Bloomberg: NYC Marathon canceled

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says this weekend's New York City Marathon is canceled.

Bloomberg discussed the marathon Friday while giving a briefing on the storm. At the time, he insisted the marathon would go on as planned. But later Friday evening, he announced the cancellation amid criticism that the city had yet to recover from Superstorm Sandy and many residents were struggling to find food, shelter and clean water.

Bloomberg argued earlier Friday that the marathon would "give people something to cheer about" after a "dismal week."

With people in storm-ravaged areas still shivering without electricity and the death toll in New York City at more than 40, many New Yorkers recoiled at the prospect of police officers being assigned to protect a marathon on Sunday.

Bloomberg came under fire for pressing ahead with the marathon in a city still reeling from Superstorm Sandy. Some New Yorkers said holding the 26.2-mile race would be insensitive and divert police and other important resources when many are still suffering.

Bloomberg says his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, made the right decision to let the marathon continue after the September 2001 terrorist attack.

Meantime, a Superstorm Sandy relief fund is being created just for residents of the hard-hit New York City borough of Staten Island.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Borough President James Molinaro say the fund will help residents displaced from their homes.

Molinaro told the Staten Island Advance newspaper that the devastation to the borough's coastline was unbelievable. He says the money raised for the fund in the borough will be used only there.

Staten Island reported 19 deaths, including two young brothers who were swept away from their mother as the family tried to escape the tidal surge. Their bodies were found Wednesday about a quarter of a mile away from where they became separated from their mother.

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