* Death toll rises to 110
* Fuel flowing again after New York Harbor reopened
* Manhattan skyline relit, subways mostly restored
* Disaster victims, first responders under strain
By Joseph Ax and Jonathan Spicer
NEW YORK, Nov 3 Fuel supplies headed toward the
U.S. Northeast on Saturday and a million customers regained
electricity ahead of a coming cold snap that threatened to add
to the misery of coastal communities devastated by superstorm
The power restorations relit the skyline in lower Manhattan
for the first time in nearly a week and allowed 80 percent of
the New York City subway service to resume, but 2.5 million
homes and businesses still lacked power, down from 3.5 million
The power outages combined with a heating oil shortage meant
some homes could go cold as wintry weather sets in.
Forecasters saw temperatures dipping into the
upper 30s Fahrenheit (around 3 degrees Celsius) on Saturday
night with similar low temperatures next week.
"There's no heating oil around," said Vincent Savino, the
president of Statewide Oil and Heating, which usually supplies
some 2,000 buildings across New York City. "I don't know how
much fuel we have left: maybe a day or two."
The long, arduous recovery was taxing disaster victims and
first responders strained by a week of emergency services.
The post-storm chaos also threatened to jumble Tuesday's
election with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger
Mitt Romney locked in a tight race.
The storm's death toll rose to at least 110 with nine more
deaths reported in New Jersey on Saturday, raising the total in
that state to 22. New York revised its total down by one to 40.
Sandy killed 69 in the Caribbean before turning north and
hammering the U.S. northeast coast on Monday with 80
mile-per-hour (130-kph) winds and a record surge of seawater
that swallowed oceanside communities in New Jersey and New York,
and flooded streets and subway tunnels in New York City.
Tight gasoline supplies and the resulting rationing have
tested the patience of drivers - fist fights have broken out in
mile-long lines of cars. But fuel was making its way to
terminals after the U.S. Coast Guard reopened New York Harbor to
tanker traffic on Friday.
Alleviating one of the country's worst fuel chain
disruptions since the energy shortage in the 1970s, some 8
million gallons of gasoline and other petroleum products have
been delivered since Friday and another 28 million gallons was
to be delivered this weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
told a news conference.
Cuomo also announced the Defense Department would set up
five mobile gas stations in the metropolitan area, providing
people with up to 10 gallons of free gas.
At least 1,000 drivers queued up at the Freeport Armory in
Long Island, only to be told the gasoline would not arrive for
at least eight hours more, one driver said.
"There's just so many people getting very frustrated. People
don't know what to do," said Lauren Popkoff, 49, a history
teacher who had been in line for four hours.
New York City gave its overstretched police a break by
abruptly reversing course on Friday and canceling Sunday's
marathon, a beloved annual race that had become a lightning rod
for critics concerned it was a diversion of resources.
"How long can the NYPD go at full throttle like this is the
big question," said Gene O'Donnell, a former New York Police
Department officer and professor of policing studies at John Jay
College of Criminal Justice. "The longer it goes, the more they
Adding to the region's tension are concerns about crime, and
the National Guard was called out in some areas to prevent
In one hard-hit Queens neighborhood, a garage full of debris
stood open with a sign next to it reading: "LOOTERS WILL BE
CRUCIFIED - GOD HELP YOU."
"Hurricanes can be the stress equivalent of cancer," said
David Yusko, assistant clinical director at the Center for the
Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of
STARS COME OUT
Music stars offered some diversion from the disaster with a
televised benefit concert on Friday night featuring New Jersey
natives Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi and Staten
Island-born Christina Aguilera.
"We will not leave anyone behind," said Aguilera, whose
native borough accounted for 22 of New York City's 40 deaths
from the storm.
Obama won early praise for the federal response to Sandy but
faced continual television and newspaper images of upset storm
Before heading to the Midwest on Saturday for a final
weekend of campaigning, Obama visited Federal Emergency
Management Agency headquarters in Washington for a briefing, and
told officials to cut through government "red tape" to help
"There's nothing more important than getting this right,"
the president said at the beginning of a briefing with officials
from FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, and state and
Moving to ease fuel shortages, the Obama administration
directed the purchase of up to 12 million gallons (45 million
liters) of unleaded fuel and 10 million gallons (38 million
liters) of diesel, to be trucked to New York and New Jersey for
The government announced it would tap strategic reserves for
diesel for emergency responders and waived rules that barred
foreign-flagged ships from taking gasoline, diesel and other
products from the Gulf of Mexico to Northeast ports.
Power utility Consolidated Edison, battling what it
called the worst natural disaster in the company's 180-year
history, restored electricity to Manhattan neighborhoods such as
Wall Street, Chinatown and Greenwich Village in the pre-dawn
hours, leaving 11,000 customers in Manhattan without service.
Con Ed said it had restored power to 70 percent of the
916,000 customers in the New York City area who were cut off.