(WUSA) -- The damage from Hurricane Sandy in Rehoboth Beach is nothing compared to the damage to New York and New Jersey, reports Kristin Fisher. Up and down the East Coast, millions of people remain in the dark. The damage is in the billions of dollars and at least 63 people are dead.
Wednesday, President Obama brought some hope to hard-hit New Jersey, promising immediate federal aid and pledging to be in it for the long haul. He toured the Garden State with Governor Chris Christie where entire neighborhoods are still underwater.
The President said his top priority is getting the power back on, especially at water filtration plants and other critical infrastructure.
His second priority is transportation: clearing roads from debris and restoring mass transit so people can begin to go back to work and kids can go back to school.
There are homes buried in sand and entire neighborhoods gone. It's slowly sinking in that everything in these costal communities will have to be rebuilt.
Safety is a concern. The hissing of natural gas can still be heard in city and after city. Residents are very concerned about the chance for more fires. We've already seen how bad that can be in New York City.
New York City is just beginning to clean up the damage caused by high winds, water, and fire. Over 100 homes in the Breezy Point neighborhood burned to the ground. The water and high winds whipping the coast kept the blaze raging for several hours.
Wednesday, some residents returned, shocked by the devastation and not knowing where to begin or what to do next.
There was gridlock on the streets of Manhattan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is requiring a three passenger minimum for all vehicles entering certain parts of the city.
Three of New York's major tunnels remain closed after being filled with flood waters and mud. Portions of the subway system are still submerged along with a runway at LaGuardia Airport.
Residents are trapped in their homes with no power and no clean water. If they leave, they face wading in toxic water, polluted by gasoline and raw sewage. All of that water will need to be pumped out, which could take several more days.