The Associated Press reported early this morning that the number of deaths attributed to superstorm Sandy has risen to 14 in New Jersey.
Sandy made landfall just south of Atlantic City Monday evening, and many residents and businesses in several states and Canada are still recovering from the massive disaster.
Some of the most recent deaths have been attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning from the use of portable electric generators inside or too close to homes. As many as nine people in the larger region have succumbed to sustained high levels of carbon monoxide gas. The Huffington Post reported that Trenton resident Gracy Dunston, 59, died and seven others were taken to the hospital Thursday after being overcome by fumes from a generator running on the first floor of a house they were in. Officials stated that the fumes inside the home were three times the danger level.
NBC10 reported that an elderly Willingboro couple died in a house fire this morning. Neighbors told the reporter that they had been running a generator outside their home, but the connection between the fire and the superstorm has not yet been verified.
Whether they choose to forgo generators or don’t have access to one, many New Jersey residents without power are turning to local “warming centers” to rest and recharge their mobile computing devices.
Nearly 1.4 million homes and businesses remain without electricity, according to Governor Chris Christie at a press conference this afternoon. At the peak between Monday and Tuesday, 2.7 million homes and businesses had no power in the state. The outages have caused a shortage of operating gas stations, which cannot run their pumps without electricity. Some that are open have huge waiting lines.
Christie also said that the number of state road closed has dropped from a high of 524 to just five. Route 35 between Sea Bright and Seaside Heights is still covered with several inches of sand. A temporary road into Mantoloking may be completed by tomorrow to allow repair equipment into that severely damaged area.
New Jersey Transit’s train line between Trenton and New York City has resumed service. The North Jersey Coast and Raritan & Main train lines have stopped operating again after a temporary generator failed. Check with njtransit.com for schedule details.
New Jersey sons Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel will be joined by other musical stars in a fundraising concert to be televised on NBC tonight.