Superstorm Sandy Wrecks Gas Lines in NJ

Destroyed seaside towns along the Jersey Shore face the threat of gas explosions.
3:00 | 11/01/12

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Transcript for Superstorm Sandy Wrecks Gas Lines in NJ
Good evening, I'm terry moran and I'm in tom's river, new jersey, one of the hard-hit communities on the water in this state. The water that superstorm andy hurled against the atlantic seaboard from maryland, all the way up to new york city and beyond. So many communities utterly devastated. You can see this kind of scene, as you see behind me, mile after mile on this coast. And two days after landfall now, the problems are piling up. The death toll now at 74. There's reports of an oil spill and now, a dangerous new threat in many communities, the ruptured gas lines in town after town. You can hear the hissing, you can smell the dangerous gas in the air. And the threat of explosions and fires is growing by the minute. Morning broke on the jersey shore and the sun came out for the first time since the storm. And in the sunlight, all the wreckage seemed sadder, some how. It's not a dream, not even a nightmare. It's just here. We never really expected it to be this bad. We weren't smart, I know it. We weren't smart. That's it. Just really never expected it to be what it was. Reporter: Mary, like so many here, has been through so much, but now, a new threat. Everywhere you go, you hear "shh," just the gas, all the open gas lines going. Just scared to death. Reporter: Fire now stalks the shore. This blaze this morning, fueled by natural gas leaks. The battle now is to prevent a catastrophe after the catastrophe. do you hear that? That is a hissing gas main. You hear it on street after street, right up the shore. You can smell the gas in the air. And fire officials are concerned that these towns are basically ticking time bombs. Up and down the sheore today, there is gas in the air. And people are getting angry. Frustrated? Absolutely. Absolutely. There's probably four gas trucks on the whole island right now and this is happening all over the island right now. Once that gas gets under that house, we got to get out of here. Reporter: In this town, frank is living in real danger. Have you called the gas company about this? Five times. Reporter: What's the response been? We'll get there as soon as we can. Reporter: A high pressure gas main broke in the floodwaters right next to his home. You can see the gas pouring out. It ruptured monday night. I don't know why there's not more trucks here right now, i mean -- this is where we took the main shot. This is it, like, where are all these gas trucks? You got down the block. We got down the block. Why can't we get gas trucks down the block? Reporter: The disaster across this region has shattered infrastructure and recovery seems a long way away. So, no new york city today this was a genuinely good sign. Traffic lights in lower manhattan slowly starting to turn on again. Across the hudson, however, many people are still under duress. In hoboken, nearly a quarter of the city is under water, street after street, flooded and most of the city is without power. 20,000 people are stranded in their homes tonight. And after repeated appeals from the mayor, the national guard finally showed up today, providing a safe passage out. My abc news colleague alex perez spoke to people who had been trapped. It's scary. You don't know how long you're going to be stuck here. You don't know how you're going to get out of town. You can't find out what's going on anywhere else. We've been in a little island. Reporter: Elsewhere in the city, fire trucks were delivering food and supplies to people still sheltering in place. People charging their ipods, even coffee machines by generator. In at land take city today, new jersey governor chris christie and president obama toured the state's battered coast. They stopped at a community center, where at its peak, 200 people found shelter. 50 still remain. A political odd couple, for sure. In the past, they've traded barbs. Now, they must cooperate at chief executives and they heaped praise on each other today. It's been a great working relationship to make sure that we're doing the jobs that people elected us to do. I have to say that governor christie, throughout this process, has been responsive, he's been aggressive and I think the people of new jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of new jersey bounce back even stronger than before. So, I just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and Reporter: Political aside, they will be judged. Everyo in this situation will be judged by results. Alone the jersey shore, there were dedicated disaster response teams just beginning the enormous task ahead. And more rescues of the stranded. You all right? But we saw only a few gas crews out here. They have to make this place safe first. For all those, who, like mary ward, have lost so much, but who yet have so much to live for. I have nothing left. These aren't even my clothes. Reporter: When you look at it, how do you feel? Glad to be alive.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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