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Lower Manhattan Residents Struggling For Normalcy After Storm

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(Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

(Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK CITY (CBS4) – The so-called Superstorm has long passed, but residents in lower Manhattan are picking up the pieces of what Sandy left behind.

“It looks so normal outside, when you’re outside,” said Joan Kassel as she rounded the three floor landing in her apartment building.  “You come inside and you realize it’s not.”

That dark climb up to the sixth floor has gotten to be too much for Joan Kassel her daughter Gabriella and their dog Lady.  They’ve been doing it for three days now.  And once they’re in the apartment, it’s not much better.

Turning on the shower Kassel said, “it’s just ice cold!”

They’ve had it with those cold showers.

“It’s like, ‘Oh my God,'” Kassel said. “It was like you’re suddenly like, this is ice cold water.  It’s invigorating, but how many times can you do that?”

They’re leaving their damaged apartment and heading to Brooklyn with family.

And they’re not alone.  All over Lower Manhattan you see people dragging their luggage behind them.

Many feel cut off because they have no power, limited cell service and very spotty internet.

“Right now we’re just trying to get a signal for our phones to contact our family,” said Jesus Andaluz.”Let them know we’re alive and that we’re well.”

Down the street business owner Kim Gallagher shrieks as a child in costume walks up with his parents.

“Yeah! My first trick or treaters!” said Gallagher.

After giving him candy, Gallagher said, “Have a happy Halloween kiddo!”

Gallagher owns a pet spa. She can’t work, but she’s sitting outside with her dogs, hoping to bring a few smiles.

“I’m just trying to get little normalcy back,” said Gallagher. ”I opened up the shop. I have nothing to offer but cold water and Halloween candy.”

Much of what people know here is from word of mouth or rumor.  One thing they know for sure is that not far away many are enjoying power, phone service and many of the creature comforts we take for granted.

“I just know that there’s a demarcation line and life is normal, like, well, that’s what we hear,” said Lower Manhattan resident Lori Kent. “It’s like paradise up there.”

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