Hurricane Death Toll Rising, NYC Marathon Still On

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 2:45 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. death toll from Hurricane Sandy is above 90 and rising, as emergency workers canvass flood- and fire-ravaged neighborhoods, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city will carry on Sunday with its annual, world-famous marathon.

Police say at least 59 people were killed during the storm in New York City and New Jersey.

But Mayor Bloomberg vowed that Sunday's event will go on as scheduled. He said the event should not overtax the police department because it is on a Sunday, when there is less street traffic. Canceling could also put more strain on already-strapped business owners, as the prestigious event draws thousands of runners and spectators, and millions of dollars, to the city.

Power is still out in much of lower Manhattan and surrounding boroughs. The local electricity company says it will be several more days before the grid is fully up and running again.

Subways and buses resumed limited service Thursday after a four-day shutdown.

Emergency workers are pumping out flooded tunnels and buildings as the city and its suburbs struggle to recover. To avoid traffic gridlock, cars with fewer than three people inside are not allowed into the city.

Schools remain closed, and hundreds of thousands still have no electricity — a major hardship in a city where many live in high-rise apartment buildings with electric elevators.

New York authorities are warning people against swimming or boating in the city's rivers and bays to avoid polluted water.

Lines of cars stretched nearly two kilometers at the handful of gasoline stations able to pump fuel.

In addition to the deaths in the United States, Sandy claimed 65 lives in the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. U.S. storm damage is estimated at $50 billion.

Sandy disrupted life across much of the Atlantic seaboard, from power outages and floods in coastal cities to heavy snow in the mountains.