A construction crane dangles October 30, 2012 atop a 1.5 billion USD luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan after collapsing in high winds as New Yorkers assess damage the morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    A construction crane danglesOctober 30, 2012 atop a 1.5 billion USD luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan after collapsing in high winds as New Yorkers assess damage the morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    People look at destruction in South Street Seaport October 30, 2012 as New Yorkers clean up the morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. The storm left large parts of New York City without power and transportation. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, shows what appear to be transformers exploding after much of lower Manhattan lost power during hurricane Sandy in New York. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)

  • Chad Meyers, an emergency room physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, walks down First Avenue near East 23rd Street after the facility experienced flooding and switched to emergency backup power early Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. For New York City, Sandy was not the dayslong onslaught many had feared, and the wind and rain that sent water sloshing into Manhattan from three sides began dying down within hours. Still, the power was out for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and an estimated 6.2 million people altogether across the East. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Furticella)

  • New York City firefighters battle a blaze on Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • New York City firefighters battle a blaze on Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • This photo provided by MTA Bridges and Tunnels shows floodwaters from Sandy entering the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (former Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel), which was closed on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. New York City shut all three of its airports, its subways, schools, stock exchanges, Broadway theaters and closed several bridges and tunnels Monday as the weather worsened. (AP Photo/ MTA Bridges and Tunnels) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Water reaches the street level of the flooded Battery Park Underpass, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

  • The Staten Island Ferry terminal at Battery Park in lower Manhattan remains closed, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

  • A tree leans against a house Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York, while another tree lies on a taxi with a shattered rear window in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/David Boe)

  • Lumber rests on a street below the Manhattan Bridge after being washed inland by flood waters superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • A pedestrian touches a fallen tree that crushed a parked car on East 7th Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • A fallen tree rests beside a parked car on East Broadway in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Residents assess damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Homes damaged by a fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Homes destroyed by a fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A landscape of destroyed homes is at Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Fire still burns at the scene of a fire in Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Homes destroyed by a six-alarm fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Water floods the Plaza Shops in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, on October 30, 2012 in Manhattan, New York.The storm has claimed at least 16 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

  • Flooded streets of Hoboken, N.J., and the New York City skyline are seen in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A flooded street in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn is viewed after the city awakens to the affects of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York, United States. At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was his especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • This photo provided by Dylan Patrick shows flooding along the Westside Highway near the USS Intrepid as Sandy moves through the area Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 in New York. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Dylan Patrick) MANDATORY CREDIT: DYLAN PATRICK

  • Vehicles are submerged during a storm surge near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy zeroed in on New York's waterfront with fierce rain and winds that shuttered most of the nation's largest city Monday, darkened the financial district and left a huge crane hanging off a luxury high-rise. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • People brace against a gust from Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Residents of the neighborhood were ordered to evacuate because of the storm surge expected from the hurricane. Authorities warned that New York City and Long Island could get the worst of the storm surge: an 11-foot onslaught of seawater that could swamp lower areas of the city. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)


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HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:

Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.

"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.

marriage proposal cancelled nyc marathon

Photo by Damon Scheleur

Read the full story here.

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Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.

-Catharine Smith, HuffPost

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HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.

Read the full story here.

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Huntington Patch reports:

At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.

LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.

"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."

"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."

Read the full story on Huntington Patch.

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Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.

Read the full story here.

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HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:

On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.

Read the full story here.

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@ USACE_HQ : Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system... http://t.co/5jMXDhRc

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@ MikeBloomberg : If you would like to donate: visit http://t.co/9w8egqxD So far $12 million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.

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@ usNWSgov : Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC

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@ NYCMayorsOffice : Volunteers Descend on Staten Island Neighborhood http://t.co/9aP3ggJN

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@ usNWSgov : Temps near the freezing mark expected tonight in areas affected by #Sandy. Those without power should prepare for a cold night. #NWS #nywx

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HuffPost's Ben Hallman reports:

For hours, giant waves crashed against Rockaway Beach, making a tremendous roar that could be heard up and down the 11-mile peninsula. "We kept constant watch on the boardwalk," said Diane Hudson, who lives on a high floor in a building about a half block from the Atlantic Ocean. "There was no water on it, so we thought we were OK."

Then she got a call from her boss, and close friend, David Gotthelf, who had just moved into a ground-floor apartment about a mile and a half away, on Beach 115th Street.

"The water is coming in," Hudson said Gotthelf told her. "What do I do? What do I do?"

