East coast crawls back to business
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People in the battered east coast took the first steps to reclaim their upended daily routines on Wednesday, even as the National Guard searched for flood victims in New Jersey and fires raged two days after superstorm Sandy. Two airports reopened. And the New York Stock Exchange came back to life.
For the first time since the storm pummeled the northeast, killing 61 people and doing billions of dollars in damage, brilliant sunshine washed over the nation's largest city — a striking sight after days of gray skies. At the stock exchange, running on generator power, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a thumbs-up and rang the opening bell to whoops from traders on the floor. The market got off to a good start after the shutdown.
Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports reopened with limited service on Wednesday. New York City's subway system will resume operating on a limited basis on Thursday. About 6.5 million homes and businesses were still without power, including 4 million in New York and New Jersey.
The scale of the challenge could be seen in New Jersey, where National Guard troops arrived in the flooded city of Hoboken to help evacuate thousands stuck in their homes and deliver ready-to-eat meals. Live wires dangled in floodwaters that Mayor Dawn Zimmer said were mixing with sewage.
President Barack Obama visited New Jersey, accompanied by Governor Chris Christie. The Governor has been presidential challenger Mitt Romney's most prominent supporter, but has been effusive in his praise of Obama's response to the superstorm.
As New York began its second day after the megastorm, morning rush-hour traffic was heavy as people started returning to work. There was a sign of normalcy: commuters waiting at bus stops.
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