The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 31, 2012

A slowed, darkened NYC begins to stir to life

(Continued)

For the 8 million people who live here, the city was a different place one day after being battered by the megastorm — a combination of Hurricane Sandy, a wintry storm and a blast of arctic air.

Schools were shut for a second day and were closed Wednesday, too. And people inside and outside the city scrambled to find ways to get to work.

In lower Manhattan where power was out, traffic streamed off the Brooklyn Bridge but slowed as it approached downtown. There were few signs that traffic was being directed by police through intersections with darkened stoplights.

Buses have resumed partial service. And the city has modified taxi rules and encouraged drivers to pick up more than one passenger at a time.

Jeff Storey, of Goshen in the Hudson Valley north of the city, is a regular on the Metro-North Railroad and has been forced to work from home this week. He may have to switch to a bus until commuter rail service is running again, he told the Times-Herald Record of Middletown.

For Jill Meltz, a 45-year-old resident of the Upper West Side who works in advertising, Wednesday was the first day she felt good about going out. But it wasn't quite business as usual.

"It'll be back to normal when Starbucks opens," she said, glancing at a still-dark coffee shop.

Faced with the prospect of days without power and swaths of the city plunged into darkness at night, police brought in banks of lights and boosted patrols to reassure victims of a monster storm that they won't be victims of crime.

Some prominent galleries in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood hired private security and apartment building superintendents suddenly became guards. In Coney Island, about 100 police officers stood on corners or cruised in cars to guard a strip of vandalized stores and a damaged bank, to the relief of shaken residents.

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