WRAPUP 1-Floods across New York as Sandy slams into eastern U.S.

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:05am EDT
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By Anna Louie Sussman and Tom Hals

NEW YORK/REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. Oct 30 (Reuters) - Sandy, one of the biggest storms to hit the United States, pounded the east coast on Tuesday, flooding large parts of New York City, bringing transport to a halt and interrupting the presidential campaign.

More than 5.5 million people were left without electrical power by the storm, which crashed ashore late on Monday near the gambling resort of Atlantic City, New Jersey. More than one million people across a dozen states were ordered to evacuate.

Heavy snows threatened mountainous regions inland, and huge population centers of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. lay in the storm's path.

"We have not seen the kind of flooding problems that certainly could have happened thus far, but we've still got a long ways to go to get through this storm," Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said on local television.

Streets of New York City filled with floodwater, raising fears that the city's subway tunnels could be inundated, and flying debris blew along deserted sidewalks. The city closed down subway, bus and commuter train systems as of Sunday night.

In lower Manhattan, firefighters used inflatable orange boats to rescue utility workers trapped for three hours by rising floodwaters inside a power substation.

One of the Con Ed workers pulled from the floodwater, Angelo Amato, said he was part of a crew who had offered to work through the storm.

"This is what happens when you volunteer," he said.   Continued...