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Assessor: Sandy damage too big to estimate

Assessor: Sandy damage too big to estimate
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Emergency services in the north eastern United States are continuing to uncover death and devastation, four days after superstorm Sandy crashed into the coastline.

The number of dead has leapt by a third.

In New Jersey, which bore the brunt of the weather system as it made landfall, householders have been returning to where their homes once were.

Mike Rock from Pleasantville near Atlantic City pointed out where he used to live. “This is the house we all grew up in, all my cousins, and it was my grandmother actually grew up in this house,” he said. “It’s been in our family for over 120 years, and it’s withstood every hurricane until this one.”

RMS, a company that assesses major disasters for the insurance industry, said damage is so extensive that it is impossible to estimate losses.

And now shortages of petrol are getting worse even though pipelines and oil tankers are beginning to resume deliveries.

With widespread power cuts many garages have no means of pumping the fuel from their tanks into the queueing vehicles. Where garages are operating, panic buying is making things worse.

Many are relying on fuel to run generators while utility companies struggle to reconnect millions without power.

For New York’s outlying areas, that could still be another week.