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New York began an arduous clean-up on Wednesday (October 31) after superstorm Sandy left severe flooding, power outages and crippled transportation. In lower Manhattan, residents sifted through water-damaged belongings, piling rubbish and debris onto the streets. Several businesses were forced to throw away goods and produce. In some areas, floodwater continued to pour into the streets, as pumps worked to clear buildings left submerged in the Sandy's wake. As the city was hit by a record onslaught, one worker said getting the city back to normal was a daunting task. SOUNDBITE: CLEAN UP WORKER PETE WINTER SAYING (English): "By far the worst, it's a catastrophe. It's going to take a long time to recover from it." [REPORTER ASKING: "How long do you estimate?"] "At least two, two and a half weeks before you see anything getting done." Officials say they face unprecedented challenges restoring New York and its flooded subway system. In the meantime, estimates suggest lost economic activity is costing up to 200 million dollars a day.