Struggle for normalcy

Standing in line for fuel.

NEW YORK — Fuel shortages and difficulties in restoring power are hampering efforts to restore normality to parts of the US north-east in the wake of storm Sandy.

Fights broke out at petrol stations in New York and New Jersey, and power suppliers warned some areas might not have electricity until 11 November.

Anger is also rising in New York’s Staten Island, with some residents saying they had been forgotten.

More than 90 deaths in the US have now been blamed on Sandy.

The cost of the storm to the US is now put at about $50 billion.

Meanwhile, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed President Barack Obama for next week’s presidential election, saying Sandy had highlighted climate change, and that only one candidate saw this as an “urgent problem”.

Residents and workers of areas affected by Sandy work up today to continued problems of transportation, lack of electricity and a dearth of fuel.

At many petrol stations there have been long lines of cars and of people carrying jerry cans.

One owner of a fuel station in New Jersey told the New York Times he had been pumping petrol for 36 hours. He said he had to call the police and turn off the pumps temporarily as tempers among customers rose.

There were reports of sharp price increases by some suppliers.

Well over half of petrol stations in New Jersey and in New York City remain closed. (BBC)

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