A nor’easter added a wet blanket of snow to areas of New York and New Jersey still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
More Sandy coverage from The Darkroom:
Northeast digs out from snow, gas rationing spreads
Daniel Trotta and Barbara Goldberg | Reuters
4:25 p.m. EST, November 8, 2012
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City and much of the Northeast on Thursday dug out from a snowstorm that hammered a region still struggling to recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, as local governments expanded gasoline rationing in the face of shortages that may last for weeks.
The unseasonably early winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of Connecticut on Wednesday and slapped the region with 50 mph winds, plunging 300,000 homes and businesses back into darkness.
Bitter cold, rain, snow and powerful winds added to the misery of disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or power was knocked out by Sandy, which smashed ashore on October 29 and caused widespread flooding, leading up to as much as $50 billion in economic losses.
The snowstorm created another commuting nightmare for a region whose transportation system was already under repair because of the hurricane. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would begin an indefinite program of gas rationing Thursday, modeled on one New Jersey implemented last week.
“It now appears there will be shortages for possibly another couple weeks,” Bloomberg said, later adding “if you think about it, it’s not any great imposition once you get used to it.”
Neighboring counties would implement a similar program, he said, in an effort to cut down lines that ran for hours at local filling stations following Sandy. The city’s iconic yellow taxis are exempt from the new regulation, which allows drivers to fill up on alternating days depending on their license plate number.
New Yorkers, never known for holding their tongues, let their exasperation with the bad weather show.
“God hates us!” the New York Post said in a front-page headline. Some 3 to 6 inches of snow fell on the city, which enjoyed dry, sunny weather on Thursday.
Residents at Waterside Plaza, an apartment complex built over the East River on the Manhattan shore, had their power restored on Wednesday – temporarily, anyway.
“Then the power went and failed one more time, then came back again, then failed in the evening, then came back again, then failed again this morning and hasn’t come back,” said Josh Bright, a 39-year-old photojournalist, as he climbed the stairs to his apartment on the 26th floor to feed his cats.
Sandy’s death toll in the United States and Canada reached 121 after New York authorities on Wednesday reported another death linked to the storm in the hard-hit coastal neighborhood of the Rockaways, a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean.
“Can you believe this? Enough is enough,” said Cindy Casey, whose Belle Harbor home one block from the beach in the Rockaways was swamped by Sandy, as she looked out at the snow blanketing the neighborhood devastated by flooding and fire.
Reuters Factbox: 662,000 still without power in East due to Sandy