Sandy death toll in US rises to 109; 'there could be more,' Bloomberg warns
Superstorm Sandy made landfall Monday evening on a destructive and deadly path across the Northeast.
Updated 11:20 p.m. ET: The death toll in the United States from Superstorm Sandy rose to 109 victims on Friday, as Pennsylvania reported four additional deaths and New York City reported two more fatalities. Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned: "There could be more fatalities."
Two bodies were recovered Friday on Staten Island. The toll in the nation's largest city is now 41 deaths, according to the governor's office. However, the New York Police Department had reported 40 deaths in the city.
Half of the city's deaths were on Staten Island and Bloomberg noted the deaths there of two brothers swept from their mother's arms in the storm surge.
"It just breaks your heart to think about it," Bloomberg said.
Besides New York City, the deaths NBC News has confirmed are:
- New Jersey: 22
- Pennsylvania: 12
- Maryland: 11
- Rest of New York state: 8
- West Virginia: 6
- Connecticut: 4
- Virginia: 2
- North Carolina: 2
- Puerto Rico: 1
The storm also killed at least 69 people in the Caribbean, including 54 in Haiti and 11 in Cuba.
Four days after Sandy struck the U.S., New York and the wider region were in full recovery mode Friday:
- NYC Marathon: Bloomberg said it was being canceledeven though he had earlier defended the decision to hold it Sunday.
- Gasoline shortages: New York Harbor reopened Friday, providing a critical refueling supply line for the region. But motorists still waited in long lines for gasoline.
- Manhattan traffic: New York City said it had lifted, as of 5 p.m. ET, the order that vehicles entering Manhattan must have at least three occupants.
- Shelter, food aid: 5,500 people are still in 15 New York City shelters and some could be out of their homes long term. The city on Thursday gave out 290,000 meals and 500,000 bottles of water at 13 stations. Those deliveries will continue indefinitely. But residents of outlying areas like Staten Island and Coney Island complained aid was little and late. "People are defecating in the hallways," one Coney Island resident without power or water told NBC 4 New York.
- Damage cost: In New York state alone, the cost could exceed $18 billion, a state official said Friday. Private estimates for the entire region range up to $50 billion in economic losses.
- N.J. beach homes: Thousands of people were still not allowed to return to their Jersey coast properties due to safety concerns. Gov. Chris Christie said Friday he had his first meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers to work on how and where to rebuild along the shore.
- Casinos reopen: Atlantic City, N.J., was given the green light to reopen casinos on Friday.
- Military help: Nearly 7,400 National Guard members have provided support, giving out 144,000 meals in New York City and Long Island, rescuing more than 2,000 people and 200 pets, and clearing debris, the Department of Defense said. Equipment and supplies are being delivered, including: ships to New York City to give first responders a place to rest; millions of meals from West Virginia to New York; and trucks that will deliver about 200,000 gallons of fuel.
New Yorkers also got a bit of a scare Friday when police ammo and explosives ruined during the storm were detonated in several controlled explosions on Ellis Island.
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