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Towns along the New Jersey shore took much of the brunt. Homes were flooded, boardwalks were washed away and gas mains ruptured.
The extent of destruction in the New York City borough of Staten Island became clearer on Thursday, where whole houses were picked up off their foundations. Some 34 people were killed in New York City, a police spokesman said on Thursday, 15 of them in Staten Island, nine in Queens, seven in Brooklyn and three in Manhattan.
Matthew Gessler of Brooklyn went to Breezy Point, a New York neighborhood where fire destroyed 111 homes, to inspect damage to his mother’s house.
“Where the fire happened, you could honestly take that picture and say it was somewhere in the Middle East, like in Afghanistan, and no one would doubt you at all,” Gessler said.
In Jersey City, across the Hudson River from New York, drivers negotiated intersections without the aid of traffic lights. Shops were shuttered and lines formed outside pharmacies while people piled sodden mattresses and furniture along the side of the roads. The city has issued a curfew on people and businesses as well as a driving ban from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
New Yorkers faced an easier commute than Wednesday as the subway system resumed limited operations. But four of the seven subway tunnels under the East River remained flooded and there was no service in Manhattan below 34th Street, where the power is still out.