WRAPUP 7-Floods across New York as Sandy slams into eastern U.S.

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:54pm EDT
 
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By Barbara Goldberg and Tom Mihalek

NEW YORK/REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. Oct 30 (Reuters) - Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, roared ashore with fierce winds and heavy rain on Monday near the gambling resort of Atlantic City, forcing evacuations, shutting down transportation and interrupting the presidential campaign.

Early reports said there was widespread flooding through New York City, in some cases well inland. Police confirmed at least two people were killed by the storm in the city, and deaths were reported as far away as Toronto as well.

High winds and flooding racked hundreds of miles (km) of Atlantic coastline while heavy snows were forecast farther inland as the center of the storm marched westward.

The storm's wind field stretched from the Canadian border to South Carolina, and from West Virginia to an Atlantic Ocean point about halfway between the United States and Bermuda, easily one of the largest ever seen.

More than 3 million customers already were without power by early evening and more than one million people were subject to evacuation orders. Many communities were swamped by flood waters.

The National Hurricane Center said Sandy came ashore as a "post-tropical cyclone," meaning it still packed hurricane-force winds but lost the characteristics of a tropical storm. It had sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (129 kph), well above the threshold for hurricane intensity.

The storm's target area includes big population centers such as New York City, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Trees were downed across the region, untethered pieces of scaffolding rolled down the ghostly streets of New York City, falling debris closed a major bridge in Boston and floodwater inundated side streets in the resort town of Dewey Beach, Delaware, leaving just the tops of mailboxes in view.   Continued...