Superstorm Sandy still causing severe weather, power outages - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Obama surveys damage from Sandy; NYC subway to open

Houses were toppling over after Hurricane Sandy swept through East Haven, CT. (Source: WFSB) Houses were toppling over after Hurricane Sandy swept through East Haven, CT. (Source: WFSB)
Debris and flooded streets filled a street in East Haven, CT after Sandy came through. (Source: WFSB) Debris and flooded streets filled a street in East Haven, CT after Sandy came through. (Source: WFSB)
More than 20 inches of snow fell in Mountain lake Park, MD. (Source: Tracy Givens) More than 20 inches of snow fell in Mountain lake Park, MD. (Source: Tracy Givens)

(RNN) - President Barack Obama joined New Jersey's governor Wednesday to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Obama and Gov. Chris Christie spent about an hour flying over the state aboard Marine One, finding wreckage of neighborhoods and businesses beneath them. Among the sights was a large fire still burning, splintered remnants of people's homes and the remains of the New Jersey Boardwalk, according to the Associated Press.

It marked the third day the president had been off the campaign trail, although he planned to resume Thursday. Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who resumed campaigning Wednesday, had also foregone the stump speeches during the week and encouraged people to help with disaster relief.

Nationwide, there have been at least 62 deaths as a result of Sandy, the AP reported. More than 6 million people were without power, and estimates on the cost of damage were in the billions of dollars.

Rescues efforts by the National Guard continued in New York, New Jersey and other states. Teams attempted to reach an estimated 20,000 people trapped by flooding in Hoboken, NJ – roughly 25 percent of the city. 

In New York City, preparations were made to get back to some normalcy. Some of the rail system began running again Wednesday, and officials announced some parts of the subway line would be going Thursday.

However, portions of the subway system would remain closed after flooding in tunnels and stations, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The New York Stock Exchange, running on generators, opened for the first time this week, and Kennedy and nearby Newark Liberty airports were open for business. 

LaGuardia Airport remained closed after runways were flooded by the storm surge late Monday.

West Virginia dealt with heavy snowstorms Tuesday, with more than a foot of snow falling in the lower areas. More than three feet in the higher areas of the Mountain State, according to the state's website.

"We are making great progress in clearing our roadways, but we continue to be faced with new challenges as the storm continues to affect the Mountain State,' said West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Power outages are also a problem, with more than 270,000 West Virginians in the dark. To help those in need, FEMA is bringing in 700,000 meals and 1.4 million liters of water.

One storm-related death was reported in West Virginia. 

In Maryland, heavy rain hit the eastern part of the state while a blizzard rocked the west, causing two deaths and leaving more than 200,000 people without electricity.

The heavy rains caused flooding, and coastal towns like Ocean City were especially hit hard, where streets were under as much as three feet of water.

In the west, snow was the biggest problem for most. More than 20 inches fell on the ground Tuesday.

Kathie Smith of Mountain Lake Park, MD, said the snow has caused major power outages.

"The electric people said they'd be lucky to get power tomorrow, but the outer reaches of the county could be a week," Smith said.

In Ohio, rain and strong winds affected the Cleveland area, and icy roads in the northwest part of the state caused two car crashes, resulting in two deaths.

Like many states hit by Sandy, more than 250,000 Ohioans are also without electricity.

Severe weather has also been reported in other states, including Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky, where more than a foot of snow has fallen in the Appalachian area of that state.

Although several states are dealing with the effects of Sandy, much of the attention is still focused on New York City and New Jersey, where the hurricane-like rains caused widespread damage to the country's most densely populated area.

Transit remains shut down in New York City, where water flooded the streets and subway tunnels. Christie reported Tuesday that rail cars were swept away and deposited onto the New Jersey Turnpike.

Christie surveyed the Jersey shore by air Tuesday. He called the damage "unthinkable."

"This is a monumental, monumental task that we have in front of us. I would ask them this week for their patience and then the week after that, we're going to need their resilience as we begin to go back to work and rebuild our state," he said.

There have been 22 reported deaths in New York City and six in New Jersey - many of them the result of falling trees. The New York Times reported other deaths were the result of varied causes, including electrical fires and drowning.

So far, Sandy has claimed more than 120 lives, including 67 in the Caribbean.

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