Greg Karr of Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, N.J. cleans up in front of his home Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 after Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Edward Lea)
Two weeks after Sandy devastated neighborhoods across the tri-state, life is slowly beginning to return back to normal for some as power and transit are restored and gas lines ease up.
PATH rail service between Manhattan and Newark Penn and Harrison stations in New Jersey resumed Monday at 5 a.m. Trains ran in both directions until 10 p.m. between Newark Penn and 33rd Street in Manhattan.
Three New Jersey Transit lines resumed operations Monday, with limited service on the Bergen, Pascack and Raritan valley lines. NJ Transit will also offer discounted ferry service between Hoboken to Pier 79 in Midtown. Free shuttle buses will be available to other parts of Manhattan from the pier.
By early next week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he may lift the odd-even gas rationing system that has been in place for 12 counties and has worked to reduce lines at the pump.
In Long Island, where about 106,000 customers are still without power, the Long Island Power Authority now says 99 percent of customers should have power back by Tuesday. But the company acknowledged its customer communication could be better.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the Long Island Rail Road will begin operating a weekday schedule on Monday on all of its branches except the Long Beach Branch, which remains suspended. Bus service will operate between Long Beach and Lynbrook, where train connections can be made.
Cuomo also said the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, commonly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, will reopen Monday for limited rush-hour service for buses only.
Recycling returned to New York City neighborhoods Sunday for the first time since Sandy hit. The recycling collections were suspended so the city could repair recycling centers and reassign workers to pick up storm debris in hard-hit areas.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano met with state and local officials in Staten Island Sunday to tour the Father Capodanno Disaster Relief Center.
New Yorkers who have been unable to work because of Sandy now have until February to file for federal disaster unemployment assistance. The benefits are available in nine affected counties for anyone whose workplace was damaged or destroyed, or for those who couldn't get to work due to the storm.
A FEMA center is up and running in Rockland County to help storm victims who need federal aid. The center has been set up at Provident Bank Park in Pomona and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
On Monday, Ulster County was declared eligible for FEMA assistance after Sandy damage. The county will establish a Disaster Recovery Center that will supply access to the various services available.
Stores were open in Bergen County, despite the county's blue laws banning shopping on Sunday. Gov. Christie says storm victims must be able to buy the supplies needed to deal with Sandy's damage. But the lifting of the blue law is only temporary. The county plans to ask the governor this week to lift the suspension.
Most homes and businesses in New Jersey that lost power during the superstorm are expected to have the lights back on by the end of the weekend. But thousands in the barrier islands will be without electricity indefinitely because their homes remain too damaged to power up. Utilities say about 20,000 customers in the state are without power, including some who lost service during last week's nor'easter.
Con Edison said just under 5,000 customers were without power Sunday, with about 1,300 of those outages in Westchester county. Virtually all utility customers in Connecticut have had their power restored.
The Statue of Liberty was illuminated for the first time since Sandy Friday night, after the storm caused significant damage to the statue and to Ellis Island. The dock at Liberty Island that welcomes visitors was so badly damaged it might have to be rebuilt, officials said. The statue's interior had just reopened to the public before the storm hit. No word yet on when the statue will open to the public again.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the MTA will resume service on the A subway line to Howard Beach Sunday. A shuttle bus will run from Howard Beach to Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway until the heavily damaged North Channel Bridge can be repaired.