President Obama declares disaster in NY State
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Sixteen people have been reported dead and the cost of material damage from Hurricane Sandy is being estimated at $20 billion, reports Bloomberg, after the mammoth storm hit land just after being downgraded to a non-tropical storm. It “which was reclassified as a nontropical storm because of its unusual dynamics,” according to the Washington Post. President Barack Obama has declared a major emergency in the state of New York.
The BBC reports that more tha 90cm of snow is expected in W Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, in the Appalachian mountains.
The storm is now heading north and west towards Canada.
Sandy, being called one of the biggest storms the US has even seen, continues to batter the east coast of the US. An estimated 7.5 million people have lost power for varying times, with some 6 million remaining without power early Tuesday in New York, according to the New York Times. “Earlier, a construction crane atop one of the tallest buildings in the city came loose and dangled 80 stories over West 57th Street, across the street from Carnegie Hall,” the newspaper notes, in reporting on the extent of the damage.
The storm hit land in New Jersey, with 80 mph winds.
Wide-ranging high winds have caused a record surge of 4.2 metres in Manhattan, reports Reuters, citing the National Weather Service, “well above the previous record of 10 feet (3 meters) during Hurricane Donna in 1960″. Water has poured into parts of the city’s subway system, evacuated before the storm hit.
Travel advisories are being provided by the BBC, given the high number of cancelled flights in and out of coastal cities.