Airports and stock exchange reopen; New Jersey devastated (+video)
On the Brooklyn Bridge, closed earlier because of high winds, joggers and bikers made their way across before sunrise. One cyclist carried a flashlight. Car traffic on the bridge was busy.
The subway system suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history, with floodwaters swamping tunnels and stations and threatening the electrical wiring. Experts said the cost of the repairs could be staggering.
Amtrak trains were still not running in or out of New York's Penn Station because of tunnel flooding.
Power company Consolidated Edison said it could also be the weekend before power is restored to Manhattan and Brooklyn, perhaps longer for other New York boroughs and the suburbs. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost power.
The recovery and rebuilding will take far longer.
When New Jersey's governor stopped in Belmar, N.J., during a tour of the devastation, one woman wept, and 42-year-old Walter Patrickis told him, "Governor, I lost everything."
Christie, who called the shore damage "unthinkable," said a full recovery would take months, at least, and it would probably be a week or more before power is restored to everyone who lost it.
"Now we've got a big task ahead of us that we have to do together. This is the kind of thing New Jerseyans are built for," he said.
Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicted it would cause $20 billion in damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. Another firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated losses up to $15 billion.
In Connecticut, some residents of Fairfield returned home in kayaks and canoes to inspect the flood damage.
"The uncertainty is the worst," said Jessica Levitt, who was told it could be a week before she can enter her house. "Even if we had damage, you just want to be able to do something. We can't even get started."
In New York, residents of the flooded beachfront neighborhood of Breezy Point in returned home to find fire had taken everything the water had not. A huge blaze destroyed perhaps 100 homes in the close-knit community where many had stayed behind despite being told to evacuate.
John Frawley acknowledged the mistake. Frawley, who lived about five houses from the fire's edge, said he spent the night terrified "not knowing if the fire was going to jump the boulevard and come up to my house."
"I stayed up all night," he said. "The screams. The fire. It was horrifying."
Contributors to this report included Associated Press writers Angela Delli Santi in Belmar, N.J.; Geoff Mulvihill and Larry Rosenthal in Trenton, N.J.; Katie Zezima in Atlantic City, N.J.; Samantha Henry in Jersey City, N.J.; Pat Eaton-Robb and Michael Melia in Hartford, Conn.; Susan Haigh in New London, Conn.; John Christoffersen in Bridgeport, Conn.; Alicia Caldwell and Martin Crutsinger in Washington; David Klepper in South Kingstown, R.I.; David B. Caruso, Colleen Long, Jennifer Peltz, Tom Hays, Larry Neumeister, Ralph Russo and Scott Mayerowitz in New York.
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