Communities are cleaning up and down the east coast of the United States in the aftermath of “Superstorm” Sandy’s crossing onto land yesterday.
There have been 18 storm-related deaths reported so far in New York with 43 recorded across the whole of the United States so far.
On Tuesday night, a weaker (though still large) Sandy is situated over Pennsylvania, producing high intensity winds and large amounts of snow in neighbouring states like West Virginia.
A rare combination of high tides due to a full moon and a cold trough coming down from the north gave Sandy its ‘super-storm’ status.
At the height of the storm, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy issued a “Katrina-like warning” on national television. Malloy told people who had decided to stay in their homes, if surrounded by water, to move to a higher part of the house – including the roof.
In the New York borough of Queens, fires caused by downed powerlines and spread by high winds wiped out whole neighbourhoods.
Ronnie, an Australian who lives and works in Manhattan, said he lost power during the night and some on the Lower East Side of the island have been told they may be without power for a further six days.
Almost everyone south of Midtown Manhattan had their electricity cut when a substation exploded on the east side.
Some of the city’s bridges are slowly being reopened. All tunnels under the East River will remain closed.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it may also be another five days before the subway is back up and running again.
Some luxury cruise ships were stranded out at sea, up and down the east coast.
Disney’s luxury cruise ship, Fantasy tried to make a dash into port. Failing to make land in time, it was caught up just off the coast of Florida. The ship suffered broken windows and merchandise.
Holiday goers received as compensation 25 per cent off their next cruise with Disney. Many were unhappy with the offer and were quick to vent on the company’s Facebook page.
One not-so-luxury ship, the HMS Bounty, sank when onboard pumps failed to work. Crew were forced to abandon the ship when it began to take on water.
Of the 16 crew, 14 were pulled from the ocean by helicopter, two are still missing. The replica tall ship was used in the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
According to the US Federal Communications Commission, one-in-four people in affected areas are without mobile phone, internet or broadband coverage, including some emergency 911 call centres.
Sandy passed through the Caribbean late last week where it claimed 65 lives. Almost 80 per cent of those were recorded in Haiti.
– Louis Miles
Cover photo, courtesy of MichaelTappPhotography.com