News & Politics

13 Dead, Millions Without Power as East Coast Awakes to Massive Hurricane Sandy Damage

Hurricane Sandy made a huge splash across the East Coast, hitting Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and more.

A car sits in a flooded street of Ocean City, Maryland, as Hurricane Sandy nears landfall in the area.

Hurricane Sandy made its impact felt across the East Coast, with Americans waking up to no power, flooding on the streets and death and destruction in their neighborhoods.

Power outages impacted the most amount of people. News outlets report that 7.6 million suffered from power outages as a result of the powerful hurricane. New Jersey was the state hit hardest, as 1.2 million residents lost power. Some residents of Rhode Island, South Carolina and Kentucky also had to endure a lack of power.

New York and New Jersey residents woke up to flooded streets in some neighborhoods. In Lower Manhattan, “the East River rose over South Street and flooded into Wall Street, where cars were inundated — and some appeared to be floating,” The New York Times reports this morning. “North and east, Avenue C was flooded with water pouring in from the East River. Cars could be seen floating south,” while Red Hook in Brooklyn suffered through flooding as well.

The storm also took the lives of 13 people across the U.S., with 5 of the dead from New York City. This is in addition to the 51 dead in Haiti as a result of Hurricane Sandy. One person also died in Canada. Meanwhile, a hospital at New York University had to be evacuated due to the failure of a power generator that was running in place of regular electricity. “About 200 patients, roughly 45 of whom are critical care patients, were moved out of NYU via private ambulance with the assistance of the New York Fire Department, city officials said,” according to ABC News. And firefighters in Breezy Point, Queens were battling a massive fire that destroyed 50 homes, while a building facade and a crane collapsed in two separate instances earlier in the day.

The subway system in New York City was hit hard, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was busy getting ready for the massive work ahead to restore service. “The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region,” said MTA president Joseph J. Lhota in a statement posted on the MTA’s website. “ It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots.” Thousands of flights have been canceled, and the four major area airports were shuttered.

Away from the glare of constant media attention, though, was West Virginia, a state also hit hard by the storm. “Wet snow and high winds spinning off the edge of superstorm Sandy spread blizzard conditions over parts of West Virginia and neighboring Appalachian states Tuesday, shutting one interstate and knocking out power to many,” the Associated Press reported. More than a foot of snow blanketed the state, and  “more than 128,000 customers in West Virginia were without power early Tuesday.”


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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