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New York City reboots after Sandy

People charge their devices at a free charging station offered by a 7-11 store in an area with power in Manhattan following Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York City.

If you stand on the street in midtown Manhattan, things look almost normal. There are cars on the streets, trucks making deliveries and people walking around. But if you look to just a few blocks to the south, you can see that much of the city remains dark.

Power in the city's downtown neighborhoods is still out and could be out for days to come. Stores are closed, restaurants are closed, and many residents have migrated away from the area until things get back to normal.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last night that the city has already learned some lessons from the storm: "There were too many generators that were in the basement of buildings -- in Zone A-kinda buildings -- and we've got to really start focusing on planning for floods down the road and hope that they do not come."

Now generators you can move, but you can't move the entire subway above ground. New York's mass transit system remains largely shut down as of Wednesday morning and could be closed for days.

Though Wall Street is reopening this morning, a lot of the people who work in the financial district won't be able to get there. Working remotely may also be an issue for employees if internal bank systems are down.

"I can walk to work, but I've been trying to get our establishment open for the last couple of days and luckily today we have enough people to get open. We're all going to pitch in and work today," says Michael Ostrove who was able to walk to work today.

Ostrove thinks the Sandy was a "good wake up call" for the city. He believes the city did not take adequate precautions for the storm and "doesn't have a clue about what's in store for the future."

Darren McSweeny, who lives in Brooklyn says although his home still has power, "it's not easy." McSweeny will be taking a cab home from to and from work today, "there's no subways -- it's either that or walk -- so I'll take a cab," he says.

Aside from New York City, Sandy affected a huge swath of the eastern part of the country, and one of the worst hit places is the New Jersey Shore. Governor Chris Christie says the effort to rebuild will be long one: "We will rebuild it -- no question in my mind we'll rebuild it. But, for those of us who are my age, it won't be the same. It'll be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed into the ocean."

 

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.
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