Homeowners return to storm devastation on N.J. island

Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:45am IST

1 of 2. Customers wait in line for gas at a Hess fuelling station in Brooklyn, New York, November 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Related Topics

Stocks

   

(Reuters) - Homeowners return to an 18-mile (30-km) barrier island off New Jersey's Atlantic coast on Saturday, giving some of them their first view of the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy.

Long Beach Island, an enclave of mostly affluent vacation homes, took a direct hit from Sandy, with some homes washed full of sand and seawater and others completely destroyed.

The island, with some 10,000 year-round residents and perhaps 10 times that number in the summer, has been closed to residents except for brief visits to retrieve belongings.

Sandy smashed into the U.S. East Coast on October 29, killing at least 120 people and causing an estimated $50 billion in damage or economic losses. It destroyed homes along the New Jersey Shore and around New York City, cut off electricity for millions of people and knocked out much of the public transportation system.

Days later, protesters were demonstrating in the streets because they were still without power, gasoline rationing was in effect, and commuters struggled all week to get in and out of New York City.

Authorities warned that for coastal communities where thousands of homes were washed away, flooded, or burned to the ground, full recovery would take a long time.

"This is not going to be a short journey," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference on Friday.

And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who toured the Jersey Shore on Friday, said that many popular vacation spots will not be fully rebuilt by next summer. "This is our Katrina," he declared, referring to the hurricane that washed out New Orleans in 2005.

As homeowners were to return to Long Beach Island on Saturday, an emergency website operated by towns on the island warned that some areas were still without sewer, water and electric service and the entire island is without gas. (lbieoc.org)

One community, Holgate, on the island's southern tip, would remain closed because it was still too dangerous to enter.

SECOND DAY OF RATIONING

New Yorkers faced their second day of gasoline rationing on Saturday. Under the system, which was introduced in New Jersey last week, cars with odd- and even-numbered license plates can fill up only on alternate days.

Some 28 percent of gas stations in the New York metropolitan area did not have fuel available for sale on Friday, the same level as on Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

On Friday, protesters took to the streets in Oceanside, a community on Long Island, to protest that they were still without power. "Where is LIPA? Where is LIPA?" they chanted. LIPA is the Long Island Power Authority, a state-owned utility.

Some 434,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast lacked power as of Friday afternoon, down from 696,000 the previous day, the Energy Department said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York City would work with federal authorities to provide electricians, plumbers and carpenters to help fix the worst-hit homes. He said he hoped to get people back into their homes by the end of the year. (Additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder, Dan Trotta, Jonathan Leff and Jeanine Prezioso; editing by Philip Barbara)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Plane Crash

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Development Report

Development Report

U.N. urges sustained effort to improve flagging development.  Full Article 

Downed Plane

Downed Plane

"Weeks or months" until Malaysian remains from MH17 can be returned home - PM.  Full Article 

Food Scandal

Food Scandal

China probes 581 firms, restaurants as food safety scare spreads.  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Taiwan says weather not seen as cause of plane crash that killed 48.  Full Article 

Fighting Polio

Fighting Polio

Nigeria may have no polio cases next year, says Bill Gates.  Full Article 

Health Study

Health Study

Paracetamol no better than placebo for low back pain, study finds.  Full Article 

Strategic Plans

Strategic Plans

China plans railway to India, Nepal borders by 2020.  Full Article 

Leaving Russia

Leaving Russia

Disenchanted with Putin, some Russians vote with their feet.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage