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Snooki and her castmates came together to spearhead the fundraising efforts to rebuild the Hurricane Sandy devastated Jersey Shore.

Snooki led the way on Monday morning when she made an early start on Good Morning America to appeal for funds.

And it was a success, with charitable fans donating $7 million. Thrilled Snooki tweeted: “Wow GMA raises 7 million! Thank you everyone for calling in!!!”

As a resident of the area Snooki has been busy tweeting to her many followers with appeals to help.

Snooki has also been updating them about her own situation, tweeting: “Back in jersey! Hope our power comes back this week!!”

Buildings were knocked down, roads swept away, the historic boardwalk partially destroyed, and a piece of the iconic Star Jet rollercoaster was left hanging into the ocean after the storm hit Sunset Height a week ago.

Snooki and her castmates came together to spearhead the fundraising efforts to rebuild the Hurricane Sandy devastated Jersey Shore

Snooki and her castmates came together to spearhead the fundraising efforts to rebuild the Hurricane Sandy devastated Jersey Shore

On November 15th, Snooki will appear alongside her former Jersey Shore castmates in a one-hour fundraising special.

The program will be broadcast from MTV’s Times Square studio in New York.

The network said on Monday that the program will solicit contributions for the rebuilding of Seaside Heights, the heart of the Jersey Shore and the principal setting for the Jersey Shore series.


For this effort, MTV will be partnering with Architecture for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that provides design and construction services to communities in need. Seaside Heights was among numerous coastal areas devastated by Sandy last week.

Snooki tweeted: “MTV, Arch For Humanity and I are coming together to help re-build Seaside stronger than ever. Join us November 15 on MTV.”

 

New York’s Attorney General has launched an investigation into hundreds of complaints of prices being increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Eric Schneiderman said the largest number of complaints concerned increased fuel prices, but other emergency supplies were also affected.

“Price gouging” of essential consumer goods is forbidden under New York law.

More than one million people in New Jersey and New York are still without power a week after the storm hit.

Although fuel supplies are reaching petrol stations across the region, around one-quarter are still closed in metropolitan New York.

At the weekend, long queues of cars and people carrying red canisters built up at petrol stations.

As a result of the storm, 8.5 million homes and businesses were left without power, prompting a surge in demand for generators and hotel rooms. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

Eric Schneiderman said that consumers had contacted him to report “possible gouging for emergency supplies like generators, hotels raising rates due to ‘high demand’, as well as increased prices for food and water”.

New York's Attorney General has launched an investigation into hundreds of complaints of prices being increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

New York’s Attorney General has launched an investigation into hundreds of complaints of prices being increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

In a statement, the attorney general said that under New York state law, retailers were not allowed to charge “unconscionably excessive prices” for goods required for personal, family or household purposes when there was an abnormal disruption of the market.

He pledged to do “everything we can to stop to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives”.

Transport authorities opened more subway lines on Monday, as more commuters returned to work and one million students returned to school for the first time since the storm.

But platforms were teeming with travelers, trains were overcrowded and limited bus services struggled to meet the demand for services into New York City.

Hundreds of people joined queues early on Monday for the Jersey City ferry service to New York.

As overnight temperatures fell close to freezing, forecasters warned of a new storm approaching the US east coast.

According to the National Weather Service, the coastal storm could reach South and North Carolina late on Tuesday before spreading northwards, strengthening as it moves up towards New Jersey with gusts of up to 50 mph (80 km/h) by Thursday.

“Prepare for more outages,” Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina told Associated Press.

 

Tens of thousands of people whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in, New York’s political leaders have warned.

Homes without heat would become uninhabitable as temperatures fell, state Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put the figure at 30,000-40,000 people.

At least 106 US deaths – 40 of them in New York City – have been blamed on Superstorm Sandy, which struck on 29 October.

Residents who had so far refused to leave their homes would have no other option, Andrew Cuomo told a news conference on Sunday.

He also said there would be increasing pressure on public transport on Monday, as more people returned to work and the schools re-opened.

Fuel shortages were easing, but Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers not to hoard petrol, saying more supplies were on their way.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in

New York City opened warming shelters in areas without power and handed out blankets to residents who insisted on staying in homes without power.

But Michael Bloomberg urged those without heating to leave their homes if necessary.

“You can die from being cold. You can die from fires started when you use candles or stoves to heat your apartment,” he said.

“If you don’t know where to go, stop a cop on the street and say, please tell me where to go. They’ll help you. But we have to make sure that you are safe for a few days and that you have food and water for a few days.”

Temperatures fell to 39 F (4 C) on Sunday and are forecast to go as low as 30 F (-1C) on Monday.

About 730,000 people in New York state still do not have electricity, including more than 130,000 in New York City, the governor said.

Nearly a million people in the neighboring state of New Jersey remain without power, and petrol is being rationed.

Hundreds of runners who had been planning to take part in the New York marathon – cancelled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday – joined impromptu runs to raise funds or deliver aid.

The storm damage from Sandy is also affecting preparations for voting in Tuesday’s elections.

New Jersey residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be able to vote by email or fax, the state’s chief election official has decided.

They will be designated as “overseas voters” and can apply for mail-in ballots up until 17:00 on Election Day.

Michael Bloomberg said New York officials would do “anything we can” to help the board of elections, saying “they have real problems”.

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Chelsea Clinton lives in a $4 million apartment in one of Manhattan’s most prestigious buildings but she has still been left without power and hot water – just like the rest of lower Manhattan.

Chelsea Clinton, 32, lives with her husband Marc Mezvinsky in the Flatiron district of the city.

Yesterday she revealed that the couple had been battling through the past few days without moving out of their home.

Chelsea Clinto tweeted: “Although we still don’t have power, @Starbucks holiday cup & the barista’s smile brightened my day – thank you!”

She has been recording the storm that devastated the East Coast from her multi-million dollar home and has been tweeting pictures of the scenes.

Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton posted a picture of a desolate Manhattan just hours after the blackout on Monday night.

She also admitted that she was happy her mother, secretary of state Hillary Clinton, was out of the country, adding: “Grateful my Mom is away from #Sandy and in Algeria working toward peace in #Mali.”

Chelsea Clinton said that she was staying at home with her husband and their dog Soren, adding: “Marc, Soren and I are at home with candles, kindles and canned food! Any must-read recommendations for waiting out a storm?”

Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky have been left without power and hot water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky have been left without power and hot water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

She later thanked followers for their book recommendations, adding: “esp loved those who suggested Sound & Fury and Perfect Storm. Glad Sandy didn’t take our collective sense of humor.”

Chelsea Clinton found the time to wish her good friend, millionairess Ivanka Trump happy birthday on Tuesday – just a day after the blackout.

Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and their baby daughter Arabella have been fine, of course, as they have had power at their $20 million apartment at Trump Park Avenue.

Marc Mezvinsky, 33, a former investment banker bought their apartment in 2008 for $4 million – two years before their marriage.

After being dogged by rumors their marriage was in trouble, the notoriously private couple set the record straight in September as Marc Mezvinsky called Chelsea Clinton “the yin to [his] yang”, while she admits to wanting children “in a couple of years, hopefully…God willing”.

Her chief of staff, Bari Lurie said: “What put a strain on them was that the stories were being written because none of us were paying attention to it

“It was an eye-opening lesson. Chelsea realized, <<Maybe I need to get out there and demystify myself a little bit>>.”

But though they have been married for over two years now, Chelsea Clinton and her husband are yet to have any children.

And though her mother, Hillary Clinton is desperate for her daughter and son-in-law to hurry up on the grandchildren front, Chelsea is not to be rushed.

Chelsea Clinton admitted: “It’s certainly something that Marc and I talk a lot about. I always knew I was the center of my parents’ lives when I was growing up. And I am determined that our children feel the same way.”

 

New Yorkers took to the streets last night as Con Ed began restoring power to lower Manhattan after repairing the East 14th Street subway station that exploded when Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday night.

Electricity began coming on to more than 65,000 customers in parts of the East Village, SoHo and the Lower East Side at around 6:00 p.m. while thousands of residents in Chelsea and the so-called Madison Network were able to switch on their lights again about an hour later.

