US & Canada

Hurricane Sandy: Your aftermath stories

Hurricane Sandy damage in New York
Image caption The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Roackaways, New York

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy continues to affect the US East Coast.

Some 2.5 million homes and businesses still have no electricity.

Petrol shortages have also caused forecourt confrontations from New Jersey to Connecticut.

BBC News website readers caught up in the devastation have been describing the difficulties they and those around them are facing.

Daphay Sanchez, Staten Island

Storm Sandy took us by surprise. We didn't expect to be hit hard and we didn't evacuate. When we realised our yard was flooded and more water was coming, it was too late to move.

We had to climb on top of our roof to get away from the water as it started entering the house.

The power went off, it was pitch-dark and we were scared. We had to tie ourselves to each other, because the winds were very strong.

I had my laptop with me and kept posting cries for help. We stayed on the roof for eight hours before we were rescued.

It was a terrible night. Many people in our neighbourhood lost their lives.

Many houses are completely shattered. Ours, although hit quite badly, has remained pretty much intact. Our neighbour's roof was blown away, for example.

We keep going back, taking many photos - a requirement by the insurance company.

Image caption Daphany Sanchez's house was completely submerged in water

We expect them to come at some point and make an assessment of the damage, then hopefully, cover our losses. It's the beginning of a long process.

None of our possessions can be salvaged. I am particularly upset that my university projects are lost. That means more work for me and I was due to graduate in December.

We are now staying at a friends' house in Brooklyn. We won't be able to return to our house for months. So we will have to move from one friend's house to another.

There is no information about the support available for victims of this storm. All we hear is - go to the evacuation shelters.

But there isn't a long-term plan and communication has been handled very badly. We haven't heard anything concrete from our mayor - I think he is in hibernation.

A few days ago I was extremely upset. Now I am grateful me and my family are alive.

It is important to remember that there are still people without food, without shelter, without gas in this cold weather. It is a truly horrible time for New York.

Bryony Chamberlain, Hoboken, New Jersey

I spent three days trapped in my apartment with no power, I'm now living in a hotel room and I still have 10 days before I can go home as there's no power and water at home.

My colleagues at work have lost houses or had friends and neighbours die.

One of my colleagues was digging out dead bodies from his garden yesterday.

It is taking up to six hours to get vehicles fuelled locally - the thought of bringing thousands of visitors running a marathon into the TriState to use the dwindling gas supplies and make the situation worse is terrible.

It's hard enough to get cash around here to buy goods!

I have friends whose relatives have cancer and they can't access their drugs.

Image caption Donations are labelled for victims of Hurricane Sandy at Hoboken's city hall

The National Guard came to my home to get me out on Wednesday as it was impossible for me to get through the water as it was so full of sewage.

Fema have come round to friends who have lost their houses, but they don't know if there will be much help from there.

I work for Megabus US - we are trying to get buses on the roads to help people get about but we're having real problems getting fuel.

I'm horrified that they even considered the marathon.

Now what about the election - how are all these people going to vote?

Neil Houston, Little Silver, New Jersey

Image caption A limited state of energy emergency was declared in 12 counties in New Jersey

My mother-in-law lost her entire household possessions in the storm. We've been trying for two days now to salvage things from her house.

Unfortunately she encountered an obstructive and dissembling response from her insurance company and she is currently seeking advice on the issue.

This is happening despite the governor issuing an executive order to prevent insurance companies from charging a deductible on property claims.

Tomorrow, a petrol ration will come into effect in 12 counties, including Manmouth. Queues at petrol stations remain long, although my wife managed to fill the tank up and the wait was less than one hour.

While you do encounter heartwarming examples of compassion - like this family who drove around distributing free pizza to people who needed food - instances of exorbitant pricing are widespread.

Examples include pizza slices sold for $8, hand-held torches for $15, cleaned hotel rooms for $600 (not cleaned for $150) and generators sold at 30% above RRP.

In Manmouth County more than 80% of households remain without power this evening. In our town of Little Silver, only three of 2,400 household have power.

Rob Blackwood, Downtown Manhattan, New York City

Fifth day without power, hot water or even sporadic mobile phone service!

Image caption Kim Wall: Downtown NY feels spooky in the evening - no street lights, no people, few open restaurants

Our neighbourhood, Seaport, has been decimated. All restaurants, bars and retail stores have been wiped out.

This morning, the city's building inspectors were making their rounds in the area, slapping amber limited-occupancy tickets on the windows of buildings in Zone A that have failed to meet various safety standards.

Luckily our building is one of the few which have passed the test, but it still remains in the dark!

Apart from inconveniences like having to go uptown to sit in a hotel lobby to send an email and not having had a hot shower for six days, my main concern is what will happen to the oldest part of Manhattan.

Will there be sufficient support from our city, state and federal government to regenerate the area and ensure small businesses return?

It may have old infrastructure and limited local services, but it does have a unique selling point - it's the oldest part of arguably the best city in the world.

Surely its landmark status means that it is worth protecting and nurturing. With the right investor, I am confident this area will be considered a major asset to the city that never sleeps, but sitting here in my self-evicted state I wonder if anyone has the vision, cash and conviction to see it through.