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The US death toll has reportedly reached 57, and is expected to rise.
The National Weather Service declared Sandy a "remnant" storm on Wednesday morning, though they maintained that the powerful storm system was likely to continue to cause flooding, gale force wins and heavy rains and snows. The storm remains massive, and stretches from the Great Lakes to New England.
According to the Associated Press, at least 57 people in the United States are reported to have died because of the storm, one of the worst in the nation's history. At least 26 people in New York had died because of Sandy as of Wednesday afternoon, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that the number would only rise as rescue workers combed through the wreckage.
In Pittsburgh, where Sandy hovered overnight, there have been no reports of major flooding, although 1 million people in the state do not have any electricity. In West Virginia, Sandy dumped almost 2 feet of snow in parts of the state, leaving 265,000 people without electricity, according to the Associated Press.
In Breezy Point, Queens, where a fire broke out on Monday evening, at least 111 houses have been burned to the ground and 20 more have been heavily damaged, CBS news reported. According to reports from the area, not one single building in the neighborhood was unaffected by the storm, whether it was because of the fire or because of the storm surge.
Meanwhile, New York was optimistic that the city's bus service would resume completely by the end of the day, and both La Guardia and JFK airports opened Wednesday morning with limited service.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this morning, Talking Points Memo reported. Amtrak resumed some runs in the Northeast Wednesday morning, but was not providing service between New York and Boston, and cancelled their Acela Express service for the entire Northeast corridor.
Bloomberg reported that US economic growth could be severely impacted by the storm, as millions of employees are stuck at home, and businesses are unable to open.
“If people aren’t going to Broadway shows and restaurants and hotels, all those businesses that rely on people spending money are going to take a hit for sure,” Bloomberg quoted Stephen Bronars, a senior economist at Welch Consulting in Washington and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, as saying. “People are still going to go out and buy a car or other durable goods they need, they’re just not going to do it this week. There will be winners and losers.”
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