Hudson looked out the window. In a matter of just a few minutes, the dark ocean had filled the parking lot. The boardwalk was gone. "Just get up on a high place," she said she told her friend. "Get on your bed."

That was the last time anyone talked to Gotthelf, who died Monday night or Tuesday morning, as far as Hudson knows.

Read the full story here.

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From The New York Times:

The L line from Manhattan to Brooklyn, however, remained flooded Saturday, from what Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, described as “wall to wall” inundation. The G train tunnel was flooded as well and is not expected to be back in service until later this week.'

Read the full story here.

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New Jersey voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be able to vote either electronically or by fax under an order issued by state officials on Saturday. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who is also New Jersey's secretary of state, said that voters can request a ballot be sent to them by their local county clerk via email or fax and then return it to the county the same way.

“This has been an extraordinary storm that has created unthinkable destruction across our state and we know many people have questions about how and where to cast their vote in Tuesday’s election," Guadagno said in a statement. "To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote."

Guadagno also said that first responders in the state who are stationed away from their home can use the same method to vote.

Guadagno's decision follows previous orders to extend early voting hours at county elections offices statewide over the weekend. Gov. Chris Christie (R) indicated that the state was printing additional provisional ballots to allow those displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote in another location due to the storm.

-- John Celock, HuffPost

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Francis Ng was ready to run a marathon in New York City on Sunday but now the Toronto marathoner is instead looking to pitch in as the region recovers from this week's massive storm.

He's just one of the many Canadian runners who found out too late that the New York City Marathon was canceled, a race that draws more than 47,000 entrants.

Other athletes from Canada and many from around the world were already on the way to the Big Apple when the mayor's office cancelled one of the world's largest marathons. The 2011 edition of the marathon drew 1,200 Canadians and more than half of the race's participants are from outside of the United States.

Ng found out at at the airport departure lounge in Toronto that the race was canceled, so instead of running through the five boroughs on Sunday morning, he's now looking to make a trip up to the Bronx to volunteer at Pelham Bay Nature Center.

Read the full story here

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HuffPost’s Betsy Isaacson Reports:

Even with bicycle generators to charge phones, people in downtown Manhattan did not have working internet through Friday, Nov. 2, when power finally started to return to the grids there. The massive New York City power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy left thousands of New Yorkers without connection to the outside world, unable to check on relatives or secure information unless they walked or took a cab uptown, where the city had power.

With power now back on in Lower Manhattan, age-old ways of trading information will likely give way to texting and wireless connections. A copy of The New York Times will no longer be worth more than $2. Will New Yorkers miss it?

Read the full story here.

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HuffPost's Gerry Smith reports:

Heavy flooding this week at Verizon’s headquarters in lower Manhattan -- a critical node of its network infrastructure -- has begun to subside, but the company's effort to repair damaged network equipment and restore service to customers after Hurricane Sandy continues.

Read the full story here.

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HuffPost's Lynne Peeples reports:

Among the wreckage removed in Joplin, Mo., after the 2011 tornado was 2,600 tons of asbestos debris.

"That was a small community," said Linda Reinstein, president of the nonprofit Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. "Do the math, and we can recognize that we have a significant public health risk with Hurricane Sandy."

With wind and water damage caused by Sandy compromising the integrity of homes, schools and other buildings along much of the East Coast, health experts warn of increased risks of exposure to a variety of environmental toxins. One of the most worrisome, they say, is asbestos. Much of the compromised construction materials, including roofing, piping and insulation, could contain the microscopic mineral fibers. And while a person generally can't see it, smell it or taste it, they can breathe it and ingest it -- and the consequences can be severe.

Read the full story here.

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@ AP : BREAKING: New York City mayor says gas station shortages could take a few days to fully be resolved -RJJ

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New York Magazine has released a sneak peek of its latest cover, and wow is it stunning.

The editors explain the photo choice here:

A photograph taken by Iwan Baan on Wednesday night, showing the Island of Manhattan, half aglow and half in dark, was the clear choice, for the way it fit with the bigger story we have tried to tell here about a powerful city rendered powerless. We crammed back into the conference room, raced to finish our pages, and hoped, like other New Yorkers, that everyone would find the lights on when they got home.

See the pic here.

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Photos have begun to emerge comparing regions of the East Coast before and after the storm. Click here to view an interactive set of photos documenting the disturbing contrast.

before after photos

-Jake Bialer, HuffPost

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If you're out volunteering, share your stories with us. Use Twitter or Instagram and tag your photos #volunteersandy. Or you can submit your photos here.

