NEW YORK — A housing crisis loomed in New York City as victims of superstorm Sandy struggled without heat in near-freezing temperatures on Sunday, and nearly 1 million people in neighboring New Jersey shivered in the dark without power.
Fuel shortages and power outages lingered nearly a week after one of the worst storms in U.S. history flooded homes in coastal neighborhoods.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said up to 40,000 people in New York City alone would need shelter.
“We don’t have a lot of empty housing in this city. It’s a problem to find housing. We’re not going to let anybody go sleeping in the street,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “But it’s a challenge and we’re working on this as fast as we can.”
Temperatures were forecast to fall close to freezing overnight, and an early-season “Nor’easter” storm was expected to hit the battered region this week with strong winds and heavy rain.
Janet Napolitano, U.S. homeland security secretary, said federal agencies are looking for apartments and hotel rooms for people displaced by Sandy.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said 182,000 individuals in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey had registered for assistance by Sunday afternoon, and more than $158 million had been approved.
Sunday was to have been New York City Marathon day, an occasion that normally draws more than 40,000 runners from around the world. But Mr. Bloomberg abruptly called off the race on Friday, bowing to criticism that it would divert resources from flood-ravaged neighborhoods.
Without a race, hundreds of runners set off on informal runs to deliver food and clothes to people in need. More than 1,000 people crowded onto two Staten Island Ferry boats early on Sunday, headed to the stricken borough with relief supplies.
The New York Harbor energy network was returning to normal on Sunday with mainline power restored, but there were growing concerns about heating oil supplies with cold weather forecast.
Most schools were scheduled to reopen today, although some were still being used as shelters.
An estimated 1.9 million homes and business still lacked power across the Northeast on Sunday, down from 2.5 million the day before.
Meanwhile, NBC said its benefit concert for victims of Sandy drew nearly $23 million in donations to the American Red Cross.
Friday’s hour-long telethon included performances by artists native to the areas hardest-hit by Sandy. Pledges made by phone and online totaled $22.9 million, NBCUniversal and the American Red Cross said.