Storm Sandy hit US east cost

30 Oct

A car plows through a flooded street in Atlantic City, N.J., on Monday (Photo: Getty images)

One of the biggest storms to ever hit the US has rolled ashore near the gambling resort of Atlantic City in the state of New Jersey. The storm brought on Monday high winds and flooding to hundreds of kilometres of Atlantic coastline, the most densely populated stretch of land in the US. Hundreds of thousands of people had already been evacuated to from low-lying areas. More than three million people were without power by early evening, and many communities were flooded. Witnesses reported seeing cars floating down Wall Street, the heart of New York’s financial district.

Trees were downed across the region, and pieces of scaffolding rolled down the eerily empty streets of New York. A crane collapsed at a construction site in the middle of the city, sending bricks and other debris tumbling onto pedestrians and cars below. Several beachfront towns in New Jersey saw their piers washed away and their boardwalks flooded. Debris closed a major bridge in Boston; in Fairfield, a Connecticut coastal town, police cruisers blocked the main road leading to the beaches.

US stock markets were closed on Monday, the first time since the September 11 attacks, and will remain shut on Tuesday. The federal government in Washington was also closed, and schools up and down the East Coast were shuttered. New York’s electric utility, Con Edison, said it expected “record-size outages”, with nearly 35,000 customers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn likely to be impacted. The company said it would preemptively shut down transformers in some areas to prevent further damage.

The storm interupted the US presidential campaign with eight days to go before the election. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, both cancelled events, with Obama returning to Washington to monitor the storm from the White House.

Thousands of flights were cancelled, both domestic international, and public transportation in the New York and Washington areas was suspended.

(Source: Aljazeera)

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