Northeast Paralyzed by Sandy's Surge

Millions Lose Power, 13 Killed as Storm Swamps Region

Battered: The record surge from Sandy swamped lower Manhattan as the massive storm wreaked havoc up and down the East Coast.
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Battered: The record surge from Sandy swamped lower Manhattan as the massive storm wreaked havoc up and down the East Coast.

By Reuters

Published October 30, 2012.
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Millions of people in the eastern United States awoke on Tuesday to flooded homes, fallen trees and widespread power outages caused by the giant storm Sandy, which swamped New York City’s subway system and submerged streets in Manhattan’s financial district.

At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country, which dropped just below hurricane status before making landfall on Monday night in New Jersey.

More than 1 million people in a dozen states were under orders to evacuate as the massive system plowed westward.

One disaster forecasting company predicted economic losses could ultimately reach $20 billion, only half insured.

The storm interrupted the presidential campaign a week before Election Day and closed U.S. financial markets for two days.

Sandy, which was especially imposing because of its wide-ranging winds, brought a record storm surge of almost 14 feet (4.2 meters) to downtown Manhattan, well above the previous record of 10 feet (3 meters) during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.

Water poured into the subway system and tunnels that course under the city, raising concerns that the world’s financial capital could be hobbled for days.

“Hitting at high tide, the strongest surge and the strongest winds all hit at the worst possible time,” said Jeffrey Tongue, a meteorologist for the weather service in Brookhaven, New York.

Hurricane-force winds as high as 90 miles per hour (145 kph) were recorded, he said.


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