Storm-hit US starts recovery bid
People along the battered US east coast have taken the first cautious steps to reclaim their daily routines, even as about 20,000 people remained trapped at home in a single New Jersey city and the search for victims continued. The superstorm's death toll rose to at least 63.
The New York Stock Exchange came back to life, and two major New York airports reopened to begin the long process of moving stranded travellers around the world.
President Barack Obama landed in New Jersey, which was hardest hit by Monday's hurricane-driven storm, and he took a helicopter tour of the devastation with Governor Chris Christie. "We're going to be here for the long haul," Mr Obama told people at one emergency shelter.
For the first time since the storm pummelled the heavily populated north east, causing billions of dollars of damage, brilliant sunshine washed over New York City, for a while.
At the stock exchange, running on generator power, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a thumbs-up and rang the opening bell to whoops from traders. Trading resumed after the first two-day weather shutdown since a blizzard in 1888.
New York's Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports reopened with limited service. New York's LaGuardia Airport, where water covered parts of runways, remained closed, though some airlines said they planned to restart flights there on Thursday. Limited service on the subway, which suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history, will resume on Thursday.
About six million homes and businesses are still without power, mostly in New York and New Jersey. Electricity was out as far west as Wisconsin in the Midwest and as far south as the Carolinas. Power company Consolidated Edison said it could be the weekend before power is restored to Manhattan and Brooklyn, perhaps longer for other New York boroughs and the New York suburbs.
In New Jersey, National Guard troops arrived in the heavily flooded city of Hoboken, just across the river from New York City, to help evacuate about 20,000 people still stuck in their homes and deliver ready-to-eat meals. Live wires dangled in floodwaters that Mayor Dawn Zimmer said were rapidly mixing with sewage.
As New York crept towards a semi-normal business day, morning rush-hour traffic was heavy as buses returned to the streets, and bridges linking Manhattan to the rest of the world were open. A huge line formed at the Empire State Building as the observation deck reopened.
Amtrak said the amount of water in train tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers was unprecedented, but it said it planned to restore some services on Friday to and from New York City - its busiest corridor - and would give details on Thursday.