Some residents of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are wishing they'd taken out a bigger bankroll at the ATM before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. In areas without power, both POS systems and ATM terminals remain unusable.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase all deployed mobile ATMs in New York and New Jersey to make cash available. However, some efforts were hampered by wireless signal issues and other effects of the storm, said a Wall Street Journal report.

In those places where power was working, banks were having to step up efforts to keep ATMs stocked with cash, as long lines formed and customers withdrew large amounts of cash, not knowing when they'd be able to get more.

The store manager at a Duane Reade pharmacy in Brooklyn, N.Y., described lines at its working ATM as "insane." She said the machine had run out of cash before mid-day on Wednesday.

Reports from banks about cash levels at their ATMs were mixed, the Journal found. BofA said ATM cash levels were lower than normal. Chase said that less than 1 percent of its machines in the storm-affected areas ran out of cash on Wednesday, which was comparable to a usual day. Wells Fargo declined to say how their ATMs were faring.

Meanwhile, customers weren't waiting to sort out the bank-issued reports. A man in Brooklyn took out $600 at a Citibank ATM, telling the Journal, "I just wanted the added security."

For more on this topic, visit the bank/credit union research center.

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