The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

October 30, 2012

Sandy pummels East Coast, swamps New York

— After days of dire warning, the densely populated Eastern Seaboard felt the first bite of a massive storm that snapped trees, ripped down power lines and flooded streets across the region on Monday.

From North Carolina to New England, the coastal states were buttoned up as the big and uniquely formed storm system gained its first hold over land since killing almost 70 people in the Caribbean.

New York City was hit hard, with an unprecedented nine-foot storm surge conspiring with rivers already overflowing their banks. Streets flooded in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, runways at LaGuardia International Airport were underwater and a big construction crane snapped atop a skyscraper being built in Midtown. Four feet of water had flooded some city subways, raising fears they would cripple the system for days.

Late Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said backup power had been lost at New York University hospital and the city was working to move people out, the Associated Press reported. The storm had killed at least one city resident, a man who died when a tree fell on his home in the Flushing section of Queens, according to the wire service.

With the storm expected to linger longer than most, virtually everything in and around Washington, D.C., was to shut down for a second day on Tuesday. The federal workforce and public employees in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia were told to stay home again. Schools in the District and adjoining states closed.

No flights were expected Tuesday at the Washington region's three airports. Amtrak service north of the District was not expected to resume at least until Wednesday. Tens of thousands of homes lost power.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, D, said his state was "in the crosshairs" of a storm that "is going to . . . sit on Maryland and bear down on Maryland for a good 24 to 36 hours."

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