Across New York City, much of New Jersey and other places hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, power remains out this morning and the long, hard process of digging through debris and starting to rebuild continues.
As NPR's Robert Smith said on Morning Edition, in lower Manhattan (and many other places, unfortunately) all people can do is wait for power, for mass transit, for life to get back to something near normal.
We'll be updating this post throughout the day with the latest news about the storm and its aftereffects.
7:15 a.m. ET. Where Things Stand.
Here's a recap as the day begins:
Deaths: The toll has gone up since our last update. According to The Associated Press, at least 55 deaths can be attributed to the storm since it hit the East Coast over the weekend blasting much of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and southern New England before moving on to the Great Lakes and western New York State. Last evening, the death toll stood at 48.
Before Sandy hit the U.S, the storm was been blamed for at least 69 deaths when it rumbled through the Caribbean.
Power Outages: As of last evening, about 8.2 million customers remained without power, the Edison Electric Institute estimates. This morning, NPR's Elizabeth Shogren estimates, the number may be down to about 6 million.
New York Slammed: Not only was the city drenched and shut down by rising waters authorities also had to deal with a massive fire in Queens, "widespread flooding, power and transportation outages." The city's subway system has experienced some of the worst damage in its 108-year history and may not reopen for several days.
We've added a separate post about the devastation in Breezy Point, Queens.
Transportation: Things are slowly getting better, but are no where near normal. New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark's Liberty International Airport will have "limited service" today. New York's LaGuardia Airport remains closed. (More information here.)
Amtrak says it will have some service from Newark, N.J., to points south and from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa. But it will not have service into New York City, no Acela Express service in the Northeast corridor and is canceling service along several other routes in the Northeast and New England.
Some mass transit service has been restored in Philadelphia. And Metro is up and running in Washington, D.C.
But mass transit into, out of and around New York City remains paralyzed. It will be several more days, at least, before the city's subway system is running again.
Schools And Stocks: Schools are reopening across much of the region from Virginia north (but not in New York City). The financial markets in New York will also be open today.
The Blizzard: Sandy also brought a massive amount of snow to higher elevations in West Virginia and surrounding states. About two feet of snow fell in some places and at one point about 200,000 customers were without power in West Virgina, where the temperatures are well below freezing. Many still don't have electricity. Shelters are open across the state.
Presidential Visit: President Obama will visit New Jersey this afternoon to tour the damage alongside Gov. Chris Christie.
And The Forecast? The National Weather Service says that:
"REMNANTS OF SANDY CONTINUE TO WEAKEN OVER PENNSYLVANIA ... FLOOD AND COASTAL FLOOD WATCHES ... WARNINGS...AND ADVISORIES ARE IN EFFECT OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEAST STATES. WINTER STORM WARNINGS AND WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA...WESTERN MARYLAND. .. WEST VIRGINIA ... EASTERN TENNESSEE ... EASTERN KENTUCKY ... AND EXTREME WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA."
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