News24

New York flooded as Sandy wreaks havoc

2012-10-30 07:02

New York - Monster storm Sandy swept a wall of churning sea water and driving rain onto the eastern United States late on Monday, flooding the heart of downtown New York and leaving at least 13 dead.

Seawater coursed between the iconic skyscrapers of New York's financial district in lower Manhattan, flooding subways and road tunnels and shorting out the power grid, plunging hundreds of thousands into darkness.

Further south, vast swathes of the eastern seaboard found themselves under water and on inland mountains as Sandy's rain-heavy clouds had merged with a cold weather front to dump tons of snow on higher ground.

The catastrophe completely overshadowed the US election race, forcing a halt to campaigning just eight days before Americans are due to go to the polls to choose between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.

Landfall

Hurricane Sandy had killed 67 people as it tore through the Caribbean, and reports of more deaths began to arrive after it made landfall at 20:00 (00:00 GMT) in New Jersey and began to wreak havoc in the United States.

Local officials in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 13 dead in storm related incidents, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris.

Authorities warned the threat to life and property was "unprecedented" and ordered hundreds of thousands of residents in areas from New England to North Carolina to evacuate their homes and seek shelter.

The National Hurricane Centre said wind speeds inside Sandy dropped as the storm became a post-tropical cyclone, but remained hurricane-force at 120km per hour after making landfall near casino resort Atlantic City.

Falling trees dragged down power cables, plunging millions of homes into darkness as night fell, while storm warnings cut rail links and marooned tens of thousands of travellers at airports across the region.

A nuclear power plant in New Jersey declared an alert as waters rose.

The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, just north of Atlantic City, was already on a scheduled outage as Sandy made landfall, and the industry regulator said there was no immediate danger.

"Water level is rising in the intake structure due to a combination of a rising tide, wind direction and storm surge," the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, adding that inspectors were working with the firm to ensure safety.

Floodwaters

"Hurricane-force winds are expected to gradually spread across southern New England and mid-Atlantic states from Connecticut southwards to New Jersey and Delaware," the National Hurricane Centre warned.

"The combination of an extremely dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters."

Barometric pressure in the heart of the storm dropped to only 940 millibars, on course to break records for low pressure in the region.

"The most important message to the public I have right now is: 'please listen to what your state and local officials are saying.' When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate," Obama said.

Disaster estimating firm Eqecat forecast that Sandy would affect more than 60 million Americans, a fifth of the population, and cause up to $20bn in damage.

Refineries closed and major arteries such New York's Holland Tunnel were shut to traffic. The operator of two major New Jersey nuclear plants said they might have to be closed, threatening half the state's power supply.

The New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the futures markets in Chicago were closed for Monday and Tuesday, along with federal government offices and the entire Amtrak rail network on the eastern seaboard.

Election

"The election will take care of itself next week," Obama said. "Right now, our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives... and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track."

Both the Democratic incumbent and his Republican rival Romney were keen to display resolute leadership in the face of the storm, given the memory of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Romney also cancelled some appearances.

Former president George W Bush was widely seen as having bungled the handling of Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. The failure of authorities in the ensuing emergency response tainted the rest of his presidency.

Obama has signed emergency declarations to free up federal disaster funds for New York State, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

- Are you there or do you know people there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Comments
  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-10-30 07:05

    Look on the bright side, infrastructure spending will rise and create jobs.

      louwc - 2012-10-30 09:06

      People died mate! Have a heart...

  • thunder.clap.587 - 2012-10-30 07:08

    Old York City...Everything else was history

  • Abdul Motala - 2012-10-30 07:20

    were is drone

      arm.witmens - 2012-10-30 07:39

      where is your brain?

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-10-30 08:31

      If you call South Africa the rainbow nation you have not been to New York... NY is a melting pot of Whites, Blacks, Yellows & Greens.. All religions represented all nationalities without prejudice. Those that hate NY have are those brainwashed to hate everything western. funny they don’t even comprehend that the huge Muslim community of NY is in the same boat as the Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhist, atheists and the rest of the 12 million residence. I hope the damage is limited to this amazing city... in my thoughts for the next 24 hours.

      brian.connell.18 - 2012-10-30 08:48

      Abdul ..... huh? What is the question? In English this time please, with contextual background and a dash of intelligence. Thanks.

      goldwright - 2012-10-30 14:20

      @moses - well done, your comment is probably the most sensible one when regarding these fanatical people like Abdul, who think that New York and America, somehow "deserve" these huge destructive storms. All it goes to show, is that we are at the mercy of nature and we have to cope as best we can when it does hit, regardless of where we live in the world, from dealing with major storms to drought.

  • cheslyn.ribberts - 2012-10-30 07:20

    New york we are praying for u

      diana.gill.18 - 2012-10-30 08:08

      If even i was a believer i wouldnt waste my prayers on yanks.

  • lunga.matsikechangu - 2012-10-30 07:23

    Not even the americans can defeat nature let alone change it. Sorr for the poor dead

      jurgen.eksteen - 2012-10-30 07:50

      Just as a matter of interest ... I wonder how much of a disruption would be caused to Sandy if they dropped a nuke at a key point.

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-10-30 07:31

    Swem Jannie, swem... October Surprise to save Obama's campaign?

  • luvnicer - 2012-10-30 07:37

    I'm feeling sorry to those who lost their lives nd their families..but ppl can be naïve nd stubborn sometimes,they have been warned nd told to evacuate but most refused

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-30 09:36

      I'm feeling sorry for the stressed out, under-staffed emergency teams that have to contend with stubborn people, putting the rescuers' lives in as much danger as the people who refuse to go

      p.borchard - 2012-10-30 15:11

      I know it would not be possible, but those who refused to evacuate should be left to their own devices. Why should rescuers have to put their lifes on the line just because some people are too hard assed to listen and react when given the notice to evacuate?

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-10-30 07:42

    Now would be a very good time for the Humans out there to Pray to The One True Living God in the Name Of Jesus.

      faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-10-30 07:46

      Im praying that the stock exchange resumes trading quickly.

      adrian.boulle - 2012-10-30 07:57

      God only helps those who will help themselves!

      DarleneMelville - 2012-10-30 08:33

      No God help those who come to him for help He help the helpless but the u mst recognise Him! So leave the saying God help those who help themself!!!

      brian.connell.18 - 2012-10-30 08:51

      This is a natural phenomenon, caused by simple physics. Your god, if you choose to believe in such a thing, had nothing to do with it.

      DarleneMelville - 2012-10-30 08:55

      Jesus maak die storm still! Amen!!! And I do believe in that!

  • tiaan.truter - 2012-10-30 07:42

    Bunch of heartless pricks here...no one deserves this.

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-30 07:59

      I second that.

  • hendrikvs - 2012-10-30 08:02

    The comments above demonstrates what a sick bunch of people is part of our nation! I cannot believe these senseless and brainless comments!

  • theko.moya - 2012-10-30 08:41

    There is sumthing i dnt get here...Why is ds hurricane named sandy?

      Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-10-30 08:48

      Theko - the lady who gave it directions was called Sandy.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-30 08:56

      Because hurricanes occur all the time (albeit in varying strengths) a list is drawn up every year of names of hurricanes for that year, alternating between male and female names. Read more here http://geography.about.com/od/lists/a/2012hurricane.htm

      WarrenStylin - 2012-10-30 13:10

      All Hurricanes have women's names.

      WarrenStylin - 2012-10-30 13:12

      Also, when she got there she was wet and wild. When she leaves she's going to take your house, car ...everything.

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-10-30 08:46

    Rikesh - Who controls mother nature? Makes you wonder. Could it be the powerful, loving, forgiving... god who you want to pray to?

      rowan.clark.10 - 2012-10-30 23:20

      Mother nature is the balance ,the harmony the ebb and flow the controls .This storm is a result of high water temperatures in the Atlantic ocean and Caribbean Sea .The cause of which we can blame on different things in nature and on over consumption of fossil fuels and reflective heat of areas of roads buildings rooftops ,all increasing with the populations. But what nature is trying to do is cool down the sea temperature by getting rid of that energy in the form of very large storms (a natural cycle ) .This cycle was named Sandy and she will be the norm as long as there is excess energy/heat in the sea .Unfortunately history shows that the frequency of these large cells is increasing .You can heat up a lot with 85 million barrels of oil every day 365 days a year !!Our challenge should be to find energy that is in harmony with nature.

  • mohammed.haffejee.1 - 2012-10-30 08:49

    The lords Punishment..!! Which army and Goverment is going to help u Now..!!

      hendrikvs - 2012-10-30 09:14

      I am blessed not to be part of your religion - whatever it is - as it seems to be a religion of hate???

      wade.terblanche - 2012-10-30 09:51

      God is alot more intelligent than you think you fool. God wont kill innocent people.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-10-30 09:54

      We believe in the same Lord, through different ways, but you address Him with a small letter and punishment with a capital letter. I say no, it is not His work. You claim it is. Who must we believe? The radical person who see "Punishment" more important than his "lords" name or the one who believes that it is an act of nature?

      lourens.v.d.watt - 2012-10-30 12:39

      And u suppose shooting schoolgirls for getting a education it the way?

      goldwright - 2012-10-30 14:38

      Always got to be someone to spew hate at any opportunity hey mohammed? Mother Nature (not the Lords Punishment) is responsible for this superstorm. There are many people of ALL religions/races in NYC and surrounds. Nature does not discriminate when it comes to catastrophic natural events - Muslims, Christians, Jews, Agnostics, Atheistis etc are all suffering alike, in that part of the world right now. What this storm (and all other forms of extreme weather) show, is that mankind is at the mercy of nature, wherever in the world we are, and we do the best we can to deal with extreme weather and hopefully learn from our mistakes & become more enviromentally friendly where possible and hope it will make a difference.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-30 14:47

      When it hails and rains hard in your garden, is God punishing you too?

  • tshep0 - 2012-10-30 08:52

    Umm anyone still booking a plane ticket wanting to move??Thought not,thank you Lord 4 blessing this country not getting these natural dizasters,prayers to the sandy victims.......

  • lawson.lutchman - 2012-10-30 09:07

    13 dead, not a halloween joke is it?

  • amelia.maritz.9 - 2012-10-30 09:16

    Stop it Anwar. Pray for these people.

  • askido.demamz - 2012-10-30 09:35

    This is just a warm -up, the worse is yet to come where it will be (EE)...just a month and few days left...\The 2012 apocalypse\ was predicted that 21/12/2012 will be the end of all...back to the dark age...only the wealthy will survive...

  • louis.a.vermeulen.1 - 2012-10-30 09:35

    If it wasn't for christians , everyone will be christians

      p.borchard - 2012-10-30 15:16

      How true! Instead of talking the talk, true Christians should rather walk the walk. Working in a supposedly "new born Christian" office at one time was enough to put me off from calling myself that. Bo blink, maar onder stink....

  • diana.gill.18 - 2012-10-30 09:42

    The news.24 team should change the name of the World news section into the America news, at least until ms Sandy recedes.

  • cathy.claassen1 - 2012-10-30 09:57

    Happy Holloween Amrica!! u celebrate the dead, ur Governmnt takes part in occultic practices and Human Sacrificial ceremnies & r all high ranking free masons who r prompting for a new world order - they undr a mask r tryig to destroy Isreal - read the books of Daniel, Isiah & Revelaions - all profetic books - predicted more than 2 thousand years ago (100% accuracy)I realy do pray for all who r suffering but who r we bettr than Christ wh was pure & sinless who died for our sins, who was mutilated, tortured to a point where if Mary had not known it was Jesus her son hanging on a cross would not have recognised Him. but yet we blaspheme, & revel in our worldly pleasures and tease our Heavenly Father, Who Sacrificed His only Son - WHAT DID WE EXPECT!! - Every Knee shall bow!! What a pitty that these events need to take place to humble us so tht we can acknowledge our creator - I pray that there will be quiet after the storm, and that EL ELYON (God of All gods - God all Mighty) will have mercy on all of Amrica who do love Him

      carolyn.dewrance - 2012-10-30 10:26

      Type in English please, You are talking crap

      diana.gill.18 - 2012-10-30 10:32

      Wow this is gross... Or grass?

      Elisha - 2012-10-30 11:02

      Cathy is right guys. God has punished sinful nations in the past. What makes you think you are special enough to sin for hundreds of years, turn your back on God and no be punished. God is Love, but He is God and He is Just. Repent, and He will forgive your sins.

      WarrenStylin - 2012-10-30 13:17

      @ Cathy - I predict that hurricanes are going to be around for the next 100 000 years. Am I a God now? Read Exodus - Sell your daughter into slavery. Its also Ok to beat your slave to an inch of his life, as long as he doesn't die. You are ok.

      WarrenStylin - 2012-10-30 13:18

      Oh ja - What happened that people will be judged when they die and not on earth?

      vanessa.jankowitz - 2012-10-30 13:28

      I agree to a point. But all so called christians seem to conveniently forget that God made a vow to Noah and his family that He will never ever bring flooding to the world again. So this isn't a "God-inspired" storm. If you read the Bible properly, who are you to judge another person/s. A true christian is supposed to be pray for and help another in their time of need regardless. Being a true christian is not what is being said here. So please go read your Bible again.

      Andrea - 2012-10-30 15:03

      Wow Cathy, I thought the Yanks were Illuminati? With the all-seeing eye inside the triangle and all??

  • neville.watson.94 - 2012-10-30 10:12

    Some intervention from above brings New York to a halt

  • neville.watson.94 - 2012-10-30 10:14

    Look like Sandy is rough and tough don't mess with a woman

  • nthato.thema1 - 2012-10-30 10:27

    Man.tough times right now for the East Coast of America...but wouldn't this stir up a nice debate between Mr Obama and Mr Romney? Then again there's nothing they can really say that will change the damage already done. This is truelly just another reason I'm proud to be African.

  • philas.ntuli - 2012-10-30 10:46

    Let's pray for these innocent people, I mean \African\ americans!!

      goldwright - 2012-10-30 15:05

      I think you have two brain cells fighting each other that is why you have made such a stupid comment. Who are you to judge that only African Americans are "innocent people"? Have you met every single African American to know of their "innocence"? Are all other "non African Americans" not innocent? If you need to pray for anyone, start with yourself. You are racist to the core.

  • thabo.lenong - 2012-10-30 12:13

    Im praying for my friends and everyone on the east coast, Jersey City,New Jersey used to my hometown years ago hope everyone is safe! Hurricane Sandy go awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  • brent.booysen1 - 2012-10-30 13:44

    The blind leading the blind!!

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