Superstorm Sandy continues its path across the United States today, even as millions begin the task of putting their lives, homes and towns back together after one of the worst storms in the nation's history.
But while New York City buses returned to darkened streets eerily free of traffic and the New York Stock Exchange prepared to reopen, it became clear that restoring the region to its ordinarily frenetic pace could take days - and that rebuilding the hardest-hit communities and the transportation networks that link them together could take considerably longer.
The storm remains enormous, reaching from the Great Lakes to New England. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said late Tuesday there were no reports of major flooding as the center of the weakening weather system drifted west to Pittsburgh throughout the night.
"We are breathing somewhat of a sigh of relief," Corbett said. But the state still has about 1 million people without power. "I'll breathe a better sigh of relief when we get everybody back on line with electricity."
Early Wednesday, a fire broke out in Mantoloking, N.J., which was hard hit by Sandy. Video from WNBC-TV in New York showed flames, but it wasn't clear what was burning. The small town, which sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay, suffered severe damage during the storm.
In its 5 a.m. update Wednesday the National Weather Service called the storm a "remnant," but one that still is causing flooding, gale force winds and heavy rains and snows.
Sandy is expected to turn north across western New York and into the Canadian province of Ontario Wednesday afternoon.
Sandy has caused at least 55 U.S. deaths so far - 25 in New York, including 18 in flood- and wind-ravaged New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he expected rescue workers to find more as they combed through the wreckage.
Wednesday marks the first day back at work for many in the hardest-hit areas, with days and weeks of cleanup ahead. Two of the nation's busiest airports, New York's Kennedy Airport and New Jersey's Newark Airport, are scheduled to reopen at 7 a.m. for limited service. LaGuardia Airport will stay closed because of extensive damage caused by runway flooding. This should begin to relieve the backlog of the more than 18,100 flights cancelled since Sunday.
There were still only hints of the economic impact of the storm.
Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicted it will end up causing about $20 billion in damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. Another firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated losses up to $15 billion - big numbers probably offset by reconstruction and repairs that will contribute to longer-term growth.
Amtrak plans to resume some passenger train service in the Northeast, but flooding continues to prevent service to and from New York's Penn Station. No date has been set for the resumption of the Northeast Regional service between New York and Boston.
Tuesday night in New Jersey, the state hardest hit by the storm, Gov. Chris Christie said "Tomorrow recovery begins. Today was a day of sorrow." He went on: "There's nothing wrong with that. So long as sorrow doesn't replace resilience, we'll be just fine."