TODAY | November 13, 2012
>> in the northeast still reeling after superstorm sandy, and their patience is wearing very thin. nbc's tom llamas is in staten island . good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning. this neighborhood is called midland beach and residents here, like in other parts of the region, now know surviving sandy means surviving the two weeks after it. make no mistake. help is here and things are getting better , but because of scenes like this some are calling this the new normal and those who are actually living it say it's miserable and there's nothing normal about it.
>> reporter: a utility crew on long ilong is just getting to the downed tree and the web of wires it took down. residents forced to put up their own sign to warn people of the danger. their patience, like their power, is gone.
>> the fact that it's two weeks later, and we still have live wires on our street is completely unacceptable.
>> reporter: unacceptable and reaching a breaking point for mothers like barbara trying to get their families back on track. her son jack just celebrated his 6th birthday in a cold, dark house . not even jack's smile could stop mom's tears.
>> very hard.
>> reporter: part of the frustration is that the vast majority of the 8 million plus who lost power have it back. so far the tens of thousands still in the dark it's a complicated power buzz. just ask ukranian-american grandmother sophia who brighton beach , brooklyn. members of the army corps of engineers could bring her and her wheelchair-bound husband water but not power. like some, her building needs an electrician's approval before the lights can come back on, a costly tedious process that utility companies say is needed to ensure safety. and 14 days hasn't been enough time to fix a damaged water treatment plant that is shooting partially treated sewage into a waterway near a popular long island beach . how much? 65 million gallons a day. enough to fill 98 olympic-sized pool.
>> we have the dec in there, army corps of engineers , working on setting up temporary cleansing stations.
>> reporter: in monmouth county in the jersey shore the red cross is serving up warm meals, comfort for families returning home for the first time in a long time and realize it's more sensible to relocate than rebuild.
>> it's katrinaesque. people have packed up and sfleest inleft.
>> reporter: just this morning new jersey ended its gas rationing for residents and they have asked for aids and they will get it. new york alone wants $30 billion, and it's unclear if there's enough money for everyone. savannah?