Superstorm Sandy blamed for at least 38 deaths, 17 in New York state

NEW YORK - The number of dead from the superstorm that struck the Northeast has climbed to 38 -- with many of the victims killed by falling trees.

At least 7.4 million people are without power.

New York City is virtually cut off by air, rail and road. Its subways are shut down, after suffering what officials say was the worst damage in the system's history. Lower Manhattan was among the hardest-hit areas after the storm sent a nearly 14-foot surge of seawater into low-lying streets. Most of the city's major tunnels and bridges are closed, as are the three major airports.

A huge fire destroyed as many as 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens early today.

The New York Stock Exchange said it will reopen Wednesday after being closed for two days.

The full extent of the damage in New Jersey still isn't known. Police and fire officials have been trying to rescue hundreds of stranded people. Two neighboring communities were suddenly inundated by as much as five feet of water this morning.

Gov. Chris Christie says the damage along the Jersey Shore is "some of the worst we've ever seen." He says the cost of the storm is "incalculable."

The storm put the White House campaign on hold just a week before Election Day. President Barack Obama has canceled a third straight day of campaigning, scratching the events scheduled for tomorrow in Ohio.

The National Park Service says its low-lying monuments and memorials along the National Mall came through superstorm Sandy largely unscathed.

Spokeswoman Carol Johnson says there's a slight possibility that the World War II Memorial could have some minor flooding, but it's designed to withstand it and would not be damaged.

The Potomac River has been forecast to crest at around 9 feet early Thursday morning in Georgetown. Johnson says the Mall's flood-protection system can protect it from crests of 17 feet or higher.

Johnson says there was some minor flooding on Hains Point, the tip of a manmade island that includes a park and a golf course. The park was closed Tuesday.

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