People took to the streets cheering on Prince and Lafayette in Nolita as the lights finally flickered again after days of darkness.

Power was restored north to south between Canal Street and Broadway, and East to West between the East River and 14th street.

At 6:00 p.m. the Chelsea network went back up between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue, and 31st Street on north and 15th street

The news comes as a huge relief to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been without power since Monday night.

Many of them had left the so-called Dark Zone below 39th street but there are still tens of thousands of people living in increasingly difficult conditions.

Con Edison let customers know the good news with a flurry of proud tweets on Friday evening.

Starting with the restoration of power for 65,000 in the East Village and the Lower East Side at around 5:45 p.m., the company then boasted at about 6:45 p.m.: “#ConEdison just restored power to 25,000 customers in the #Chelsea network.”

At around 7:00 p.m., Con Edison tweeted that another 8,000 customers in the #City Hall network were back on the grid – from Broadway to the East River and Canal Street to Frankfort.

This announcement quickly followed with the news that over 30,000 homes stretching from 31st to 14th Streets and Fifth Avenue to the East River were restored.

But Manhattan wasn’t the only borough the electricity company was concentrating on.

Con Ed restored power to lower Manhattan after repairing the East 14th Street subway station

Con Ed restored power to lower Manhattan after repairing the East 14th Street subway station

As the announcements were coming thick and fast on the island, Con Edison tweeted just before 7:00 p.m. that more than 122,000 Brooklyn residents had electricity back up and running and more than 39,000 customers were rejoicing as they switched on their lights in the Bronx.

An additional 29,000 households in Queens were also powered up again before 7:00 p.m. and 85,000 in devastated Staten Island, for the first time since the Superstorm savaged New York.

The electricity company said things should be back to normal for most residents in these areas though it couldn’t guarantee that individual customers’ equipment had not been damaged in the storm, which would delay their return to power.

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in New York and 1.5 million in New Jersey were still without power on Friday, four days after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast, the states’ power companies said.

Most utility companies in the two states said it could take a week or longer to restore power to all customers in the wake of Sandy, the worst natural disaster to strike their customers.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter Thursday to the CEOs of state power companies, saying he would “take appropriate action against those utilities and their management if they do not meet their obligations to New Yorkers in this time of crisis”.

“I recognize there are men and women in the field now working hard to restore service … but it is your job to provide them with adequate resources and support to get the job done in a timely and safe manner,” Andrew Cuomo said.

Con Edison serves more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County.

In New Jersey, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc said about 700,000 customers were still out, down from 1.7 million. PSEG serves about 2.2 million customers in the state.

FirstEnergy Corp’s Jersey Central Power and Light utility reported more than 713,100 customers were still without power, down from more than 1 million affected by the storm. JCP&L serves about 1.2 million in New Jersey.

Across the U.S. Northeast power companies have restored electricity to more than half of the 8.48 million customers left without service, leaving nearly 3.6 million without service in 11 states Friday morning, federal data showed.

Con Edison said it expects to make significant progress restoring electricity to all customers over the next seven days.

In lower and mid-Manhattan, Con Edison has said it expected to restore power by Saturday, November 3.

But the company warned that more than 100 buildings that have had their power restored were still without electricity due to flooding in basements or damage to local equipment.

To date, Con Edison said its crews have restored electricity to more than 320,000 customers affected by Sandy.

As of 5:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, Con Edison said about 226,000 customers lacked service in Manhattan, 84,000 in Queens, 35,000 in Brooklyn, 54,000 in Staten Island, 31,000 in the Bronx and 140,000 in Westchester.

Elsewhere in New York, the Long Island Power Co (LIPA) said it still had about 529,800 customers without power, down from more than 900,000. LIPA serves about 1.1 million customers on Long Island.

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The Statue of Liberty officially reopened last weekend to huge fanfare after a $30 million refurbishment, but it has now been closed indefinitely after Superstorm Sandy flooded its island in New York Harbor, as inspectors conduct a full assessment of any possible structural damage.

The public have been restricted to the grounds on Liberty Island over the past year, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and a U.S. Military Academy cadets group were the first to visit last Sunday.

However, that was before the storm – and although the New York City statue was expected to reopen on Wednesday, that was delayed after Hurricane Sandy hit and killed at least 98 people in the US and Canada.

The renovation included replacing the stairs to the crown, as well as creating wheelchair access to one of the observation decks at the top of the pedestal. But the statue was closed again on Monday.

Federal inspectors will be carrying out checks this Saturday to Liberty Island, and its neighbor Ellis Island, although a quick examination showed no damage to the statue or the Ellis Island museum.

But a National Parks Service spokesman told the New York Daily News there was “water damage to the Statue of Liberty site” and said checks must be done before a reopen date can be established.

Elsewhere in New York City, museums, the Empire State Building, Broadway theatres and many stores reopened on Wednesday to the relief of tourists stuck in hotel rooms since last weekend.

This year marked the 126th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty’s dedication and the renovation improved fire alarms, sprinkler systems and exit routes to bring it in line with city safety codes.

There are also more stairs than ever before, with a daunting 393 steps to the crown, where there were previously 354 slightly steeper steps. The famous statue is 151 ft from base to torch.

It sits atop the 89 ft tall stone pedestal, which sits on a 65 ft tall foundation in the shape of a star. Meanwhile the bathrooms have been upgraded for the first time since the 1980s.

Statue of Liberty has been closed indefinitely after Superstorm Sandy flooded its island in New York Harbor

Statue of Liberty has been closed indefinitely after Superstorm Sandy flooded its island in New York Harbor

In addition, a new air-conditioning system will cool the interior of the copper-clad monument, which previously could get up to 20F hotter than outdoors at the height of summer.

About 3.5 million people visit Liberty Island each year, although most don’t go inside the statue. With the improvements, 26,000 more will be able to ascend to the crown each year.

The statue, a gift from France to the US, was dedicated in 1886 and declared a national monument in 1924. In 2009, the crown was reopened to the public for the first time since the 9/11 attacks.

Superstorm Sandy was blamed for at least 98 deaths across the US and Canada, leaving New Jersey’s barrier islands a wasteland of eroded shoreline, ruined beachfront homes and flooded streets.

As New York City came back to life yesterday, starting with the partial reopening of subway routes three days after the storm, it was revealed the total U.S. damage could hit $50 billion.

 

SWEET LADY LIBERTY: A BRIEF HISTORY OF STATUE OF LIBERTY, THE SYMBOL OF AMERICA

Designed by Frederic Bartholdi, the statue is a neo-classical sculpture based on the Roman Goddess of Freedom, Libertas.

The statue was a present to the United States from France to celebrate independence and was erected in 1886 in Upper New York Bay on Liberty Island.

Frederic Bartholdi’s inspiration for the statue was a comment made by politician Édouard René de Laboulaye in mid-1865.

He stated: “If a monument should rise in the United States, as a memorial to their independence, I should think it only natural if it were built by united effort – a common work of both our nations.”

Statue of Liberty makes for a truly exhilarating sight for anyone entering New York. The main body of the statue stands at 151ft high, but with the pedestal included, reaches 305ft.

Statue of Liberty has been featured in several Hollywood films such as Independence Day, Cloverfield, The Day After Tomorrow and Planet Of The Apes, where it appears buried in a beach.

 

As the East Coast is still reeling from the devastation brought on by Superstorm Sandy forecasters are already warning of a powerful new nor’easter storm front coming in from the Atlantic, bringing 45 mph gusts of wind mixed with snow and rain.

The beleaguered coast line is expected to face the storm from Tuesday to Thursday – potentially casting a shadow over Election Day.

At least New York City and the surrounding area may escape a beating, as forecasters expect most of the severe weather will hit northern New England – meaning it should land hundreds of miles north from where Sandy reached the continent.

However, New York and New Jersey can expect frigid winds and rain as hundreds of thousands remain without power and homeless.

A nor’easter is a powerful storm that thrives on cold air. Severe nor’easters can bring hurricane-force winds and blizzards.

AccuWeather expert senior meteorologist Henry Margusity said: “For millions of people still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, this is not welcome news.

