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Frustration builds on Day 3 in New York storm zone

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 5:55 a.m. MDT

People wait on line for food, water and power for mobile devices at Confucius Plaza in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, N.Y., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Hundreds of thousands in New York City alone were still without power Thursday, especially in Lower Manhattan, which remained in the dark roughly south of the Empire State Building after floodwaters had knocked out power.
 (Associated Press) People wait on line for food, water and power for mobile devices at Confucius Plaza in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, N.Y., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Hundreds of thousands in New York City alone were still without power Thursday, especially in Lower Manhattan, which remained in the dark roughly south of the Empire State Building after floodwaters had knocked out power. (Associated Press)

NEW YORK — Frustration — and in some cases fear — mounted in New York City on Thursday, three days after Superstorm Sandy. Traffic backed up for miles at bridges, large crowds waited impatiently for buses into Manhattan, and tempers flared in gas lines.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would send bottled water and ready-to-eat meals into the hardest-hit neighborhoods through the weekend, but some New Yorkers grew dispirited after days without power, water and heat and decided to get out.

"It's dirty, and it's getting a little crazy down there," said Michael Tomeo, who boarded a bus to Philadelphia with his 4-year-old son. "It just feels like you wouldn't want to be out at night. Everything's pitch dark. I'm tired of it, big-time."

Rima Finzi-Strauss decided to take the bus to Washington. When the power went out Monday night in her apartment building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, it also disabled the electric locks on the front door, she said.

This Aug. 14, 2012 file photo shows Bruce Springsteen performing at Fenway Park in Boston. NBC is holding a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy featuring some artists native to the areas hardest hit.  (Associated Press) This Aug. 14, 2012 file photo shows Bruce Springsteen performing at Fenway Park in Boston. NBC is holding a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy featuring some artists native to the areas hardest hit. (Associated Press)

"We had three guys sitting out in the lobby last night with candlelight, and very threatening folks were passing by in the pitch black," she said.

The mounting despair came even as the subways began rolling again after a three-day shutdown. Service was restored to most of the city, but not the most stricken parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, where the tunnels were flooded.

Bridges into the city were open, but police enforced a carpooling rule and peered into windows to make sure each car had at least three people. The rule was meant to ease congestion but appeared to worsen it. Traffic jams stretched for miles, and drivers who made it into the city reported that some people got out of their cars to argue with police.

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