MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The death toll from Hurricane Sandy has risen to at least 55 people.
The superstorm spread damage and destruction from the Carolinas to Maine and it is still dumping snow and rain on many parts of the country.
The National Guard spent Tuesday rescuing stranded residents in Moonachie and Little Ferry, New Jersey. A tidal surge up the Hackensack River pushed five feet of water into the two towns in just 45 minutes.
“Within a matter of minutes, the basement got completely flooded – the apartment destroyed. Basically we’re just waiting for the rescue,” said Senada Tomacetti in Little Ferry.
President Barack Obama will tour the damage in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday. The tour will not include a trip to New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he turned down the president’s request to visit because there is still too much going on with recovery efforts.
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Recovery in officials said it could take days or weeks to restore power to the 7.8 million people who lost electricity. In New York, some subway lines and tunnels are still flooded and could be days before the trains are back up and running.
The New York Stock Exchange, running on generator power, will open on Wednesday. Traders said it is important to show the world that New York is open for business.
“We have a plan for recovery and that recovery is already beginning,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
Flights operations will resume at JFK and Newark airports on Wednesday but LaGuardia Airport, which was badly damaged, will remain closed.
All six oil refineries on the East Coast were affected by Sandy. They make up about eight percent of the U.S. refining capacity. During the storm, most shut down or ran at reduced capacity. They are now getting back up to speed, but the two refineries in New Jersey have no power and it is unclear when they will be back online.
For some, the recovery will take months, possibly years. A fire destroyed more than 80 homes in one Queens’ neighborhood.
“Everything was on fire. Flames were 50 feet up in the air,” said Breezy Point resident Danny McKeefrey. “”My whole family lost everything.”
Almost unanimously, the residents of Breezy Point said they will rebuild.