The death toll mounted Thursday as survivors struggled to regain a semblance of the normalcy that Superstorm Sandy swept away this week when it struck the Northeast.
In some cases, tempers grew short.
"We're gonna die down here!" wailed Donna Solli to Sen. Chuck Schumer as he toured her waterlogged neighborhood in New York's Staten Island with a group of reporters. "When is the government coming?"
Solli said residents needed gas, food and clothes. "We're gonna freeze," she said on a day when the 50-degree temperature was predicted to drop to the low 40s. "We've got 90-year-old people!"
The Democratic senator from New York said he understood and hugged her.
Solli said her basement was flooded and her refrigerator was upside down. "I stayed here because I have an elderly dog," she told a reporter. "We nearly drowned."
Solli added that she had had little to eat. "One slice of pizza in 48 hours."
As he surveyed the damage in the neighborhood, the politician told a reporter, "This is the worst thing I've ever seen, and it's killing me what these people have to go through. We'll get whatever federal help we can, that's for sure."
Afterward, a senior administration official told CNN that a convoy of 10 Red Cross trucks filled with food, water and medicine arrived Thursday evening on Staten Island.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino were to travel Friday to Staten Island to meet with state and local officials and view the response and recovery efforts, the White House said.