Election officials hopeful, despite storm damage

2:03 AM, Nov 5, 2012   |    comments
Houses destroyed by storm surge from Superstorm Sandy, Staten Island, New York
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NEW YORK -- Power generators are being marshaled, polling locations moved and voting machines hurriedly put into place as officials prepare to hold the election in storm-ravaged sections of New York and New Jersey barely a week after Superstorm Sandy.

Organizers expressed guarded confidence Sunday that the presidential vote will proceed with no major disruptions in most areas hit by the storm. But it was unclear whether the preparations would be enough to avoid depressed turnout in communities where people still lack power or have been driven from their damaged homes.

Some voters will be casting ballots in places different from their usual polls. And some polling places will be running on generators and using emergency lights and portable toilets.

Monday commute will be abnormal, NY governor warns

Riders on New York City's transit system should be prepared that Monday's commute won't be normal.

That's the word from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He said Sunday that service continues to be restored after Superstorm Sandy, but there's still work to be done.

Cuomo also said riders should expect bigger crowds, including students returning to school after the storm and people trying to avoid driving cars because of the fuel shortage.

Also Sunday, Cuomo suspended tolls on the two bridges to the Rockaways, the Queens neighborhood hit hard by the storm. The loss of train service there made it hard for residents to get back and forth.

Suspension of the $3.25 cash toll and $1.80 E-ZPass toll will be in effect through the end of November.

Another storm headed toward weather-beaten NY, NJ

Just what New York and New Jersey need after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy - More wind.

The National Weather Service said an offshore storm that could pack gusts up to 55 mph is in Wednesday's forecast for the New York metropolitan area and the New Jersey coastline.

Meteorologist Joe Pollina said the storm looks like a classic Nor'easter, coming up along the Atlantic coast. He said it will not be nearly as strong as Sandy but could compound the damage left by last week's superstorm.

The weather service said the strongest winds will likely hit eastern Long Island.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said cold temperatures mean "tens of thousands" of people whose homes were damaged by the superstorm will need other places to live.

Banks extend fee waivers for storm-hit customers

Some of the nation's biggest banks have extended temporary waivers on a variety of fees and late charges for residents of states hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

It's an effort to ease pressure on customers to make bill payments when nearly 1.8 million homes and businesses remain without power across a swath of states.

JPMorgan Chase Inc., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo Inc., PNC Financial Services Inc., Bank of America Inc. and HSBC are among the institutions that have offered such help for their customers. Most have extended their deadlines until Nov. 7.

The banks themselves still face power outages, forcing the shutdown of dozens of branches and ATMs in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

(Associated Press)

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