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From The Associated Press:

The government says the public should stay away from free New York fuel stations until emergency responders get their gas.

Long lines of vehicles and pedestrians formed Saturday after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the U.S. Department of Defense was opening the mobile fuel stations in New York City and on suburban Long Island.

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Under orders from President Obama through FEMA, the Defense Logistics Agency and National Guard, there are new shipments of fuel available at five locations in New York area and at four locations in New Jersey.

In New York, fuel is available at the Queens Armory, 93-05 160th St., Jamaica, NY 11433; Bronx Armory, 10 West 195th St.,Bronx, NY 10468, Brooklyn Armory, 1579 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225, the Staten Island/Elizabeth Armory, 321 Manor Rd., Staten Island, NY 10314, and the Freeport Armory, 63 Babylon Turnpike, Freeport NY 11520

In New Jersey, fuel is available at the Teaneck Armory,1799 Teaneck Road, Teaneck NJ 07666, the West Orange armory at1315 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange NJ 07052, the Freehold armory at 635 Park Ave., Freehold NJ 07728, and at the former Plainfield armory at Plainfield,NJ.

The New Jersey National Guard continues to deliver fuel to first responders, using nine tanker trucks provided by the Pennsylvania National Guard.

-- HuffPost's David Wood

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The owners of New Jersey's NJ Skateshop are desperately trying to collect winter clothes for neighbors without heat and members of their community who were left homeless by Hurricane Sandy, as a Nor'easter is forecast to hit the stricken area next week.

Co-owner Chris Nieratko reports two of the shop's four stores have electricity and have been stocked with power strips to allow residents to charge their phones and "pretend things were normal if only for a while." But many are ill-equipped to handle the incoming storm, he writes, and are already struggling: "Seeing your children cold and hungry is a feeling I never want any of you to experience."

Nieratko is asking for shipments of any winter clothing to the store's New Brunswick location, from which they will distribute to people in need:

I have no TV so I don't know what you're hearing on the news, but let me tell you, it's bad. Very bad..we've opened to the door to anyone with children. For days we ran generators sparingly because there was no gas...

There's another storm coming. Temperatures are dropping. Things are getting colder and even scarier. I am writing to you to ask for your help in clothing the displaced, homeless, under-dressed skaters in our community and their families...If you have anything warm (socks, sweatshirts, jackets, beanies, gloves, shoes, tees, ANYTHING) doesn't matter if it's 5 seasons ago...there are many in need from very young to very big XXL. Anything you can spare to help people stay warm will be appreciated.

Please send whatever you're able to (and there's no box too small) to our New Brunswick shop:

NJ TWO 29-B Easton Ave

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Label the box HURRICANE RELIEF

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Photo of National Guard in South Beach, Staten Island, today.

hurricane

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Deer Park-North Babylon Park Patch reports:
Harold Jamison will make it to the Tanger Outlet center this afternoon to see Ben Affleck's "Argo."

"That movie is so good, I have to see it. I'm not missing it. It's about the 1979 Iran conflict and there is old TV video clips and everything," Jamison said.

But first, he was living his own 1970s-style flashback, a nearly three-hour wait to get gas in Deer Park in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Jamison was in line to get gas at the Deer Park Express station on the corner of Deer Park and Long Island avenues. He was still idling around the corner on Lake Avenue and E. 4th Street. In 90 minutes, he had moved two blocks.

Read the full story, and check out Mark's excellent "Sweet Daddy" jacket on Deer Park-North Babylon Park Patch.

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HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

WASHINGTON -- Before hitting the campaign trail for his final swing before the election, President Barack Obama on Saturday stopped by the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington for a briefing on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

"We still have a long way to go to make sure that the people of New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and some of the surrounding areas get their basic needs taken care of and we get back to normalcy," Obama said, adding that the situation continues to be his "number one priority."

The president emphasized five components of recovery: getting power back on as quickly as possible, pumping water out of flooded areas, making sure people's basic needs are taken care of, debris removal and getting transportation systems up and running again.

"Our hearts continue to go out to those families who have been affected, who have actually lost loved ones," Obama said. "That's obviously heartbreaking. But I'm confident that we will continue to make progress as long as state and local and federal officials stay focused."/blockquote>

Read more here.

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OurAmazingPlanet reports:

With coastal communities in New York and New Jersey still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the last thing the area needs is another storm. But that's exactly what it might get.

A nor'easter is predicted to potentially hit the East Coast next Wednesday (Nov. 7), and beach erosion experts are concerned about further damage to shorelines devastated by Sandy.

Read the full story here.

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