“Thousands are projected to still be in the dark on Election Day, following Sandy’s impact.

“The weather pattern remains volatile for another storm to form on the East Coast, but nothing like Sandy. A storm that would be more normal for early November.”

Meanwhile, NBC News meteorologist Al Roker said: “This is just what we don’t need.

“You look at those winds coming counterclockwise, bringing in with it the potential for one to two more inches of rain, wind gusts of 45 miles per hour and wet snow inland just along the New York/New Jersey border. We’re talking about wet snow mixing in.

“The problem with this, with these winds of 45 miles per hour and already compromised beaches along New Jersey and Long Island waves of any consequence could cause big problems.”

He added: “It’s just a matter of how strong this system is going to be.”

East Coast line is expected to face a nor’easter winter storm from Tuesday to Thursday, potentially casting a shadow over Election Day

East Coast line is expected to face a nor’easter winter storm from Tuesday to Thursday, potentially casting a shadow over Election Day

The European Centre Medium Range Forecast predicted the storm will form off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday.

EURO detected Hurricane Sandy and predicted its devastating landfall 8 days before it hit.

By Wednesday, the storm is expected to hook into southern New England.

Forecasters said that the storm will have nowhere near the strength of Sandy and the winds will likely not be powerful enough to be damaging.

However, the storm will bring more rain and bad weather to a region that has not even begun to recover from Monday’s onslaught.

“Snowfall would be confined to northern New England. Also, this system will not be anywhere as impactful as Sandy,” Tom Niziol, the winter weather expert for Weather.com, wrote.

Forecasters still don’t know the exact impact or path of the storm, and cautioned that it could hit other parts of the coast – potentially even New York.

Consolidated Edison, which handles New York City and the Hudson Valley, still has 650,000 customers without power – and said many of them won’t have electricity restored for another ten days.

Two of New Jersey’s largest utility companies reported more than 2million customers still in the dark.

What is a nor’easter?

The nor’easter is a winter storm conceived by the meeting of cold arctic air with the warmer ocean air from the Gulf Stream.

The storms usually develop from a low-pressure system in the south, typically in the Gulf of Mexico, and then pushed upward.

They often cause severe flooding along coastlines, erosion, and blizzard conditions – but just as dangerous is the bitter Arctic air that gets dragged along by the weather system.

They storms can come at any time of year, but are mainly seen in winter, where the conflicting wind conditions can quickly spiral into a hurricane.

Nor’easters usually bring massive amounts of precipitation, high winds and large waves and with a full moon, when tides are at their highest, the storm surge could reach as high as 6 to 11 feet.

“The total is greater than the sum of the individual parts,” said Louis Uccellini, the environmental prediction chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologists about the dramatic weather.

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Nana Gouvea, a Brazilian glamour model, has been slammed for posing against the trail of destruction left by Hurricane Sandy.

Nana Gouvea, 30, who has reportedly graced the pages of Playboy, posted a series of images to her Facebook page showing her leaning against fallen trees and standing on top of wrecked cars in the streets of New York.

The photographs instantly sparked outcry, and Gawker mocked: “The turmoil following a devastating natural disaster is a great opportunity to get out there and try poses, angles, and wardrobe choices you normally wouldn’t.

“This is a time for introspection and re-examining your personal style. Also a great time to stomp all over cars and things.”

A Facebook page and tumblr account, both titled Nana Gouvêa in Disasters, also poke fun at the brunette model.

They show pictures of her superimposed onto a number of tragic scenes, including the sinking of the Titanic, the Hindenburg disaster and the death of Mufasa in The Lion King.

Brazilian glamour model Nana Gouvea has been slammed for posing against the trail of destruction left by Hurricane Sandy

Brazilian glamour model Nana Gouvea has been slammed for posing against the trail of destruction left by Hurricane Sandy

Nana Gouvea’s husband, Carlos Keyes, was responsible for capturing the original images of her, which she proudly displayed on her Facebook account.

She told Spanish magazine EGO that the storm has bought them closer together and “we actually spent most of the time in bed”, adding that “today I will open a bottle of wine”.

According to the publication this is the second hurricane the duo have experienced, as they first met when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast last August.

“It was my first trip to New York,” Nana Gouvea exclaimed.

“We were in his apartment, watching movies, cooking.”

More than 80 people are known to have died in the storm, thousands of homes are underwater and millions remain without power.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – a political independent who has played a prominent role in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – has delivered a big boost to President Barack Obama by endorsing him for re-election.

Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat who became a Republican to run for Big Apple mayor in 2001 and ran as an Independent for re-election in 2009, said that Hurricane Sandy had helped reshape his thinking about the presidential campaign.

He had been pointedly critical of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, saying that both men had failed to address properly the problems afflicting the nation.

But Michael Bloomberg said in recent days he had decided that Barack Obama was the best candidate to tackle climate change, which the mayor cited as a contributory factor to the violent storm that took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and brought carnage costing billions of dollars.

“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast – in lost lives, lost homes and lost business – brought the stakes of next Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Michael Bloomberg wrote in an article for his own website Bloomberg View.

“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be – given the devastation it is wreaking – should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has delivered a big boost to Barack Obama by endorsing him for re-election

NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has delivered a big boost to Barack Obama by endorsing him for re-election

The timing of the endorsement is unexpected because Michael Bloomberg this week publicly called on Barack Obama to resist visiting New York this week because the city was too busy dealing with the disaster.

But his backing is the latest indication that Hurricane Sandy could be a big factor in Tuesday’s election.

Barack Obama has already used it to burnish his bipartisan credentials and a Washington Post/ABC poll found that 80 per cent of voters viewed his actions favorably.

Republicans dismissed the endorsement saying that Michael Bloomberg, as the epitome of the monied east coast elite, would hardly sway voters in the mid-West battleground states.

But there is little doubt that the Romney campaign would dearly have loved to have had the New York mayor’s backing.

Barack Obama said in a statement: “I am honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.”

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Millions of New Yorkers will still be without power for another 10 days as city’s power supplier ConEd continues to fix overhead power wires.

Electricity is expected to be restored to the main island of Manhattan by Saturday, however, since the area is largely run by an underground power network that is easier to fix than the downed electrical lines.

While utility company Consolidated Edison, commonly known as ConEd, are on track to uphold their original plan of returning power to all of Manhattan island on either Friday or Saturday, they said that the outer boroughs will have to wait until November 10th or 11th for their power.

The delay in reaching the outer boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx was attributed to the difficulties of fixing or replacing the downed overhead lines.

Throughout the week, the company has been gradually restoring power to portions of the city, and has reached at least 2,000 people in lower Manhattan so far.

While helpful, that is only a sliver of the 227,000 homes and businesses in Manhattan that went dark Monday.

In order to avoid permanent damage from rising sea waters, the company preemptively took two underground electrical networks out of service and the latest restored power areas were a result of those networks being reactivated.

While that reactivation was relatively easy, the bigger problems came from a massive explosion at one of the ConEd power plants in Manhattan’s East Village.

The explosion came after the plant was overwhelmed by floodwater.

Millions of New Yorkers will still be without power for another 10 days as city's power supplier ConEd continues to fix overhead power wires

Millions of New Yorkers will still be without power for another 10 days as city’s power supplier ConEd continues to fix overhead power wires

Regardless, the East and West Villages, Financial District, Chelsea, Chinatown and the Lower East Side will be up and running by the weekend, Con Edison said.

The island’s wiring system is largely underground so workers have been able to asses and repair it faster than above ground wiring of the outer boroughs.

Outages in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were not expected to be repaired for another week, the power company said.

For New Yorkers living in the vertical city, a loss of power means much more than spoiled cold cuts and frozen dinners.

Electricity is needed to pump water to upper floors. Many New Yorkers prepared for the storm by stocking up on bottled water. But without power, there’s no way to flush the toilet.

For others, the outage had graver consequences.

“I have several hundred dollars’ worth of insulin in the refrigerator,” said Joan Moore of New York’s Staten Island, who is diabetic.

There were encouraging acts of kindness, gestures made by the lucky ones with electricity.

