Sandy Kills 50+; Flights Canceled; Power Issues Continue
The death toll continues to rise and the scope of the devastation from Sandy is still being calculated.
At least 50 deaths have been linked to Sandy. Many of the victims were killed by trees uprooted by the superstorm.
Forecasters say it's turning from Pennsylvania into western New York, where it's expected to dump more rain. The effects of the storm have been felt from North Carolina to New England, from Michigan to the mountains of West Virginia. Waves on Lake Michigan topped 20 feet, and more than a foot of snow has fallen in West Virginia.
On the East Coast, it will be days before power and subway service can be restored in New York, where tunnels were flooded and parts of the electrical system were damaged by flood waters. Sandy, combined with a high tide, sent water over sea walls and into low-lying portions of Manhattan and other parts of the city.
In New Jersey, water is where it shouldn't be -- in housing developments, the streets of coastal communities and inside businesses. Landmarks, amusement park rides and boats are battered or misplaced. Gov. Chris Christie says what he saw during a helicopter tour was "unthinkable." He's to take another tour on Wednesday with President Barack Obama.
Millions are without power because of the storm. More than 8.2 million households in 17 states lost power.
Amtrak says it will resume some service in the Northeast on Wednesday, but flooded train tunnels continue to prevent service to and from New York's Penn Station.
The railroad said late Tuesday that modified service between Newark, N.J., and points south will resume on Wednesday. That includes restoring Virginia service to Lynchburg, Richmond and Newport News, Keystone trains in Pennsylvania and Downeaster service between Boston and Portland, Maine.
However, Amtrak said in a statement that the amount of water in train tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers is unprecedented, preventing service to New York. There will be no Northeast Regional service between New York and Boston and no Acela Express service for the entire length of the Northeast Corridor. No date has been set for resumption of service.
President Barack Obama is warning the public that the massive storm that struck the East Coast "is not yet over."
The president says there are still risks of flooding and downed power lines. He called the storm "heartbreaking for the nation."
The president offered his thoughts and prayers to those affected and told them "America is with you." He said he also told government officials coordinating the response that there was "no excuse for inaction."
And he said he told governors in affected areas that if they get no for an answer, "they can call me personally at the White House."
Obama is speaking during a stop Tuesday at Red Cross headquarters. He planned to stay in Washington through Wednesday, scrapping three straight days of campaigning to deal with the storm.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says most of New York City's bridges are reopening and buses will begin running by 5 p.m. on a limited schedule.
But the governor says fully restoring the flood-damaged subway system could be a "yeoman's" undertaking.
Transit officials said today that several of the train tubes beneath the East River remain flooded. The chairman of the transportation authority says officials have a goal of trying to restart parts of the subway system as soon as possible. But it's too early to tell when that might happen, or how badly the submerged tunnels have been damaged.
The condition of critical electrical equipment in those tunnels is still unknown.
One subway station in lower Manhattan still has water up to the ceiling.
Consolidated Edison says power will be restored everywhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days, but it could be at least a week for other boroughs and Westchester County because power is delivered to those areas largely using overhead lines.
Repairing those lines is more labor intensive.
On Tuesday morning, ConEd said that 337,000 customers were without power in the two boroughs. There were 442,000 without power in the boroughs of Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Westchester County following Hurricane Sandy.
ConEd cut power to some neighborhoods served by underground lines as the advancing storm surge from Hurricane Sandy threatened to flood substations. Floodwaters later led to explosions that disabled a substation in Lower Manhattan, cutting power tens of thousands of customers south of 39th Street.
Authorities in northern New Jersey say the body of an unidentified man has been pulled out of the Hackensack River, which overflowed its banks and swamped two towns.
The body was recovered Tuesday from the river in the city of Hackensack.
Superstorm Sandy triggered a tidal surge that sent the river and its tributaries overflowing its banks during the middle of the night.
