New York on Wednesday took a few small steps on its slow return to normality after the destructive passage of Hurricane Sandy, which left at least 22 people dead in this city, while the cold weather is making the situation even more difficult for those with no electricity or heating.

The partial reinstatement of bus service has allowed many people to get to work. And the shuttles linking the city's islands together and with New Jersey - where Sandy made landfall on Monday evening - are also functioning again.

Many people who don't live far from their daily destinations are making their trips on foot, but others are opting to use their cars, causing significant traffic tie-ups.

In addition, the reopening of the bridges and some of the city's tunnels has allowed resupply trucks to get to the supermarkets and stores, where basic products had disappeared from the shelves last weekend before the storm.

The J.F. Kennedy and Newark (New Jersey) airports are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, albeit in a limited way, but LaGuardia's runways are still covered with water that sluiced in from the bay to the north of Long Island.

The stock and other financial markets reopened Wednesday after being shut down for two days, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the New York Stock Exchange's opening bell at 11 Wall Street to symbolically indicate that the city is getting back to business.

Some of the large museums, like the Metropolitan Museum and the headquarters of a number of major companies are also opening their doors for business once again on Wednesday.

But millions of people remain without power or telephone service in the metropolitan area, among them almost 300,000 in southern Manhattan. EFE