“I have power and hot water. If anyone needs a shower or to charge some gadgets or just wants to bask in the beauty of artificial light, hit me up,” Rob Hart, who also lives on Staten Island, wrote on Facebook.

In New York City and along the New Jersey and Connecticut coasts, flooding knocked out substations and switching yards, the vertebrae of the electric distribution system.

Hurricane Sandy blacked out some of the nation’s most densely populated cities and suburbs, instantly taking away modern conveniences from Virginia to Massachusetts and as far west as the Great Lakes.

For power companies, the scale of the destruction was unmatched – more widespread than any blizzard or ice storm and worse than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s unprecedented: fallen trees, debris, the roads, water, snow. It’s a little bit of everything,” said Brian Wolff, senior vice president of the Edison Electric Institute, a group that lobbies for utilities.

Initially, about 60 million people were without power in 8.2 million homes and businesses. By Wednesday night, that number had fallen to roughly 44 million people in 6 million households and businesses.

Even as power slowly returned to some pockets, a new headache emerged: Backup batteries and generators running cellphone towers were running out of juice. One out of every five towers was down, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

New Yorker Vildia Samaniego traveled four miles uptown to a bar, the Blarney Stone, to watch the Boston Celtics play the Miami Heat.

“I really needed to watch the basketball game,” she laughed.

“The place was packed. It’s amazing how much you miss television.”

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The death toll from Hurricane Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover, three days after being smashed by the massive storm.

More than 80 people are now known to have died, 37 in New York City alone, and others remain missing.

About 4.6 million people are still without power, and there are fuel shortages across the region.

The National Guard is to deliver a million meals and bottled water to New Yorkers affected by the storm.

The number of dead in the US has exceeded the toll from the Caribbean, where 69 people were killed by Sandy.

The storm could cost the US $50 billion, according to forecasting firm Eqecat, doubling the previous estimate.

In New York, limited subway services returned on Thursday, though four of the seven train tunnels under the East river remained flooded.

Fares on commuter trains, subways and buses have been temporarily waived in a bid to entice commuters off the traffic-choked roads.

Many of the petrol stations in the city and the state of New Jersey remained closed, and fights broke out amid long queues on forecourts.

The city authorities are only permitting vehicles with three passengers or more to cross into Manhattan.

Amtrak plans to restart its East Coast service – the busiest train line in the US – on Friday.

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover

In lower Manhattan, where Sandy brought a record 14 ft (4.2 m) tidal surge, subway services are still closed and hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday ordered the National Guard to help deliver some 30 tractor trailers of supplies to one million residents.

He has told relief workers to prioritize the elderly and poor, especially those living in high-rise blocks.

The death toll rose overnight as the extent of destruction became clearer in the south-western New York City borough of Staten Island, where at least 15 bodies have been recovered.

The storm, one of the biggest to hit the US in decades, swamped the low-lying district with tidal surges, lifting whole houses off their foundations.

Many residents in that community ignored official evacuation warnings and stayed behind to guard their homes.

Two boys, aged two and four, are missing after they were torn from their mother’s arms by floodwaters, as they emerged from their vehicle.

Police searching the area found a body on Thursday morning, the New York Post reports.

An 89-year-old woman died after spending 12 hours in her deluged Staten Island home, reports the New York Daily News.

Her 65-year-old daughter was unable to save her. Helpless neighbors heard their screams for help but could not reach them.

Also on Staten Island, John Filipowicz, 51, and his 20-year-old son John were found dead under debris in the basement of their home.

Breezy Point, in New York City, where fire razed 111 homes, was described by one onlooker as resembling a war zone.

Emergency crews are working to reach the most badly hit areas.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, some 20,000 people were still trapped in their homes amid sewage-tainted floodwaters.

The National Guard is helping with evacuations and meal distributions.

One frustrated householder reportedly inflated an air mattress and floated to Hoboken city hall to find out why supplies had not yet arrived.

Jersey City has issued an overnight curfew as well as a driving ban.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour to inspect the damage to New Jersey’s shattered Atlantic coastline.

He put campaigning for next week’s US election on hold for three days to manage the disaster response.

The cyclone also caused havoc further inland.

The state of West Virginia has seen up to 5 ft of snow in some areas, after Hurricane Sandy collided with two winter weather fronts.

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President Barack Obama is to resume election campaign which was suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Barack Obama visited areas of New Jersey struck by the storm on Wednesday.

His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has been holding rallies after halting his campaign earlier in the week.

Superstorm Sandy left at least 64 people dead in the US, cut power from millions of homes and paralyzed transport on much of the eastern US seaboard.

The hurricane made landfall on Monday night in New Jersey, where some 20,000 people remain trapped in their homes by sewage-contaminated floodwater.

In New York City, the storm brought a record tidal surge that swamped the subway system and caused widespread blackouts.

Earlier, it killed nearly 70 people in the Caribbean and caused extensive crop destruction in impoverished Haiti.

Barack Obama has planned campaign stops on Thursday in Nevada, Colorado and Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, he toured parts of New Jersey struck by the storm with Republican Governor Chris Christie.

“You guys are in my thoughts and prayers,” the president said during a visit to an emergency shelter in Atlantic City.

“We are going to be here for the long haul.”

Barack Obama toured parts of New Jersey struck by the storm with Republican Governor Chris Christie

Barack Obama toured parts of New Jersey struck by the storm with Republican Governor Chris Christie

Of more than six million homes and businesses across the north-east that still have no electricity, a third of them are in New Jersey.

In the New Jersey city of Hoboken, across the Hudson River from New York City, the National Guard has arrived to evacuate about 20,000 people and distribute meals.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, usually one of barack Obama’s fiercest critics, spoke of his “great working relationship” with the Democratic president.

“I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for the people of our state,” said Chris Christie.

Mitt Romney held two rallies in Florida on Wednesday, where his campaign said he tried to strike a “positive tone”.

Election Day is on 6 November, and polls suggest the candidates are running neck and neck.

Eight out of ten voters in a Washington Post/ABC poll gave Barack Obama an “excellent” or “good” rating for his handling of the emergency.

New York began a slow recovery from the storm on Wednesday.

The New York Stock Exchange reopened on generator power after two days of closure, along with the Nasdaq.

But New York City’s Bellevue Hospital had to order the evacuation of some 500 patients after back-up electricity failed.

A partial subway service is due to begin on Thursday. Many bus services are already back on the roads, and most of the city’s bridges have reopened.

The Holland Tunnel, connecting New Jersey and New York City, remains flooded.

Flights have now resumed at JFK and Newark Liberty airports, though the city’s LaGuardia airport remains closed. Nearly 20,000 flights were grounded by Sandy.

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Hurricane Sandy has caused enormous devastation across eastern America, leaving dozens of people dead and huge cities without power.

Residents on Long Island, New York, felt the wrath of Superstorm Sandy after it uprooted their massive oak tree, sending it crashing into a neighbors’ garden.

Capturing the freak accident on camera, Mathew Weinschreider, from Huntington, could only gasp in horror as the lawn heaved and the tree’s roots slowly emerged from the ground.

As the video shows, the lawn eventually opened, the roots broke through and the tree succumbed to the hurricane-force winds rattling the East Coast.

Fortunately for his family, the tree toppled away from their home and instead landed across a fence before smashing into a neighbor’s garden, narrowly avoiding their house.

Matthew Weinschreider’s garden was left covered with soil while next door’s filled with branches.

Only when one of the residents went outside to survey the damage could the sheer size of the felled tree be recognized, its raised roots dwarfing the man.

Residents on Long Island, New York, felt the wrath of Superstorm Sandy after it uprooted their massive oak tree, sending it crashing into a neighbors’ garden

Residents on Long Island, New York, felt the wrath of Superstorm Sandy after it uprooted their massive oak tree, sending it crashing into a neighbors’ garden

Matthew Weinschreider uploaded the video to YouTube, where it has already been viewed more than 60,000 times since Monday.

While falling trees have claimed scores of lives since Sandy came ashore, no one was injured in the incident in Huntington.

Hurricane Sandy landed in New York on Monday evening, terrorizing the area with 80 mph winds and storm surges that downed power lines, submerged homes with floodwater and sparked deadly car crashes.

