Power, fuel ease US storm woes, but many still waiting
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While power returned to much of Manhattan and fuel supplies were headed for the disaster zone, residents of some of the hardest-hit areas faced a long wait for electricity and help after superstorm Sandy's devastating strike on the U.S. Northeast.
With the U.S. presidential election just three days away, at least 3.5 million homes and businesses remained without power in a region choked with storm debris and long gas lines reminiscent of the 1970s-era U.S. fuel shortage. Angry residents wondered when their lives would return to normal.
President Barack Obama won early praise for the federal response to Sandy, which hammered the U.S. northeast coast on Monday with 80 mile-per-hour (130-kph) winds and a record surge of seawater that swamped homes in New Jersey and flooded streets and subway tunnels in New York City.
But continued television and newspaper images of upset storm victims could hurt the Democrat, who is locked in a virtual dead heat with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
TV images might not be a problem in some of the worst-hit New York communities, like Broad Channel, Queens, which face waits of nine days or longer for electricity.
Residents complain they are being ignored.
We have nobody down here with video coverage, said Grace Lane, a grandmother who defied evacuation orders and rode out the storm in her second-story bedroom as water rushed through the first floor of her house.
Eight people - Lane, her husband, their two daughters, their husbands and her two grandchildren - are sleeping on air mattresses on the floor of the upstairs bedroom, the last usable room in the house.
At least my children are OK, she said.
Many houses were gutted by 5 feet (1.5 metres) of floodwater that raced through Broad Channel, where residents hauled broken furniture and soggy belongings out of their homes on Friday.
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