Just one day after President Obama touched down in New Jersey to show his support to the ravaged Garden State, reports have surfaced that total the amount of lives claimed by Hurricane Sandy at a staggering 56.
As authorities in nine different states struggle to organize relief efforts and restore basic services to residents, tallies were made that concluded with at least 56 people in the United States dead and one soul in Canada. The number brings the death toll to 124 after earlier claiming 67 lives in the Caribbean.
While it’s still too early to know how many are unaccounted for, CNN reports that searches in New York and New Jersey are ongoing for people who are still missing.
Lives claimed in New York City tallied to 28 Wednesday according to the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Tragically, we expect that number to go up,” he added.
Superstorm Sandy mad landfall in Southern New Jersey late Monday, taking out houses and devastating the area along the boardwalks in Seaside Heights.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that Sandy killed at least six people in the Garden State. "We're lucky that more people didn't die as a result of folks ignoring those warnings," he told reporters.
While relief efforts are under way, many residents in both New York and New Jersey are still in need of basic supplies.
President Barack Obama visited a shelter Wednesday in Brigantine, New Jersey, where he said he met a woman with an 8-month-old who has run out of diapers and formula.
"Those are the kinds of basic supplies and help that we can provide," he said.
Obama promised the federal government "will not quit" until communities are cleaned up.
"We are not going to tolerate red tape, we are not going to tolerate bureaucracy," Obama said. "And I've instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team. You return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it's the mayor's, the governor's, county officials.
"If they need something, we figure out a way to say yes."
Gov. Christie, whose state is home to approximately 2 million residents without power, toured the hard-hit town of Brigantine on Wednesday with Obama, who said utilities from across the country have pledged to send crews to New Jersey as soon as possible.
By early Thursday, the remnants of Superstorm Sandy headed north through Canada, with the last of its effects beginning to wind down along the Appalachian Mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
Reports indicate that a little less than 4.9 million customers across the eastern United States were still without power early Thursday, down from the nearly 8 million who lost power shortly after the storm hit.
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