The wind also snapped a crane in Manhattan, leaving it to dangle precariously above the Midtown West skyline, with officials too wary of the high winds to attempt to bring it down.

At least 26 of the 61 reported fatalities from the storm occurred in New York, with five on Long Island.

These included a motorcyclist who collided with a van after traffic lights stopped working, a car crash between a vehicle and a police car, a body washed up in East Hampton and two deaths by felled trees.

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New York Mayor’s Office and the NYPD shut down the Halloween Greenwich Village parade which normally weaves its route through the West Side neighborhood.

But it remains in complete darkness this evening, more than 24 hours after power was cut off to most of lower Manhattan during fierce winds and widespread flooding.

However, New Jersey Mayor Chris Christie today made good on his promise to make sure the Garden State was able to have Halloween and moved the holiday to November 5.

Chris Christie promised on Tuesday: “If conditions are not safe on Wednesday for trick-or-treating, I will sign an executive order rescheduling.”

“I’ve taken this action to minimize additional risks to lives and the public safety as we begin the process of rebuilding and recovering from Hurricane Sandy,” said Governor Chris Christie.

“In too many communities in our state, the damage and losses from this storm are still being sorted out, and dangerous conditions abound even as our emergency management and response officials continue their work.

“As Governor, it is my responsibility to use all available resources of the state government to protect against the emergency created by Hurricane Sandy – postponing Halloween celebrations by five days is a common sense and necessary step to accomplish that.”

New York Mayor's Office and the NYPD shut down the Halloween Greenwich Village parade

New York Mayor’s Office and the NYPD shut down the Halloween Greenwich Village parade

Meanwhile, New York City all out cancelled their annual event.

Organizers of the parade said: “We hope that everyone who would have come to the Parade is safe and that those who can volunteer to help out at one of the Emergency Outreach Centers near you. We will surely miss all of you!”

The parade, which would have begun at 6:30 p.m. on 6th Avenue, usually attracts up to 60,000 Halloween lovers in the most outrageous costumes.

More than 50 bands playing an eclectic range of music take part along with hundreds of dancers, artists and giant puppets.

The theme of this year’s parade was “Tick Tock”, tying in with the final year of the Mayan calendar which predicts the apocalypse.

Halloween looked likely to be an uncharacteristically somber affair as up and down the East Coast people come to terms with Sandy’s aftermath.

Across New York and Westchester, around 811,000 people were without power – with that number reaching a staggering eight million along the Eastern Seaboard.

The outages in Manhattan have been attributed to a huge explosion at an electrical substation, which blew up when it was apparently overwhelmed by floodwater.

Traveling around the city remains difficult as it would still be four to five days before limited operation could begin on the New York subway, according to Bloomberg, with some reports estimating it might take as long as 21 days for service to become fully functioning.

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President Barack Obama is visiting the state of New Jersey, to survey the devastation two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall nearby.

With Republican Governor Chris Christie, he is to meet rescue workers and residents in Atlantic City.

The massive cyclone killed at least 50 people across the north-eastern US and millions are still without power.

Some businesses and services reopened after a two-day forced closure, and Wall Street is trading again.

President Barack Obama has put campaigning on hold for a third day ahead of next Tuesday’s US election, as he directs the federal response to the storm.

Initial estimates suggest the cost of clearing up after the storm could total as much as $30-40 billion.

New Jersey’s Republican governor has lavishly praised the Democratic president for his leadership.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney cancelled campaign events during the height of the disaster, but was back on the trail on Wednesday in the crucial swing state of Florida.

Across the north-east, 6.2 million homes and businesses are without power because of the storm, says the US Department of Energy.

New York, which is also counting the cost of Sandy’s trail of destruction, is slowly getting on the move again.

Hurricane Sandy brought a record storm surge of almost 14 ft (4.2 m) to central Manhattan, well above the previous record of 10ft during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.

The unprecedented water levels brought blackouts across lower Manhattan and other parts of the city.

President Barack Obama is visiting the state of New Jersey, to survey the devastation two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall nearby

President Barack Obama is visiting the state of New Jersey, to survey the devastation two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall nearby

The New York Stock Exchange reopened on Wednesday, albeit on running on generator power. The Nasdaq was also back in business after two days’ closure.

Partial subway service is due to begin running on Thursday in New York City, which was paralyzed by chronic traffic gridlock in Wednesday’s rush hour.

Many bus services have already resumed, and most of the city’s bridges have re-opened.

Flights started arriving at JFK and Newark Liberty airports on Wednesday morning, but the city’s LaGuardia airport remains closed.

In New York City alone, at least 22 people were killed by the storm. Among those who died were:

  • Artur Kasprzak, 28, an off-duty police officer who was moving his relatives, including a 15-month-old baby, to the attic of their home in Staten Island. He died in the basement of his home as water flooded in
  • Lauren Abraham, 23, caught fire and burned to death after a live wire touched her as she tried to take pictures of a damaged power line outside her house in Queens
  • Jessie Streich-Kest, 24, and her friend Jacob Vogelman, 23, were killed by a falling tree as they walked Jessie’s dog, Max, in a Brooklyn park

In all, storm Sandy has claimed some 120 lives, after killing nearly 70 people as it hit the Caribbean.

Impoverished Haiti is facing severe food shortages after 70% of crops were destroyed by the storm, officials said.

Hurricane Sandy’s impact on US, in figures:

  • 50+ people killed
  • 6.2 million left without power
  • 139 mph – highest gust of wind – Mt Washington, New Hampshire
  • 12.55 in (31.88 cm) rainfall, Easton, Maryland
  • 13.88 feet (4.23 m) storm surge, Lower Manhattan
  • 7,000 reports of trees down in NY City
  • 29 hospitals lost power in New Jersey

Sources: New York Times, AP

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Donald Trump launched into a self-serving attack on President Barack Obama just hours after devastating Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast.

And as the city struggled to recover from a blackout, Donald Trump, 66, lashed out as he accused the President of using Sandy to win votes for next week’s election.

Donald Trump tweeted: “Not only giving out money, but Obama will be seen today standing in water and rain like he is a real President – don’t fall for it.

“Hurricane is good luck for Obama again- he will buy the election by handing out billions of dollars.”

After offering $5 million to charity in a bid to get Barack Obama to produce his college records and passport application in a desperate publicity stunt, Donald Trump today said he was extending the deadline until midday on Thursday due to the hurricane.

He tweeted: “Another great cause Obama could send my $5M donation to is a charity for 9/11 First Responders. They are American heroes.

“Don’t let Obama buy the election by handing out unlimited free money to states.”

He added: “Remember this: Obama wants to raise taxes, @MittRomney wants to lower taxes – need I say more.”

Donald Trump launched into a self-serving attack on President Barack Obama just hours after devastating Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast

Donald Trump launched into a self-serving attack on President Barack Obama just hours after devastating Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast

Donald Trump also boasted that Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan had stayed open last night during the storm, saying: “We are taking care of hundreds of people in the Trump Tower atrium – they are seeking refuge. Free coffee and food.”

And posting a picture on Facebook, he wrote: “People having a great time in the Trump Tower atrium – unlike others, I stayed open.”

He then boasted: “The Trump Tower atrium is such a great place & kept thousands of people warm & safe during the storm – thanks, staff.”

As a broken crane continues to dangle 90 stories above a luxury building on West 57th street, Donald Trump even found time to gripe: “I am the best builder but if that were my building with the crane mishap, I would have been lambasted from coast to coast.”

Even Donald Trump’s good friend Barbara Walters has made a plea for him to stop.

On The View last week, Donald Trump begged: “You and I have known each other for many years.

“And you know that I am your friend, and I think you are a brilliant businessman, and you are great on television, and you have a fascinating personality. Donald, you’re making a fool of yourself.

“You’re not hurting Obama. You’re hurting Donald, and that hurts me because you’re a decent man.

“Stop it. Get off it, Donald.”

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama last week joked that Donald Trump’s issue with him stemmed from a childhood feud in Kenya.

Donald Trump’s outpouring was met by general disdain from New Yorkers – including by model Chrissy Teigen, the fiancée of singer John Legend.

