All transit fares were eliminated Thursday and Friday after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy authorized the Metropolitan Transit Authority to waive fares Thursday and Friday as an inducement to get people to take mass transit.
Much of New York City faced gridlock. Taxis picked up multiple passengers. Gasoline was increasingly hard to come by -- some cars ran out of gas while waiting for hours in mile-long lines.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered Manhattan-bound cars on all bridges except the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey to have at least three occupants from 6 a.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday. Taxis and livery cars were exempt from the restriction.
All four major New York-area airports were in operation, including LaGuardia, which was shut down until Thursday morning because of severe flooding.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the first plane landing at LaGuardia was a Delta Air Lines flight from Syracuse, N.Y.
Kennedy, Newark and suburban Stewart International Airport were expected to be at full operation Friday, the Port Authority said.
Organizers said the New York City Marathon will be run as scheduled Sunday, CNN reported.
In New Jersey, which bore the brunt of the storm, most mass transit systems remained shut down.
Gov. Chris Christie said mandatory statewide water restrictions were in effect as a result of power outages from Sandy that sapped water-treatment systems.
Any water use that's not essential will not be allowed, he said in announcing the restrictions late Wednesday.
"Maybe take a little bit of a shorter shower," Christie suggested.
About a quarter of the state's population -- more than 2 million people -- remained without power early Thursday, and more than 6,000 were still in shelters, state emergency officials said.
More than 100 municipalities where federal emergencies were declared this week have the lowest ratings from the federal government under a program that rewards communities for trying to minimize flood damage, USA Today reported. The program gives residents of communities that take flood-prevention action higher discounts on their insurance premiums.
Large portions of West Virginia, as well as western Maryland and southwestern Pennsylvania, were digging out from snowfall accumulations of as much as 2-3 feet in some places. Some parts of the region may get several more issues of snow, forecasters said.
Obama viewed the destruction with Christie Wednesday, then met with residents in a community-center shelter set up in Brigantine, 5 miles from Atlantic City.
"The entire country has been watching what's been happening," Obama said. "Everybody knows how hard Jersey has been hit."
Boardwalks along beaches were blown away. Amusement parks, arcades and restaurants were turned to rubble. Barrier island bridges buckled, keeping residents from inspecting property damage, the Times said.
In Hoboken, N.J., a city of about 50,000 across the Hudson River from Manhattan, thousands of residents remained stranded in apartment buildings Thursday, cut off from help by streets still waist-high in contaminated water.
"This is historic," Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. "We are trying to reach everyone as quickly as we can."
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