NY housing warning as cold hits

New York's political leaders warned that thousands could need to be re-housed as a cold snap hits the state. Near freezing temperatures are adding to the misery of communities devastated by superstorm Sandy across the east coast.

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Sandy recovery continues in Staten Island

The residents of Staten Island borough are among the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. Six days after Sandy hit the coast, many residents are still cleaning up the damage left behind.

A message is left on flooded belongings outside a house hit by hurricane Sandy Credit: Adrees Latif / Reuters

Among persistent power outages, the recovery has been slowly proceeding. Volunteers and residents have been handing out clothing and canned food, while others organised the clean up with brooms and shovels.

New York Air National Guard taking water and cases of food to local residents in Staten Island Credit: Handout . / Reuters

Local resident Lisa Hacker told the Reuters news agency: "It was like a scene out of the Titanic,"

"Water pushed the back door open in the basement and broke it off the hinges and it started coming in and the lights were flickering."

A man carries his belongings to a pile outside his house, which was left flooded by hurricane Sandy, in Staten Island Credit: Adrees Latif / Reuters

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Cold snap fears as New York temperatures plummet

National Guardsmen put gasoline into canisters at a temporary National Guard fueling center in the Staten Island Borough of New York Credit: REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Near freezing temperatures are adding to the misery of coastal communities devastated by superstorm Sandy, despite fuel supplies heading toward disaster zones in the US Northeast and a million customers regaining electricity.

Temperatures have plunged to around 3C with freezing temperatures expected next week.

In Staten Island, the New York City borough whose half a million residents bore the brunt of Sandy, people tried to stay warm.

But the return of power did see New York's skyline relit in Lower Manhattan for the first time in nearly a week and allowed 80 percent of the New York City subway service to resume.

More than a million homes and businesses still lacked power, down from 3.5 million on Friday.

The power outages combined with a heating oil shortage meant some homes could go cold as unseasonably chilly weather sets in.

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Obama: 'Still a long way to recovery'

President Obama has said that "there's nothing more important than us getting this right" as he visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for an update on superstorm recovery efforts".

Mr Obama said that "we still have a long way to go to make sure that the people of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have their basic needs met".

Hundreds working to restore power to homes

Public Service Enterprise Group, based in Newark, New Jersey, has hundreds of linemen trying to restore connections to individual homes and residential areas, company officials said.

It plans to add hundreds more temporary workers in the coming days.

According to US Department of Energy figures, the 2.5 million customers across seven states that were still without power early on Saturday, include 1.28 million customers of PSEG and other utilities in New Jersey.

Among the areas still suffering power cuts was Hoboken, New Jersey, LaRossa said.

The low-lying city on the Hudson River is located across from Manhattan.

Historic flood surges knocked out power there on Monday and Tuesday and waters were slow to recede after the storm.

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