The stunning brunette tweeted today: “Finally unfollowed donald trump. my blood pressure skyrockets when he tweets and I will not allow him to have the pleasure any longer.”

Donald Trump was keen not to stop as he continued with his onslaught of tweets, writing: “The election is trending towards @MittRomney. Americans know we can’t afford another 4 years of the Obama economic decline.

“These last 4 years have not had a single quarter over 4% GDP. Obama has overseen the weakest economic recovery in American history.”

To add insult to injury, Donald Trump will inflict his views on the rest of America tonight when he appears on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

 

The New York Stock Exchange reopens for regular trading today (Wednesday, October 31st) after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.

The exchange said in a statement Tuesday that its building and trading floor are fully operational and that normal trading will resume at the usual starting time of 9:30 a.m.

There had been erroneous reports Monday that the exchange floor had flooded. Exchange spokesman Ray Pellecchia said the exchange’s building did not have any flooding or damage

Tuesday marks the first time since 1888 that the NYSE remained closed for two consecutive days because of weather. The earlier shutdown was caused by a massive snow storm.

Sections of Manhattan were inundated with water on Tuesday and power was shut off to millions of people and businesses up and down the East Coast.

Manhattan’s financial district was one of the hardest hit when Hurricane Sandy slammed New York Monday afternoon and through the night.

Initial reports that the exchange was three feet underwater were denied by a press spokesman.

“There has been no damage to our building or systems, and we will conduct tests with the industry today with the aim of reopening U.S. markets on Wednesday,” NYSE spokesman Ray Pellecchia said in a statement.

Though they would not go into specifics, a number of generators must be located onsite in order for the prospect of a Wednesday reopening to be considered, since lower Manhattan remains without power and will likely continue as such for as long as week, according to city power executives.

The closure has made several records in the history of the exchange, as Monday’s closing was the first time that the markets were formally shut since the days following the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Beyond that, it was the first time that it closed since Hurricane Gloria 27 years ago.

When today’s closure was announced it was became first time that the NYSE was closed for two consecutive days due to weather since 1888.

The New York Stock Exchange reopens for regular trading today after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy

The New York Stock Exchange reopens for regular trading today after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy

Like much of the city, the Exchange braced for the impact of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, lining up a sandbag barrier outside the building on iconic Wall Street.

Nasdaq officials began employing their contingency plans as soon as they came to the decision to close on Sunday around 10.30pm.

Traders were able to continue to complete a drastically-reduced level of orders electronically, as many banks have remote systems set up so that employees can work from home in crisis situations.

The New York Stock Exchange, which is a privately-held company in itself, keeps a secondary location up and running in case of emergency where all data is stored.

The problem there, however, is that the data centre is in Mahwah, New Jersey, which is dealing with potentially more structural damage than New York.

According to Wall Street and Tech, the centre boasts a supply of 28 megawatts of power, which equates to the amount used to power 4,500 residential homes.

Additionally NYSE spokesman Robert Rendine told The New York Times that they have a number of generators and sufficient fuel to power the site for at least one week if electricity does not return.

“I’m a little surprised that the exchanges couldn’t secure the technology needed to keep the market operating,” said Dominic Salvino, a trader from the Chicago Board Options Exchange told Bloomberg Businessweek.

“It seems unreasonable that the nation’s financial markets have to shut down just because everyone has located themselves within five miles of each other in New Jersey. A snow storm in Chicago wouldn’t shut down trading on the East Coast.”

The ripple effects are already being seen, as companies are postponing their quarterly earnings, which were scheduled to be released earlier this week.

According to CBS News, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and media conglomerate Thomson Reuters are two of the tardy reportees.

Dozens of companies have postponed earnings reports this week because of the storm, but Ford Motor Co. did release results for the third quarter that topped Wall Street expectations.

Ford’s revenue fell 3% to $32.1 billion because of the economic crisis in Europe and falling sales in South America. The company exceeded Wall Street’s revenue forecast of $31.5 billion largely because of North America, where revenue jumped 8%.

European stock markets rose broadly Tuesday after falling the day before. Trading was subdued in the wake of the storm. Britain’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.9%, Germany’s DAX rose 1.1 percent and the CAC-40 in France was 1.5% higher.

Crude oil rose 14 cents to settle at $85.68 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. bond trading was closed Tuesday.

Electronic trading for U.S. stock index futures was open, but trading volume was very light and the price moves were minuscule.

As of the regular close of trading at 9:15 a.m., Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 8 points to 13,062. S&P 500 futures added 3.50 points to 1,411.10. Nasdaq futures slipped 3.75 points to 2,655.25.

On Monday, when regular U.S. stock trading was also closed, stock index futures fell slightly.

 

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Experts have warned that it could take the New York City subway system three full weeks to come back online.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that the subway service would be shut down until Saturday or Sunday – a total closure of six to seven days.

But a group of Columbia University researchers analyzing the effects of a smaller hurricane or tropical storm suggest that it would shut down the subways for 21 days.

The predictions came in a report authored by Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist who specializes in disaster management, that examined the effects on the city’s transportation infrastructure of a 100-year storm.

And the model used a storm less powerful than a superstorm such as Sandy.

Limited bus service began again on Tuesday and was expected to expand throughout the week.

Experts have warned that it could take the New York City subway system three full weeks to come back online

Experts have warned that it could take the New York City subway system three full weeks to come back online

Trains stopped running at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday as the MTA preemptively closed down service for only the second time in its history.

The closure was an effort to secure the subway system against the impending storm, but massive damage came anyway.

The tunnels beneath the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn flooded and dozens of stations across the city were inundated by the storm surge that rose water levels by 13 feet.

Dr. Klaus Jacob and his researchers used a lesser storm as a model for their report – one that has only a one percent chance of happening in any given year.

A statement from the MTA on Monday said Hurricane Sandy was the worst disaster in the subway’s 108-year history.

Dr. Klaus Jacob’s report estimated that a hurricane hitting nearby could result in 1billion gallons of water flooding each of the subway’s 14 tunnels that run under the East River.

Each tunnel was expected to take at least five days to pump dry.

The study’s 21-day estimate includes the time Dr. Klaus Jacob predicted it would take city workers to bring the subway system back to 90% function.

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One week before a close election, Superstorm Sandy has confounded the presidential race, halted early voting in many areas and led some to ponder whether the election might even be postponed.

It could take days to restore electricity to more than 8 million homes and businesses that lost power when the storm pummeled the East Coast – leading experts to question whether the election can be put back from November 6th.

While the answer is of course yes in theory, the probability of the choice between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama being postponed is unlikely despite the devastating effect Hurricane Sandy had on 60 million people across the north-east, or one-sixth of the population.

But as the storm left its trail of destruction behind, even some of those intimately involved in the election seemed in the dark about what options are available to cope with the storm.

Asked Monday whether President Barack Obama had the power to reschedule the election, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he wasn’t sure.

However, constitutionally, the President doesn’t set the date for the election, Congress does.

Congress could act within the next week to change the date, but that would be tough because lawmakers are on recess and back home in their districts campaigning for re-election.

Plus, it’s likely that would mean changing the date for the entire country, not just those affected by the storm.

What’s more, Congress only selects the date for federal elections, so changing the date would wreak havoc for state and local elections also scheduled for November 6th.

Election Day could be postponed due to Hurricane Sandy

Election Day could be postponed due to Hurricane Sandy

“For those states that don’t already have an election emergency process in place, any departure from the established election process could easily give rise to court challenges about the legitimacy of the election,” said Steven Huefner, professor at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law to ABC News.

“Even states with an emergency plan might find themselves facing litigation over specific ways in which they’ve implemented their emergency plan.”

Some have asked if it is likely for the election to go ahead but to allow New Jersey and New York to vote at a different time afterwards.

That is possible, but the legal issues get tricky. States, by and large, are in charge of their own elections.

Each state has its own laws dealing with what to do if an emergency jeopardizes voting and who can make the call.

Federal law says that if a state fails to conduct an election for federal races on the day Congress chooses, the state legislature can pick a later date.

