Transcript for After Sandy, NYC Copes with Destruction
In the five days since superstorm sandy ravaged the east coast, those caught in its path are still reeling from the magnitude of the crisis. We now know the storm took the lives of at least 105 people, and caused an estimated $50 billion in damage and knocked out power to 8.5 million initially and 3.6 million people still remain in the dark tonight. And late today, in new york city, the largest marathon in the world was canceled for the first time ever in its 42-year history, following days of outrage at the specter of precious resources being deployed away from relief efforts. Not far from the starting blocks for the marathon, staten island is a wasteland of destruction. Within seconds, my street was getting flooded with water. Reporter: Jennifer has been staying at this hilton garden inn since the storm forced her to evacuate. They didn't have jackets, they didn't have nothing. We had nothing for them, no diapers, we just literally ran for our lives. Reporter: She's not alone. The hotel is packed with families, all displaced by sandy's rath. Normally this time of year, the front desk would be bust. Ing with runners from all over the world who made reservations months in advance. But this hotel owner made the tough decision not to kick out his current guests in order to make room for marathoners. It seems to me a hotel like you has a moral dilemma. I don't know if it was a moral dilemma. It was the right thing to do. Reporter: He was worried hi bosses would be jut set with him. This morning, I got a call on my cell phone from the president of hilton garden inn, he said, i could almost cry. He said, we are with you for whatever you need. We will do whatever you need. Reporter: With their generous support, he's even playingost to the red cross volunteers, who are sleeping on cots in one of the hotel's ballrooms. They're not used to white duvet covers. Reporter: These are hilton. They are camping in places. Reporter: Much of new york is still in a state of emergency, as we saw today. It looks like traffic but this line of cars is actually a gas line. So, how long have you been in line? Since 7:30 in the morning. Reporter:7:30 in the morning? That's, like, you're running on ten hours. Yep. Reporter: This is one of the very few gas stations that was still pumping gas after sandy and it just happens to be along the route of the marathon. There is a line 30 blocks a mile long of people waiting to get gas and as you can see -- they just ran out. Not far from here, people were stick clamors for essentials. Back up so the next person can get them. Reporter: At a nearby shelter, people are tired, frustrated and hungry for a hot meal. When was the last time you guys had a hot meal? Three days. Reporter: Everything at the neighborhood supermarkets have been destroyed. From the food to the freezers that used to hold it. A million spectators usually crowd the streets to cheer on the marathoners. This year, they're lining up for basics. In manhattan, where the race famously the lights were only beginning to flicker on tonight, five days after this ordeal began. So, you can imagine why so new yorkers who have been living in the dark were less than thrilled to see four large generators brought in to power the marathon's media tent. There's children out there who are without blankets, without anything. Reporter: It was the rising tide of outrage that seems to have forced to city and race organizers to pull the plug. It was time to make an incredibly difficult decision that we made together. It's time to move forward for new york. Reporter: It was also an expensive decision. The city expected to make $340 million from visiting marathoners. And there's also the heartbreak of would be runners and the city that loves to cheer them on. But sandy couldn't cancel everything. Tonight, at the hotel in staten island, while the red cross volunteers get some much-needed rest, there's a celebration in the next ballroom. ♪ the bride's family home was destroyed, but the parents say they never once thought of calling off the wedding. For a day, you have to put all of it aside and just live for your children, because that's the most important thing. Reporter: And that is what everyone in sandy's path is doing. Re-evaluating their priorities as the recovery moves ahead. And clearly those recovery efforts will be enormous and enormously expensive. And all of us here at abc news have been moved by the scope of sandy's destruction, and the human suffering in its wake. We want to help and we know that you do, too. The abc television network has designated monday, forever, NOVEMBER 5th, AS, A DAY OF Giving. All abc news programs including "nightline" will participate. To see how you can take part, visit redcross.Org, call 1-800-red cross or text red cross to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Thanks. We'll be right back.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.