Janet Napolitano to meet Chris Christie as New Jersey power outages drop below million

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano speaks

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano speaks at the Massapequa Fire House. (Nov. 3, 2012) (Credit: Barry Sloan)

The number of New Jersey residents without power dropped below a million for the first time since superstorm Sandy struck as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano planned to meet with state officials.

About 972,178 New Jersey customers remained without electricity, said Mary Goepfert, a spokeswoman for the state's Emergency Management Office.

That's down from 1.2 million customers Saturday and a high of 2.7 million after Sandy hit on Oct. 29.


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Across some parts of New Jersey and New York that were hit by the storm, life started to return to normal as power was restored and cleanup was under way. Frustration persisted in devastated outlying areas, gasoline remained in short supply and temperatures in the region dropped. Some runners who had planned to compete in New York's canceled marathon said they would go to Staten Island to help with recovery efforts.

The death toll was 107 nationwide, according to the Associated Press, with 24 in New Jersey. There are 5,243 people and 107 pets in New Jersey shelters as a result of the storm, Goepfert said.

Napolitano planned to meet with Republican Governor Chris Christie and other state and local officials. Napolitano was scheduled to visit a shelter, an emergency operations office and a disaster relief center.

Housing Crisis In New York state, there were about 730,000 homes without power, which will help create both an immediate and long-term housing crisis, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, during a morning briefing.

All but 40 New York City schools will be open tomorrow, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent company Bloomberg LP.

Miles-long lines for gasoline were commonplace Saturday in parts of New Jersey, even after Christie ordered rationing at the filling stations that weren't closed by power outages.

The Navy has sent three ships and about 2,000 sailors to the New York City vicinity to assist with storm recovery, according to Courtney Hillson, a spokeswoman for the service. The Navy is helping repair the storm-damaged Hoboken Ferry Terminal and a Coast Guard station at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, Hillson said. Twenty-two Navy and Marine Corps helicopters are also being used in the effort, she said.

Casinos Open In Atlantic City, casinos reopened and residents moved damaged furniture and clothes into piles on street corners. On Sunday morning, many retail stores remained closed.

Saturday night, several hundred people were staying in a Red Cross shelter in Atlantic City's convention center, where cots, a soup kitchen and tables lined with free clothes were laid out.

Ken vanGolden, 52, a hotdog vendor, sat on a cot and chatted with a friend, showing pictures of his apartment that was submerged in three feet of water, leaving sodden and disheveled clothes and furniture throughout.

"I know it will work out," he said. "I feel so bad for all the people here."

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