The towns of Moonachie and Little Ferry just to the south of Hackensack both suffered heavy flooding. Rescues of stranded residents continued Tuesday afternoon.
Bergen County officials say flooding also occurred along the river in Hackensack but was less severe than downriver.
Sandy has wrecked boardwalks up and down the New Jersey coast. Several were almost completely destroyed. Others were partly damaged.
At Seaside Heights, a pier is wrecked and a roller coaster is partially submerged in the ocean. Several northernmost blocks of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, which was the first in the nation, also were destroyed.
A bridge in Ocean County is closed due to parts of destroyed houses that had floated onto it.
Authorities say more than 20 fires were raging during the storm late last night in Ocean County, with firefighters unable to reach some right away because of flooding.
Superstorm Sandy has grounded more than 15,000 flights across the Northeast and the globe. It could be days before some passengers can get where they want to go.
According to flight-tracking service FlightAware, more than 6,000 flights were canceled today. That brings the tally of flights canceled because of the storm to more than 15,000. By this morning, more than 500 flights scheduled for Wednesday also were canceled.
The three big New York airports were closed today by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Stewart International Airport remained open, but airlines had suspended operations there.
New York has the nation's busiest airspace, with about one-quarter of all U.S. flights traveling to or from there each day. So cancelations here can dramatically impact travel in other cities.
Delays rippled across the U.S., affecting travelers in cities from San Francisco to Atlanta. Others attempting to fly out of Europe and Asia also were stuck.
Flight cancelations surpass those of a major winter storm in early 2011 that forced 14,000 flights to be scrapped over four days.
The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading Wednesday 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.
Tuesday marks the first time since 1888 that the NYSE remained closed for two consecutive days due to weather. The last time was due to a massive snow storm.
Sections of Manhattan were inundated with water and power was shut off to thousands of people and businesses.
Global markets rebounded Tuesday, though trading was subdued in the wake of the storm.
Many homeowners who suffered losses because of flooding from Hurricane Sandy are likely to find themselves out of luck. Standard homeowners policies don't cover flooding damage, and the vast majority of homeowners don't have flood insurance.
Yet it's likely that many Northeasterners will purchase it in coming months, hoping they'll be covered the next time around, at a cost averaging around $600 a year.
That's what happened after Hurricane Irene triggered flooding across 13 Eastern states in August 2011. An annual survey by the insurance industry found that flood coverage in the Northeast rose to 14% of homeowners this year from 5% before Irene hit.
The head of the industry's Insurance Information Institute attributes the jump to Irene, which hit many inland areas where flooding is historically uncommon.
Parts of West Virginia and some neighboring states have seen blizzard conditions today, as wet snow and high winds spin off the edge of superstorm Sandy.
The National Weather Service reports a foot or more of snow in lower elevations of West Virginia, while some mountain areas are getting more than two feet. A blizzard warning for more than a dozen counties is in effect until tomorrow afternoon.
West Virginia's governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, says the roofs of at least three homes collapsed under the weight of heavy snow. No injuries were reported.
Authorities closed nearly 50 miles of Interstate 68 on either side of the West Virginia-Maryland state line for hours early today because of blizzard conditions and stuck vehicles.
Maryland State Police say several tractor-trailers jackknifed on a stretch of the highway over a mountain, causing about 200 vehicles to back up behind them. (AP)
AT&T wireless customers can make a $10 donation by texting to the following non- profit organizations:
REDCROSS to 90999 to support the American Red Cross
STORM to 80888 to help the Salvation Army
HUMANE to 80888 to give to the American Humane Society
Customers who would like to contribute more can text up to five times for a total donation of $50.There are no fees for texting to donate, and customers will be charged via their monthly AT&T bill. AT&T donates 100% of the proceeds to the charities.
Customers with prepaid wireless accounts who donate will see the charges deducted from their prepaid account balances.
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:59 AM EDT2013-05-23 06:59:26 GMT
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