Anger grows in wake of superstorm Sandy

As New York Marathon gets the go-ahead, some residents say not enough is being done for them

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 5:34am

The number of dead from superstorm Sandy continued to increase as anger mounted over delayed relief and a rising death toll.

Scenes of angry storm victims could complicate matters for politicians, from Barack Obama just four days before the presidential election, to governors and mayors in the most heavily populated region in the US.

"They forgot about us," said Theresa Connor, 42, describing her Staten Island neighbourhood as having been "annihilated".

"And [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg said New York is fine. The marathon is on!"

Fury has been escalating at Bloomberg's decision to proceed with the world's largest marathon tomorrow, vowing the event - which attracts more than 40,000 runners - would not divert any resources storm victims.

"If they take one first responder from Staten Island to cover this marathon, I will scream," New York City councillor James Oddo said on Twitter. "We have people with no homes and no hope right now."

The total killed in one of the biggest storms to hit the United States jumped by a third on Thursday alone, to 98. In New York City, 40 people have been found dead, half of them in Staten Island, which was overrun by a wall of water on Monday.

Among the dead in Staten Island were brothers aged 2 and 4, swept from their mother's arms after her car stalled in rising flood waters. Their bodies were found near each other in a marshy area on Thursday.

Staten Island, which lies across New York Harbour from lower Manhattan, is home to 500,000 residents, many blue-collar workers whose families have lived there for generations.

In blacked-out New York City neighbourhoods, some residents complained about a lack of police and expressed fears about an increase in crime. Some were also concerned about traffic safety.

"People feel safe during the day but as soon as the sun sets, people are extremely scared. The fact that Guardian Angels are on the streets trying to restore law just shows how out of control the situation is in lower Manhattan," said Wolfgang Ban, a restaurant owner in Manhattan's Alphabet City neighbourhood.

The Guardian Angels are a group of anti-crime volunteers.

The fuel supply crisis also deepened. The city's iconic taxis started turning away business, and long, increasingly ill-tempered lines of motorists snaked through New York and neighbouring New Jersey. With major refineries, fuel terminals and oil pipelines still out of service, and demand picking up as normal life resumes, the situation is getting worse instead of better.