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Power to Manhattan, but still frustration in NYC

Associated Press Modified: November 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Manhattan skyline could be close to fully lit for the first time since Superstorm Sandy slammed the city, a sign of progress undercut by lingering long gas lines and some angry outer-borough residents reckoning with a week or more of darkness.

Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced that the New York City Marathon was canceled amid growing criticism that this was not the time for a race while the region is still recovering from the storm.

"While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division," Bloomberg said in a joint statement with New York Road Runners head Mary Wittenberg, whose organization stages the race.

There were cheers in the streets Friday evening as the lights popped back on in several Manhattan neighborhoods that had been dark since Monday, when the storm hit. The Consolidated Edison utility said it expected power to be back on for the rest of the blackout area by Saturday.

The news is not as good for the hardest-hit neighborhoods in some suburban or beachfront sections of the city, where some customers may not have electricity until mid-November.

Among the signs of the city returning to its pre-Sandy bustle: The Long Island Rail Road offered hourly service on its four busiest branches, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International airports operated at full service and the M and 7 subway lines partially reopened.

Still, four critical subway lines connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens remained flooded. Three more had been pumped dry, but officials were evaluating how badly they had been damaged. It was unclear when any of the tunnels might return to service.

Once Con Edison finishes restoring power to the blacked-out sections of Manhattan, however, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority anticipates being able to start running trains again south of 34th Street and to restore subway service over the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. That would allow vast numbers of Brooklyn residents to avoid having to transfer to a shuttle bus to get over the river, a switch that on Friday meant waiting in blocks-long lines for up to 30 minutes.

Police were summoned to one Brooklyn shuttle bus waiting area when a man and woman tried to cut a two-block line, one of many signs of tensions boiling over citywide.

Evangeline Pugh, a mother of four from Brooklyn's Coney Island, said she had seen people fighting while waiting in line for food on her block. Fights broke out overnight among people waiting for gas in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, according to police. In Queens, a man was accused Thursday of flashing a gun at another motorist who complained he was cutting in line.

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