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Crisis: 40,000 Need Homes as Massive Snow Storm Approaches NY

Cold weather heads towards tens of thousands of people who still have no power or heat and are living in homes damaged by superstorm Sandy.

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Schools are due to reopen on Monday after a week out, and much of the subway will be running, though Cuomo warned commuters that the system may struggle to cope with the weight of traffic. “There’s been major progress but it’s not going to be normal tomorrow,” he said.

“South Ferry station, which had been a large fish tank, has now been pumped dry,” he added.

Cuomo also warned utilities firms that they would be held accountable for any delays that could have been prevented.

“I want them to provide the service that they get paid to perform,” he said, adding: “We will be reasonable, but we will hold them accountable.”

Bloomberg echoed governor Cuomo’s call on utilities firms to up their game.

“We urge them to commit more resources to get power back to the Rockaways,” the mayor said in an update on recovery efforts.

Bloomberg also stressed the need to keep warm and check on vulnerable neighbours who made need help.

“It is cold outside and it will remain cold in the coming days. It is critical that people stay warm,” he said in a Sunday afternoon press briefing.

He spoke of an “enormous outpouring” of donations of clothes and food from members of the public but added that money sent to the Mayor’s Fund would do more good at this stage as charity organisations were at capacity.

Power had now been restored to all but 145,000 people across New York City. But 19,000 homes in the Rockaways – one of the worst hit areas – remained without electricity.

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