More New Yorkers had their power restored yesterday, but frustrations mounted over petrol shortages as refuelling sites turned into traffic jams of horn-honking confusion.
Rationing went into effect in northern New Jersey, while crowds lined up at free-fuel distribution sites in New York's five boroughs, where a limit of 38 litres per person was imposed. Officials then said emergency vehicles had priority.
The scene was more orderly in Staten Island, where a line of cars stretched for two miles under the supervision of police and National Guard troops. Another 400 people were on foot, carrying petrol cans. As rationing started at noon yesterday in northern New Jersey, police began enforcing rules to allow only motorists with odd-numbered licence plates to refuel. Those with even-numbers had to wait until today.
In Washington, President Barack Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency for an update on recovery efforts. Power has been restored to about 60 per cent of the New York metropolitan area, with about 900,000 still without electricity, including around 550,000 on Long Island. About 2.6 million people remained without power in six states. Most of New York City's subway service has now been restored.
NYU Langone Medical Center, one of two New York hospitals that had to evacuate patients at the height of the storm, said it would reopen tomorrow, although some doctors would see patients at other sites. At Bellevue Hospital Center, some 700 patients had to be evacuated after the power failed. An official there said the hospital could be out of commission for at least two more weeks.