10 Nov 2012

Long storm recovery ahead for New York, New Jersey

5:03 pm on 10 November 2012

Residents of New York and New Jersey have been told to prepare for a long recovery from super-storm Sandy.

Thousands of people are grappling to clean up their properties, while coping with the extended lack of electricity and petrol shortages nine days after the storm.

The White House says President Barack Obama will visit the region next week.

Sandy hammered the United States East Coast on 29 October, killing at least 120 people and causing an estimated $US50 billion in damage or economic losses.

An early season snowstorm pummeled the region this week, knocking out power to some homes just as they were getting back on the grid.

Rationing on Friday seemed to ease gas lines in New York, just as it did in New Jersey last week, and utilities reported that power was being restored to many homes.

Some 434,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast lacked power as of Friday afternoon, down from 696,000 the previous day.

However for coastal communities where thousands of homes were smashed, flooded, filled with sand or burned to the ground, full recovery will take a long time.

Petrol rationing has been introduced and New York City is to work with federal authorities to provide electricians, plumbers and carpenters to people in the worst-hit coastal areas, Reuters reports.

"This is not going to be a short journey" for many communities, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says many popular vacation spots will not be fully rebuilt by next summer.

"This is our Katrina," he declared, referring to the hurricane that washed out New Orleans in 2005.