Reality Sets In: Sandy Victims Begin Costly Clean-Up

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NEW YORK -- As Hurricane Sandy dissipates in northern Canada, the Mid-Atlantic states are starting to clean up and count the tremendous cost: at least 55 are dead, more than half of them in New York.

Meanwhile, nearly 6 million people are still without power and damage estimates range as high as $50 billion.

'Unimaginable' Damage

No symbol of the Jersey shore is more famous than Atlantic City's boardwalk. Parts of it were wrecked in Sandy's aftermath.

Gov. Chris Christie toured some of the hardest hit areas along his state's coastline. He said the damage is more than he ever imagined.

"The boardwalk we walked on together this summer greeting residents, talking to those business owners, it's gone," Christie said.

"We'll rebuild it," he vowed. "There is no question in my mind we'll rebuild it."

"But for those of us that are my age, it won't be the same," he said. "It will be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed into the ocean."

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Although New Jersey was one of the hardest hit states, coastal residents of Connecticut also sustained their share of damage from a record-setting tidal surge. And beach front homes in Rhode Island were slammed by the waves as well.

"This is absolutely sickening. Memories and generations just washed away," South Kingston resident Donna Neves lamented.

In New York, workers pumped thousands of gallons of water from the tunnels and subway system, and New York's LaGuardia Airport remained closed as the tarmac is still buried from the flood.

"There is an impact on every other airport because so many people are trying to fly to and from the East Coast, and New York City specifically," US Airways' Executive Vice President Robert Isom said.

ConEdison trucks have been deployed around the city in effort to restore power, something they say could take weeks.

Wall Street Reopens

On Wall Street, there was a rousing cheer as the stock market's opening bell sounded for the first time since last Friday.

"It's good for the city, good for country, it's good for everyone to get back to work," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNBC moments after ringing the bell.

One disturbing by-product of the storm: looters.

They hit dozens of businesses in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and even Coney Island, including a pharmacy and ATMs. One many named George, a Coney Island resident, watched it all from his apartment window.

"People were coming out with all kind of stuff," he recounted. "Everything. Whatever you could think of, from juices, sodas, waters, cigarettes, TVs - anything you could think of, they were getting."

CBN News spoke with Patrick Lynch, president of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

"The bad guys will take advantage of any circumstance," he said. "There is such a thing as right and wrong and there's such a thing as good and evil. And the evil will come out when the electric goes down."

Blizzard Conditions

Further inland, Sandy is bringing blizzard-like conditions.

Eight states are getting snow, from Ohio to North Carolina, with the heaviest so far in West Virginia.

"Mainly try to keep inside when it's like this," Preston County, W.Va., resident Tom Harned said. "We got kerosene if we need it and hope we don't have to wait so long without power."

Even in Cleveland, hundreds of miles away from the seacoast, residents are cleaning up from Sandy.

One Cleveland resident said, "I just want to tell my boss, 'I'm really not playing hooky today. A tree really did fall. Three of them!"

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