WRAPUP 6-Devastated US Northeast crawls back after monster storm

Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:36pm EDT
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* Obama tours storm-ravaged New Jersey shore with Christie

* Financial markets reopen after shutting for two days

* Mass transit to resume limited service in New York City

* New York's Bellevue Hospital evacuated, 500 patients moved

By Daniel Bases and Dena Aubin

NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. Northeast began an arduous slog back to normal on Wednesday after historic storm Sandy crippled transportation, knocked out power for millions and killed at least 64 people with a massive storm surge that caused epic flooding.

Financial markets reopened with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange after the first weather-related two-day closure since 1888 and packed buses took commuters to work with the city's subway system halted after seawater flooded its tunnels.

The progress stood in contrast to images of devastation along the New Jersey Shore. The state's governor, Chris Christie, joined President Barack Obama aboard the Marine One presidential helicopter for a tour over flooded neighborhoods and burning homes. {ID:nL1E8LVD5O]

"If your homes aren't too badly damaged we can hopefully get you back in," Obama told residents at an evacuation shelter in the town of Brigantine. "The entire country's been watching. Everyone knows how hard Jersey has been hit."   Continued...