Monday, 29 October 2012
Hurricane Sandy Final Hits: Superstorm Shuts Down The East Coast
Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph, killed 65 people in the Caribbean before it began traveling northward. Sandy’s predicted path is expected to hit Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York - putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia. The tempest could endanger up
to 50 million people for days. Airports also closed, and authorities warned that the time for evacuation was running out or already past. Utilities brought in extra crews, anticipating widespread power failures. Hurricane Sandy is wrecking havoc on New Jersey as the powerful storm has knocked out electricity to more than 8,000 customers.
In New York City, mass transit has been suspended, schools are closed and financial markets aren’t trading. A string mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall has sent thousands fleeing their homes. Atlantic City's public safety director also confirmed that most of the city under water. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Holland and Brooklyn Battery Tunnels will close at 2 pm. Hurricane Sandy has caused New York City and most other cities on the Eastern border to completely shut down, as everyone prepares for the arrival of the powerful storm.
As rain from the leading edges began to fall over the Northeast on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people from Maryland to Connecticut were ordered to leave low-lying coastal areas, including 375,000 in lower Manhattan and other parts of New York City, 50,000 in Delaware and 30,000 in Atlantic City, N.J., where the city's 12 casinos shut down for only the fourth time ever.
President Barack Obama spoke on Sandy, declaring emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, authorizing federal relief work to begin well ahead of time. He promised the government would "respond big and respond fast" after the storm hits. As for New York City, many who live in zones prone to heavy flooding have been ordered to evacuate by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The map below shows the evacuation areas in NYC.