Nevertheless, experts told ABC News that even minor contingency arrangements, like keeping polls open longer in some precincts or moving polling locations, will probably lead to legal challenges and more provisional voting, which can delay election results.

But state and federal laws don’t always jive perfectly. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has said his state’s laws don’t grant him authority to reschedule the presidential election.

Despite no presidential election ever being postponed, some are pointing to past precedents where voting has been delayed.

New York City was holding its mayoral primary when terrorists struck on September 11, 2001, and the city rescheduled the election.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana’s governor postponed municipal elections in New Orleans after elections officials said polling places wouldn’t be ready.

However, what is most likely is a compromise for those affected by the havoc caused by the storm.

Voting hours could be extended at various locations and in places where electronic voting machines are in use, paper ballots could be used instead.

Some areas also might choose to move polling locations if existing ones are damaged, inaccessible or won’t have power on Election Day.

But even amending Election Day to accommodate the affected would create problems in themselves.

If poll hours are extended, under a 2002 law passed by Congress in response to the disputed 2000 presidential election, any voters who show up outside of regular hours must use provisional ballots, which are counted later and could be challenged.

Hurricane Sandy’s impact was felt in some of the most competitive states in the presidential race, including Virginia and Ohio.

The more provisional ballots that are cast, the greater the chances are that the winner won’t be known until days or even weeks after the election.

There’s another issue if poll hours are extended in some areas – such as counties with the worst storm damage – and not in others.

That could prompt lawsuits under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, said Edward Foley, an election law expert at The Ohio State University.

Relocating polling places is also risky because it could drive down turnout, said Neil Malhotra, a political economist at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

“If you disrupt their routine and the polling place they’ve always been going to, even if you don’t move it very far, they vote less,” he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s administrator, Craig Fugate, said Monday he anticipated the storm’s impact could linger into next week and affect the election.

He said FEMA would look at what support it could provide to states before the election.

“This will be led by the states,” Craig Fugate said.

 

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At least 50 people have died in the devastation wreaked by Superstorm Sandy – including two children killed instantly by a falling tree.

The children – named locally as Jack Baumler, 11, and Michael Robson, 13 – were crushed by the toppled tree as they played inside their home in Westchester County, New York state, at 6:45 p.m. on Monday.

Other fatalities include a woman who was electrocuted to death by falling wires on Manhattan’s 134th Street and a 29-year-old man who was killed in a car crash in Queens.

A man was crushed by a falling tree in Ulster County, New York State, and one death has been reported in Connecticut and two people were killed when their pick-up was crushed by a falling tree in New Jersey.

At least 50 people have died in the devastation wreaked by Superstorm Sandy, including two children killed instantly by a falling tree

At least 50 people have died in the devastation wreaked by Superstorm Sandy, including two children killed instantly by a falling tree

Police in Toronto said a woman was killed by a falling sign as high winds closed in on Canada’s largest city.

A 30-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on his house on 166th Street in Flushing, New York City.

Meanwhile a 62-year-old man was killed as he let his dog out on his porch in Oley, Pennsylvania.

An 8-year-old boy died when he was crushed by a falling tree in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

And a jogger was reportedly hospitalized after being crushed by a falling tree in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

 

The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was beginning to emerge as the death toll hit 50 and damage was expected to reach $50 billion.

As Frankestorm passed over the region, startling before-and-after pictures revealed what was left of the East Coast.

At first glance, New Jersey’s Mantoloking Bridge appeared to be completely different highways – until it becomes clear that just one solitary house was left standing.

Row after row of Atlantic vacation homes on the horizon were wiped out by the 900-mile storm following surging waters and winds which reached peaks of 95 mph.

The colossal scale of the devastation was mounting today as the death toll continued to rise – 50 people were dead in the wake of the storm but that number was expected to grow as rescue missions and clear-up continued.

The cost was originally estimated at around $20 billion but financial forecasters now expected it somewhere between $30 and $50 billion of damage.

Sandy will likely be among the ten costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. It would still be far below the worst – Hurricane Katrina, which cost $108 billion in 2005.

Insured losses were expected to reach up to $15 billion, according to NBC, before the additional toll of the damage done to uninsured buildings and infrastructure such as roads, bridges and transport systems.

However, experts said a slightly slower economy in the coming weeks will likely be matched by reconstruction and repairs that will contribute to growth over time.

Some of those losses won’t be easily made up. Restaurants that lose two or three days of business, for example, won’t necessarily experience a rebound later. And money spent to repair a home may lead to less spending elsewhere.

The storm cut power to more than eight million homes and shut down 70% of East Coast oil refineries. It inflicted worse-than-expected damage in the New York metro area – which produces about 10% of economic output in the U.S.

President Barack Obama, who will visit New Jersey tomorrow, declared the storm as a “major disaster” as submerged streets were littered with debris and downed power lines, homes were razed and a tanker had washed ashore.

Mantoloking Bridge leads to the Jersey Shore village of Brick Township, home to more than 76,100 people. Dozens of people have been rescued from roofs of properties where areas were flooded with at least 6 ft of seawater.

The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was beginning to emerge as the death toll hit 50 and damage was expected to reach $50 billion

The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was beginning to emerge as the death toll hit 50 and damage was expected to reach $50 billion

Barack Obama will join New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday for a helicopter tour of the ravaged state.

At press conference on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. EST Governor Chris Christie said: “It was an overwhelming afternoon for me – very emotional for a boy who was brought up in this state.”

He pledged to rebuild the Jersey Shore but said that a lot of it had been washed into the sea. Chris Christie confirmed that six had died in the state and told residents of the Garden State to “hang in”. He added that he didn’t want to guess the cost of the damage but believed it would run into billions.

New Jersey’s barrier islands were hit directly as Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Monday night and were left with colossal damage due to their exposed location on the open ocean.

The gambling mecca of Atlantic City was battered by the storm with the historic boardwalk left in splinters after it was smashed by waves and torn up by the wind. The city’s mayor Lorenzo Langford was denounced by Governor Chris Christie after he advised people not to evacuate and 500 had remained in flimsy shelters, only a block from the beach.

Chris Christie said on Monday that the decision was “stupid and selfish” because the precarious location of Atlantic City would place rescue workers in danger.

He said: “I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered in Atlantic City, and I guess my anger has turned to sympathy for those folks, and we’re in the midst now of trying to go in and save them.”

The Jersey Shore appeared completely flattened in the before-and-after shots. And in Hoboken, an entire fleet of New York city’s iconic yellow cabs were almost entirely submerged by flood waters.

Around 120 miles to the south-west, New York City had its own pictorial record of the devastation.

A ferocious fire in Breezy Point, Queens, destroyed 111 homes. The New York Fire Department battled to save houses in a neighborhood that is home to hundreds of their fellow firefighters, plunging into neck-deep water and fighting winds to reach the raging inferno.

In Dumbo, Brooklyn, the painstakingly restored Jane’s Carousel, which is a popular tourist attraction in the area, was badly damaged by flood waters and cut off on its own little island in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, roared ashore with fierce winds and heavy rain on Monday at 8:00 p.m. EST and forced evacuations, shut down transport and interrupted the presidential campaign.

New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air. The superstorm overflowed the city’s waterfront, flooded the financial district, subway tunnels and cut power to hundreds of thousands. Power is expected to be fully restored in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days.

The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading on Wednesday after being shut down for two days.

Most homeowners who suffered losses from flooding won’t be able to benefit from their insurance policies.

Standard homeowner policies don’t cover flood damage, and few homeowners have flood insurance.

But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they will offer help to borrowers whose homes were damaged or destroyed, who live in designated disaster areas and whose loans the mortgage giants own or guarantee.

Among other steps, mortgage servicers will be allowed to reduce the monthly payments of affected homeowners or require no payments from them temporarily.

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Businesses and services in the north-eastern US are expected to start re-opening on Wednesday after two days of closure forced by Hurricane Sandy.

Some airports, government buildings, schools and the New York Stock Exchange are due to return to business.

But many homes still have no power and the New York subway will remain shut. More than 40 people are dead.

President Barack Obama, who has suspended his election campaign, is due to visit affected areas in New Jersey.

