WRAPUP 4-US East Coast staggers to recover from monster storm

Thu Nov 1, 2012 1:48pm EDT
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* At least 85 dead, costs estimated at up to $50 billion

* Rescuers search house-to-house in coastal towns

* U.S. government to pay New Jersey emergency power costs

By Edward Krudy and Joseph Ax

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Rescuers searched flooded streets and swamped houses for survivors, drivers lined up for hours to get scarce gasoline and millions remained without power on Thursday as New York City and nearby coastal towns struggled to recover from one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States.

New Yorkers heard the rumble of subway trains for the first time in four days as limited service resumed, but the lower half of Manhattan still lacked power and surrounding areas including Staten Island, the New Jersey shore and the city of Hoboken remained crippled from a record storm surge and flooding.

At least 87 people died in the "superstorm" that ravaged the northeastern United States on Monday night. Officials said the number could climb as rescuers searched house-to-house through coastal towns.

The hunt for gasoline added to a climate of uncertainty as the death toll and price tag of the storm rose.

"I'm so stressed out," said Jessica Bajno, 29, a school teacher from Elmont, Long Island, who was waiting in line for gas. "I've been driving around to nearby towns all morning, and being careful about not running out of gas in the process. Everything is closed. I'm feeling anxious."   Continued...