- (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
While there is some relief from power outage in lower Manhattan, tens of thousands elsewhere in the metropolitan region and the city's outer boroughs and suburbs continue to face lack of power, shortage of gas and crippled subways amid dipping temperatures.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked elderly people to move to shelters, reminding others they were New Yorkers and could deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which came ashore Monday night.
"We're New Yorkers, and we're going to get through it," The Associated Press quoted the mayor as saying. "But I don't want anyone to think we're out of the woods." He also said that 25,000 blankets were being distributed across the city.
Bloomberg added that the gas shortage may continue for days, even as hundreds of cars could be seen lined up around gas stations.
One of the most crowded gas stations was in Brooklyn on Saturday where the National Guard gave out free gas to alleviate the situation. The Defense Department had dispatched 5,000-gallon trucks to five locations around the New York City metropolitan area.
Police presence was increased around gas station on Saturday, the day after 10 people were arrested in disputes over line jumping.
The inconvenience was compounded by the still crippled subway system. CNN reported that millions across the metropolitan region were still waiting for the full restoration of the subway system. "There is no precedent for this," Clifton Hood, author of 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York, was quoted as saying.
An estimated 5.5 million people depend on the city's subway system daily in the country's most densely populated region.
About 900,000 people still didn't have electricity in the New York metropolitan area, including about 550,000 on Long Island, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. However, about 80 percent of New York City's subway service has been restored.
Some 2.5 million homes and business still lacked power across the Northeast, down from 3.5 million on Friday, according to Reuters.
Gas shortage has also hit northern New Jersey, and Gov. Chris Christie has resorted to gas rationing, which went into effect Saturday noon in 12 counties. Only motorists with odd-numbered license plates were allowed to refuel Saturday, and those with even-numbered plates were asked to come on Sunday.
Reuters said the U.S. Northeast witnessed near-freezing temperatures. Forecasters saw temperatures dipping into the upper 30s Fahrenheit on Saturday night with freezing temperatures expected in the coming week.
It will be a challenge for officials across the storm-ravaged Northeast to helping voters displaced by Sandy to reach polling stations for Tuesday's election.
Sandy, which developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on Oct. 22, killed 52 people in Haiti, 11 in Cuba, two in Bahamas, and dozens in the United States.