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City, state officials promise Sandy victims that help is on the way

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Rochester: City, state officials promise Sandy victims that help is on the way
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New Yorkers are still dealing with major challenges in their day to day lives. Power remains out for thousands and transportation remains an issue, thanks to the combination of mass transit closures and now a shortage of gas. But state and city officials are promising that help is on the way. Zack Fink has the latest.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- It's too early to know the extent of the storm damage to private property, at least in terms of dollars. But while the federal government has announced that help is on the way, Governor AndrewCuomo says New York will also offer assistance.

Cuomo said, "The State of New York will pledge $100 million into a fund that is dedicated to the victims of Sandy. And for home repairs for homes that were damaged by Sandy."

Many New Yorkers have been without power for several days. The inconvenience has been compounded by inconsistent information about when it will be turned back on. Governor Cuomo has been using the bully pulpit to put Con Edison on notice.

"We want them to do their job and I will hold them accountable for their job. They are regulated entities. Utilities don't do this as a charitable exercise. They get paid to provide a service," said Cuomo.

In a statement, Con Edison praised the Governor's leadership and added that the utility has people working around the clock.

Fuel shortages throughout the city have added to the region's desperation. With mass transit shut down, drivers, in many cases, are running on fumes.

Part of the problem was that the harbor had been shut down, preventing tankers carrying fuel from making deliveries. The harbor has now been cleared of the debris that had kept it closed, but it's not fully open just yet.

"It is still open with restrictions. Certain size vessels need to contact the Coast Guard. Quite frankly the damage to the shore side is our concern. What we don't want to do is reopen the harbor and you get clogged with ships that are frustrated because they can't get pier side and then you've got a problem," said Rear Admiral Daniel Abel.

Officials say about two million gallons of fuel was offloaded. That should be enough to gas up about five million cars in the region. How quickly that fuel can actually be distributed, however, remains to be seen. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP