South African expats in U.S. on edge as Sandy kicks up a fuss

2012-10-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The nerves of South African expats living in the path of Hurricane Sandy in the U.S. were yesterday stretched tight as they waited for the huge storm to make landfall.

It was expected to come ashore in the late afternoon (after midnight SA time) in New Jersey, and winds were already at hurricane strength along the coast hours before that.

Capetonian Marlynne Marlow, who lives in Princeton, New Jersey, told sister paper Die Burger that people were nervous because they did not know what to expect.

“We aren’t all going to run to the cellar, but some people are saying the East Coast will be totally destroyed,” she said.

Storm surges had flooded coastal areas and 700 000 people were without power, with millions more expected to be in the dark for days.

In New York City, where 375 000 were instructed to evacuate, water was already washing over the seawalls surrounding Manhattan.

Former Paarl man Joachim Jacobs said people stripped grocery stores of water, candles and non-perishable food on Sunday. He said the same warnings were given last year for Hurricane Irene, which turned out to be less vicious than expected.

“If it is as bad as they say, I’ll have to go to a shelter,” he said.

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