The cost of clearing up after storm Sandy has been estimated at $30-40 billion.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “We have not seen damage like this in a generation.”

The storm is still causing severe disruption after moving inland from the coast. It is forecast to weaken as it turns north into Canada, but to continue dumping heavy snow and rainfall.

At least 22 people were killed in New York City alone.

JFK and Newark Liberty – two of the New York area’s three main airports – were scheduled to open for a limited service on Wednesday, but severe delays were expected after the cancellation of more than 18,000 flights across the affected area.

The New York Stock Exchange says it will also re-open after two days’ closure, as will the Nasdaq exchange. The last time the stock exchange shut down for two days was in 1888.

Businesses and services in the north-eastern US are expected to start re-opening on Wednesday after two days of closure forced by Hurricane Sandy

Businesses and services in the north-eastern US are expected to start re-opening on Wednesday after two days of closure forced by Hurricane Sandy

New York’s subway system sustained the worst damage in its 108-year history, said Joseph Lhota, head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Subway tunnels were flooded and electrical equipment will have to be cleaned before the network can re-open.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was “no timeline” for when the subway would restart, but he hoped buses could begin running again on Wednesday.

Trams and ferries were resuming services, but most of New York’s bridges remain closed.

Across the north-east, at least eight million homes and businesses are without power because of the storm, says the US Department of Energy.

Sandy brought a record storm surge of almost 14 ft (4.2 m) to central Manhattan, well above the previous record of 10 ft during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.

Maryland appeared to have the worst of the rain and snow – with falls of 12.5 in (32 cm) and 28 in respectively.

President Barack Obama was due to tour disaster areas in New Jersey on Wednesday with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Chris Christie, a Republican and staunch supporter of Mitt Romney, went out of his way to praise the Democratic president for his handling of the storm.

“I spoke to the president three times yesterday,” Chris Christie told CNN.

“He’s been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state and not once did he bring up the election… If he’s not bringing it up, I’m certainly not going to bring it up.”

Mitt Romney resumed low-key campaigning on Tuesday, converting a rally into a storm relief event in the swing state of Ohio.

In other developments:

• US federal agencies in Washington DC will re-open on Wednesday

• Fire destroyed about 50 homes in the New York City borough of Queens

• More than 200 patients were evacuated from New York University’s Tisch Hospital after power went out and a backup generator failed

• Three nuclear reactors have been closed due to electrical supply and cooling system problems; a fourth was put on alert because of rising water.

In all, storm Sandy has claimed well over 100 lives, after killing nearly 70 people as it hit the Caribbean.

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It seems not everyone in Hurricane Sandy’s path has been paying attention to the storm warnings.

A significant number of foolhardy north-easterners are apparently refusing to follow orders – and instead are doing their best to get as close as possible to the hurricane’s effects.

Whether they are hanging out on piers which are threatened with destruction, or taking photographs of towering waves, these brave souls show little regard for their personal safety.

More worryingly, some seem to be putting their children in harm’s way too, with several images of youngsters playing on the very beaches which are expected to bear the brunt of the attacks.

And the pictures also bear witness to the willingness of some to ignore evacuation orders, with natives of New York’s City Island staying put even as the storm surge reaches as far as their homes.

Hurricane Sandy has impacted the East Coast with surging waves, torrential rain and winds of up to 90 mph – leaving 1.5 million people without power.

As Hurricane Sandy slams into New Jersey, where the water has already reached five feet high, hundreds of thousands of people across Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia are without power.

A significant number of foolhardy north-easterners are apparently refusing to follow orders ahead of Hurricane Sandy

A significant number of foolhardy north-easterners are apparently refusing to follow orders ahead of Hurricane Sandy

Utilities company ConEd had called customers to warn it will shut off power lines across Manhattan and Brooklyn, meaning millions more will be affected. The company shut off power in 200,000 homes in the area in last year’s Hurricane Irene – but this year’s storm packs a much fiercer punch.

Sandy, which forecasters said could be the largest hurricane in U.S. history, has revealed the first signs of her monstrous power, dumping snow, breaching rivers and forcing floodwaters into towns.

During a press conference at lunchtime on Monday, Barack Obama said: “Do not delay. Don’t pause. Don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequences.”

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was even more forceful, saying: “If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you.”

He was particularly insistent that thrill-seekers should not risk their lives by trying to take advantage of the record waves.

Despite the warning, one man was pictured surfing just off Coney Island in Brooklyn.

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Halloween celebrations could be cancelled in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as it was deemed unsafe to go trick or treating.

Governor Chris Christie announced on his Twitter account on Monday night that if the ferocious winds and high waters continued, he would declare it unsafe for residents to take part in celebrations.

Chris Christie said: “If conditions are not safe on Wednesday for Trick or Treating, I will sign an Executive Order rescheduling.”

New Jersey was battered by Storm Sandy as it made landfall in the south of the state with winds of up to 85 mph.

More than 750,000 were left without power in New Jersey with authorities warning residents to stay off wind-swept and flooded roads. Atlantic City’s historic boardwalk had suffered significant damage.

Halloween celebrations could be cancelled in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as it was deemed unsafe to go trick or treating

Halloween celebrations could be cancelled in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as it was deemed unsafe to go trick or treating

Public transport, airports and schools remained closed today while rescue workers and power companies waited to assess the extent of the damage as it neared daylight on the East Coast.

Governor Chris Christie had held a press conference at 5:30 p.m. on Monday shortly before Sandy smashed into the coastline. In typically blunt style he said: “For those of you who… decided it was a better idea to wait this out than to evacuate, and for those elected officials who decided to ignore my admonition, this is now your responsibility.”

Chris Christie said Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford erred by allowing people to shelter on the barrier island rather than moving them inland.

He warned those who had not evacuated to take shelter and ride out the storm as rescue operations had been suspended until daylight Tuesday.

The governor had said earlier in the day that those who did not heed evacuation orders were putting themselves and rescue workers in harm’s way, calling them “stupid and selfish”.

Hurricane Sandy was thought to have caused $20 billion of damage and left 17 dead up to now.

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Nearly 200 heroic firefighters battled an uncontrollable blaze that tore through 50 homes in the Rockaways, Queens, trapping people between flooded streets and towering flames.

The New York City firefighters waded through chest-deep water and paddled boats towards the inferno, scaling walls to help families out through windows.

Floods stopped fire engines getting anywhere near the cluster of burning apartments, after the inferno was sparked by downed power lines at 11:00 p.m. last night.

Firefighters were still fighting to contain the flames at 5am.

The six-alarm fire – a rating system indicating it is dangerously serious – was whipped into a frenzy by wild winds.

Firefighters used ladders to help get 70 people to the little high ground that was left on the peninsula.

The authorities said the blaze had engulfed 15 homes, but WABC put the figure much higher, at 50.

Nearly 200 heroic firefighters battled an uncontrollable blaze that tore through 50 homes in the Rockaways, Queens

Nearly 200 heroic firefighters battled an uncontrollable blaze that tore through 50 homes in the Rockaways, Queens

Firefighter Michael Parrella told the New York Times that the area was “probably the most flooded part of the city”.

The precarious Rockaway peninsula is a narrow strip of land that juts between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay.

The entire area, which has 130,000 residents, was in the city’s mandatory evacuation zone, but dozens decided to stay and weather the storm.

After power went out about 6: 0 p.m. last night, downed power lines sparked a pair of dangerous fires in Rockaway Park and Breezy Point.

These spread rapidly, engulfing house after house in the densely-packed bedroom community.

“The Rockaways are devastated,” wrote Twitter user @KevinNeafsey.

“I can’t believe the place that I grew up in looks like this after today, it’s so incredibly sad.”

NYC ARECS (Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service) said that police in the 100th Precinct station house in the area were trapped on the building’s second floor.

“What we have seen here is absolutely devastating,” said ABC News producer Jim DeBreuil.

At Rockaway Park, a crew of Fire Department of New York special operations firefighters found themselves stranded on the last dry ground in the neighborhood.

They took a small boat into the heart of the fire and carried 30 people to safety.

In Breezy Point, 140 firefighters rescued 40 people. They were only able to fight the inferno and stop its spread when the storm had receded

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