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Picking back up

Vehicles submerged in New York.

NEW YORK — Millions of people across the US Northeast stricken by massive storm Sandy attempted to resume normal lives today as companies, markets and airports reopened, despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages lasting several more days.

With six days to go before the November 6 elections, President Barack Obama visited storm-ravaged areas of the New Jersey shore, where Sandy made landfall on Monday. His guide was Republican Governor Chris Christie, a vocal backer of presidential challenger Mitt Romney who has nevertheless praised Obama and the federal response to the storm.

Sandy, which has killed 40 people in the United States, pushed inland and dumped snow in the Appalachian Mountains. Its remains slowed over Pennsylvania, and it was expected to move north toward western New York and Canada, the National Weather Service said.

Blizzard warnings and coastal flood warnings for the shores of the Great Lakes were in effect.

Battered by a record storm surge of nearly 14 feet of water, swaths of New York City remained submerged under several feet of water. In the city’s borough of Staten Island, police used helicopters to pluck stranded residents from rooftops.

Across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey, members of the National Guard arrived to help residents pump floodwater from their homes, the city said on Twitter.

More than 8.2 million homes and businesses remained without electricity across several states as trees toppled by fierce winds tore down power lines.

In New Jersey, Christie said it could take seven to 10 days before power is restored statewide.

Subway tracks and commuter tunnels under New York City, which carry several million people a day, were under several feet of water.

In the lower half of Manhattan, a quarter million residents remained without power after a transformer explosion at a Con Edison substation Monday night. (Reuters)

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