New York reopens subways after Superstorm Sandy

 

New York City moved closer to resuming its frenetic pace by getting back its vital subways today, three days after a superstorm left neighbouring New Jersey stunned by miles of coastal devastation.

Thousands of people in one city were still stranded by flood waters.

The decision to reopen undamaged parts of the United States' largest transit system came as the death toll reached more than 70 in the US and left more than five million without power. Hurricane Sandy earlier left another at least 69 people dead as it swept through the Caribbean.

In New York, people streamed into the city as service began to resume on commuter train and subway. The three major airports resumed at least limited service, and the New York Stock Exchange was open again.

Amtrak's Northeast Corridor - the busiest train line in the country - was to take commuters along the heavily populated East Coast again starting tomorrow.

But hundreds of thousands in New York City alone were still without power, especially in Lower Manhattan, which remained in the dark roughly south of the Empire State Building after floodwaters had knocked out power.

Concerns rose over the elderly and poor all but trapped on upper floors of housing complexes in the powerless area, who faced pitch-black hallways, lifts and dwindling food. New York's governor ordered food deliveries to help them.

In New Jersey, the once-pristine Atlantic coastline famous for the TV show Jersey Shore was shattered. President Barack Obama joined Governor Chris Christie in a helicopter tour of the devastation yesterday and told evacuees: "We are here for you. We are not going to tolerate red tape. We are not going to tolerate bureaucracy."

And warnings rose again about global warming and the prospect of more such severe weather to come.

"The next 50 to 100 years are going to be very different than what we've seen in the past 50 years," said S. Jeffress Williams, a scientist emeritus at the US Geological Survey's Woods Hole Science Centre in Massachusetts. The sea level is rising fast, and destructive storms are occurring more frequently, said Williams, who expects things to get even worse.

Across the Hudson River from New York City, the floodwaters remained in the city of Hoboken, where an estimated 20,000 people remained in their homes amid accusations that officials were slow to deliver food and water.

One man blew up an air mattress and floated to City Hall, demanding to know why supplies had not arrived.

The superstorm's effects, though much weakened, continued today. Snow drifts as high as five feet (1.5 metres) piled up in West Virginia, where the former hurricane merged with two winter weather systems as it went inland.

Across the region, people stricken by the storm were helping each other - providing comfort to those left homeless or offering hot showers and electrical outlets for charging mobile phones to those without power.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also ordered them to share cars. Television footage 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 paralysed the city earlier in the week.

After suffering the worst disaster in its 108-year-old history, the subways were to roll again - at least some of them. More than a dozen of the lines would offer some service, but none below Manhattan's 34th Street, a line of demarcation in the city separating the hardest-hit residents from those who escaped the brunt.

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

Commuters lined up at Penn Station to board subway trains at 6 am.

But most of New Jersey's mass transit systems remained shut down, leaving hundreds of thousands of commuters stuck on clogged highways and in long lines at petrol stations. Atlantic City's casinos remained closed.

Not everyone was fazed by the superstorm and the chaos it caused. Yukun Yang, a college student, said his home city of Guangzhou, China, would have weathered the storm better than New York.

"We have hurricanes and subways in my city, and we handle it much better," he said. "Hurricanes are normal and they don't stop the subways."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing