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Entries in Sandy (16)

Friday
Nov162012

World War II Love Letters Wash Up on NJ Beach After Sandy

ABC News(ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, N.J.) -- Superstorm Sandy destroyed towns and homes, and took lives, but a stack of 57 letters tied together with a pink ribbon survived the devastating storm.

Kathleen Mullen was taking a walk along the Henry Hudson Trail in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., the day after the storm hit when she spotted the bundle of letters.

“They were obviously tied with a pink ribbon, so I automatically knew that they were love letters,” Mullen told ABC News’ New York station WABC-TV.

 

She took them home, carefully dried them under the fireplace in her powerless home and began to read. The letters were written by Dorothy Fallon of Rumson, N.J., and Lynn Farnham of Vermont between 1942 and 1947.

“There isn’t much more to tell you tonight, dear,” one letter read. “I love you very much. Yours always, Dotty.”

Mullen was determined to reunite the letters with their owners. She posted about the letters on Facebook, Craigslist and eventually did a search on findagrave.com, where a Lynn Farnham was listed who died in 1992 and was buried in New Jersey.

Through the website, Mullen connected with Shelly Farnham-Hilber, a niece of the couple, who lives in Virginia. She was thrilled to hear of the find.

“It’s magical. You go, ‘This can’t be real,’” Farnham-Hilber told WABC-TV. “It’s like a genealogical gold mine. It’s just that moment that you think is lost forever and here is something. It’s a gift.”

Farnham-Hilber said that Lynn Farnham, her uncle, served in WWII and was at Pearl Harbor. The couple had two children. The son has died and Farnham-Hilber’s family has lost touch with the daughter. Dorothy Farnham is 91 years old and lives in a nursing home in New Jersey.

The family is looking forward to being reunited with the letters and the find was a beacon of light to Mullen during tough times.

“It kind of sent the message that love conquers all, you know, in such devastation … something so delicate just washes ashore,” she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov152012

Obama Meets with Parents Who Lost Sons in Sandy

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thursday, on his first trip to New York City after superstorm Sandy walloped the Northeast, President Obama met with the parents of the two young boys -- Brandon and Connor Moore -- who died after being swept out to sea.

"I had the opportunity to give some hugs and communicate thoughts and prayers to the Moore family," Obama said of Damien and Glenda Moore. "They lost two young sons during the course of this tragedy. And obviously, I expressed to them, as a father, as a parent, my heartbreak over what they went through. And they're still obviously a little shell-shocked."

Obama said the resiliency and generosity of the Moores, who had lavished praise on New York police Lieutenant Kevin Gallagher "for staying with them and doing everything he could so that ultimately, they knew what had happened with the boys, and were able to recover their bodies, and has been with them as a source of support ever since."

"That's not in the job description of Lieutenant Gallagher. He did that because that's what so many of our first responders do," he added.

"I'm very proud of you, New York," said the president, "You guys are tough."

Sandy, which hit the Northeast on Oct. 29, has left more than 100 people dead, thousands displaced and billions of dollars of damage.

On Thursday the president saw the storm's destruction in New York first-hand, visiting with victims and volunteers at a FEMA disaster recovery center in one Staten Island neighborhood. (There were more than 40 deaths in New York City alone from Sandy, half of those on the borough of Staten Island.)

The White House announced Thursday it has already approved more than $600 million in direct assistance to individuals. The president also announced he had assigned Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, a former New York City housing commissioner, the job of coordinating the federal government's long-term response to Sandy's devastation in the New York and New Jersey region.

"We thought it would be good to have a New Yorker be the point person," Obama said on Staten Island following a tour of the recovery efforts.

The president made the announcement following an aerial survey of parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island, including Far Rockaway and Staten Island, flying over sand-covered streets and destroyed homes piled along beaches.

He also saw the Breezy Point neighborhood, home to many of the city's firefighters and police officers, where more than 100 homes were leveled in a raging wind-whipped fire that spread even as flood waters rose.

"There are still going to be complaints over the next several months," the president said. "Not everybody is going to be satisfied" with the pace of recovery. The president asked "insurance companies and some of the other private sector folks who are involved in this ... to show some heart and some spirit in helping people rebuild as well. But when I hear the story of the Moores and I hear about Lieutenant Gallagher, that's what makes me confident that we're going to be able to rebuild."

Obama was accompanied by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary Shaun Donovan.

New York senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, also joined Obama for the trip aboard Air Force One to New York.

Days after the storm Obama took his first trip to see the damage, touring New Jersey's hard hit shoreline with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican. Just six days before the election, Christie, one of Mitt Romney's most high profile surrogates, praised the president for his oversight of federal emergency efforts. Christie thanked Obama, adding the two had a "great working relationship" and Obama "sprung into action immediately."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov062012

Volunteers Use Wedding Registries to Help Sandy Victims

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Ashley Diamond envisioned herself helping out a fellow runner last Sunday she thought it would be along the course of the New York Marathon, the race for which she and nearly 40,000 other runners had spent months training.

Instead Diamond, an influential blogger in the tight-knit New York running world, found herself in front of a computer, still helping a fellow would-be marathoner but in a very different way.

Diamond, 28, logged on to Target.com to help Jen Correa of Staten Island, New York, who was also planning to run the marathon but instead found herself homeless and left with nothing after superstorm Sandy decimated her neighborhood last week.

The "wedding registry" Diamond created for Correa had nothing to do with weddings, however, and everything to do with what more and more people are doing in the aftermath of Sandy: trying to help those devastated by the storm.

"I was expecting Target to have a housewarming or new home registry and when I only saw 'wedding' or 'baby,' I thought I would just go into the wedding because I knew the items they'd suggest would be similar items," Diamond said.

Diamond renamed the registry "Jen and Pedro's Rebuilding Registry," after Jen and her husband, Pedro, an Iraq war veteran who stayed behind and narrowly survived the storm while Jen evacuated with the couple's two young children, ages 2 and 7.

"Registries are everywhere and have everything on there and allow people to choose things of all prices," Diamond said. "I listed their wedding date as Christmas Day and went to the top sellers, within a reasonable price point, and figured if it was a top seller and the ratings were good I would add it to the registry."

The idea to create a gift registry for the Correas came to Diamond, appropriately enough, while she was out on a run with her husband, Bo, who was also planning to run the marathon last Sunday. They saw it as a more tangible alternative to the fundraising site the family's friends had already created.

"This is finally a way that when someone buys it online they'll [the Correas] start getting things in the mail the next day," she said. "And, for the Correas, can you imagine a child who has nothing being able to open a box and have a princess or, for her son, to have a Mario wall decal, because that's something from his room that doesn't exist now?"

A wedding registry's direct impact also appealed to a trio of volunteers with Occupy Sandy, an Occupy Wall Street-offshoot created to help Sandy's victims. The three 25-year-old Brooklyn residents built their own "wedding registry" for Sandy's victims after spending a day volunteering in the field.

"We realized that they [Occupy Sandy organizers] knew exactly what they needed and just weren't getting it quickly enough so we thought a wedding registry would give them exactly what they needed," said Katherine Dolan, one of the organizers.

Instead of wedding items like china and monogrammed towels, the Occupy Sandy registry lists items like cleaning supplies, blankets, flashlights and shovels. Forgoing the wedding fluff, the registry lists the couple's style as "warm and non-perishable" and says that the couple has requested that the gifts not be gift-wrapped. Buyers can ship the items directly to a local church in Brooklyn now serving as a hub for Occupy Sandy volunteers.

"The first delivery came this morning and there was over $3,000 worth of products," Dolan said. "It's going to be weeks of recovery so we're going to keep up with it."

Diamond says the outpouring she has received from her single blog post Monday announcing the registry is also unlike anything she has ever seen before. From the time that Diamond told Correa of her efforts, to the moment when Correa got to her sister's home and was able to view the registry, everything listed had been purchased.

"Monday was the highest traffic day I've ever had on my blog," Diamond said. "I think when they [donors] can really put their donation and their money with a face and a family it just gives them that extra incentive. They love that they know exactly where their donations are going."

The Minneapolis-based Target, which announced last week it had donated $500,000 in money and products to assist with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts on its own, did not reply to a request for comment placed by ABC News as of this writing. Amazon.com also did not reply to a request.

The Correas, who at first had the registry gift items sent to Jen's sister's home, now also have a place to house the generosity of others, in their new, temporary rental home.

"I got a text last night at 9:30 from Jen saying, 'I'm so excited to have four walls. There may be no gas and no heat but there are four walls. And it's really easy to move when all you have is two air mattresses,'" Diamond said.

For more information on the "Jen and Pedro Rebuilding Registry," click here. For more information on the "Occupy Sandy Wedding Registry," click here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov042012

Rescue of Hiker Trapped by Sandy Caught on Video

ABC News(GATLINBURG, Tenn.) -- A 56-year-old hiker was trapped in the Tennessee mountains for three days by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.  The storm, having come inland, pounded the Appalachian Trail with record levels of snow.

Steve Ainsworth set out Monday for the final leg of a planned two-thousand-mile trek along the Appalachian Trail, just as Superstorm Sandy approached the Northeast.

On Friday, his rescue was captured on video after he got a strong enough signal on his cellphone to call 911.

“I was absolutely stunned. I had no idea there was going to be that much snow,” said Ainsworth, who was blocked by snow drifts up to five feet high.

With food and water running low and hypothermia setting in, Ainsworth waited for help to arrive.

On Friday, Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Brad Lund and a team took to the skies by helicopter and were able to trace footprints in the snow for a mile and a half. They led to the general area where Ainsworth had taken shelter.

Braving howling winds and freezing temperatures, trooper Jeff Buchanan was lowered from the helicopter to find the trapped hiker.

“He stuck his head out of his tent and said he’s never been so glad to see anybody in his whole life,” Buchanan said.

Ainsworth, who was in his socks, was pulled on board the helicopter. His rescue was recorded on video by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

After three days in the cold, Ainsworth suffered no injuries but said he was hungry.

The rescue team joked he could buy them steaks, he said.

“As long as I can have the first one,” he told them.

Ainsworth said he was thankful for Sergeant Lund and his team.

“You know, they’ll say, ‘That’s our job. That’s what we’re supposed to do,’” he said, “But I am telling you, that’s more than a job.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov022012

At New York Aquarium, Staff Considers Evacuating Fish

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Inside the New York Aquarium, fish tanks and exhibits are now surrounded by floodwater and sand from Sandy’s surge.

The aquarium, located just off the famous boardwalk of Coney Island in Brooklyn, is home to sand tiger sharks, sea otters and a new baby walrus — and for days it was without power.

A dedicated staff now remains at the battered facility to monitor the tanks and provide food and water to the animals. The aquarium said it has generators that restored power to three-quarters of its exhibits by Friday evening.

“Our walruses, sea lions, seals, sea otters, sea turtles and sharks are all fine,” said Jim Breheny, executive vice president of New York’s Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the aquarium.  “We did have some losses in the fish collection, most of which were confined to one exhibit tank that we could not access immediately after the storm hit.  The rest of our exhibit and holding tanks and the fish that are housed there are all doing well.”

Still, Breheny said, the society would ask other aquariums in the area to remain on standby through the weekend in case animals have to be evacuated.

If they did, it could be a complicated effort.

John Hewitt, senior vice president of the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, told ABC News Friday that specialized cages would be needed and that a single shark required a 12,000-gallon fish tank.

He moved dozens of animals from New Orleans’ aquarium after Hurricane Katrina.

“You need veterinary expertise,” he said. “These animals are highly specialized. [It's] very demanding from an animal health standpoint.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov022012

Looters Arrested in Post-Superstorm Spree

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While nowhere near post-Hurricane Katrina or Tropical Storm Irene levels, the New York area has had its share of looting in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

According to New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul J. Browne, four women in Far Rockaway, Queens, were arrested Monday after allegedly breaking into a Radio Shack. According to Browne, the women, who ranged in age from 16 to 49, might have been store employees. Radio Shack did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

On Wednesday, 18 people were arrested for rifling through a Key Foods in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Two men and a woman were arrested for allegedly robbing a BP gas station, and police arrested six people for allegedly looting a liquor store in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, the New York Police Department confirmed in an email to ABC News.

In Manhattan, four men ages 18 to 30 were arrested and charged with burglary after breaking into Kixclusive, a sneaker store at 288 Mulberry Street on the Lower East Side. The store had been burglarized during the height of the storm Monday, boarded up with a piece of plywood and locked. Burglars allegedly made off with 30 pairs of sneakers worth $30,000, about $1,000 a pair, according to the NYPD.

Some looters even posed as Con Edison workers to get inside homes, the New York Post reported.

“This morning when they told us the water receded, I walked back to the house to feed [my pets],” Eric Martine, a 33-year-old taxi cab driver who lives in Brooklyn’s Gerritsen Beach, told the Post. “Guys were looting, pretending they were Con Ed and holding people up. It was sick.”

Some people have apparently broadcast their loot and looting messages on Twitter -- such as the tweeter who posted an image of a boarded-up house with the words "Please loot, I love to shoot” spray-painted across the doorway. Other photos of people with “stolen goods” have been posted on Twitter with the hashtag #sandylootcrew.

But Twitter would not reveal the identity of a suspected ex-Occupy Wall Street protester who had encouraged looting in downtown Manhattan, where there was no power, according to the New York Post. Browne told the Post that Twitter’s decision was “not civic-minded, but not surprising either.”  Twitter did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said there had been no reports of looting in his state. And Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted that his city was crime-free: “Police have reported ZERO looting or crimes of opportunity in Newark. And ceaseless reports of acts of kindness abound everywhere #Gratitude.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to send National Guard troops to Brooklyn to help out. “All of our resources have been stretched to the limit, but in the name of public safety we need to send more National Guard personnel,” Markowitz said Wednesday in a statement.

Browne said there had been no murders in New York City since the onset of the storm Monday, but there had been 40 storm-related deaths. As of Friday morning, 3,628,739 customers were still without power in the affected states, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Forecasting firm Eqecat estimates that Sandy may have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses, including property damage, lost business and extra living expenses. Katrina’s costs in 2005 were estimated to be $108 billion -- about $128 billion in today’s dollars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov012012

Staten Island Residents Plead for Help Three Days After Sandy

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The residents of Staten Island are pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food and clothing three days after Sandy slammed the New York City borough.

“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”

Staten Island was one of the hardest-hit communities in New York City. More than 80,000 residents are still without power. Many are homeless, and at least 19 people died on Staten Island because of the storm.

One of the devastated neighborhoods was overwhelmed by a violent surge of water. Residents described a super-sized wave as high as 20 feet, with water rushing into the streets like rapids.

Staten Island resident Mike Abuzzio’s home is completely gone, with only his floor boards remaining. He, his wife and their two young daughters have been staying with relatives.

“My youngest daughter yesterday said, ‘Daddy, I want to go,’” Abuzzio told ABC News. “I told her, ‘It’s going to be awhile, hon.’ She doesn’t understand. She’s 6.”

In the rubble that was once his home, Abuzzio found one clean, intact plate of Christmas china. He said that plate will be special at Christmastime and will be used specifically for his mother’s cookies.

For 48 hours after the storm, search teams were hunting for two Staten Island brothers, just 2- and 4-years-old. They were swept out of their mother’s arms when waves caused by storm surges crashed into the family’s SUV. Their small bodies were found Thursday at the end of a dead-end street. Their parents were at the scene where the bodies were discovered.

Staten Island officials sounded increasingly desperate Thursday, asking when supplies will arrive. They blasted the Red Cross for not being there when it counted.

“This is America, not a third world nation. We need food, we need clothing,” Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro said Thursday. “My advice to the people of Staten Island is: Don’t donate the American Red Cross. Put their money elsewhere.”

The Red Cross and the National Guard arrived in the area late Tuesday and are distributing food, water and gas – and city officials say things are much better.

Molinaro urged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday to cancel Sunday’s New York City Marathon. The race’s staging area is on Staten Island and Molinaro said it would be “crazy, asinine,” to have the race after what has happened.

“My God. What we have here is terrible, a disaster,” Molinaro said Wednesday. “If they want to race, let them race with themselves. This is no time for a parade. A marathon is a parade. Now is the time to put your shoulder to the wheel. If they want to prepare for something, let them prepare for the election, not a marathon.”

“Do you realize how many police officers you need for a marathon?” he asked. “There are people looting stores on Midland Avenue. There is looting taking place in the homes on the South Shore that were destroyed. That is where we need the police.”

 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov012012

Nor’easter May Be Next for New England

Hemera/Thinkstock(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- As steps toward recovery slowly progress in the wake of Sandy, another storm may soon be hitting the East Coast in time for Election Day.

The National Weather Service’s Prediction Center issued a warning for a possible nor’easter, which may hit the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions as early as next Tuesday.

While the storm is not anticipated to be as destructive as Sandy, the prediction center anticipated the storm will “cause light to moderate precipitation around that region of the country” and “produce impacts much less extreme.”

The Washington Post reports that the European Centre Medium Range Forecast (EURO) model, which tracked Sandy over a week before it hit, shows a simulation of the storm that will bring moderate rains and gusty winds in many of the same areas ravaged by the superstorm.

The impending storm may possibly delay the recuperation efforts of both New York and New Jersey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct312012

Superstorm Sandy: Death Toll Up to 50, But Some Steps Toward Recovery

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It blasted the ocean itself over dunes, seawalls and berms and into downtowns, tunnels and subways. It killed dozens of people, destroyed famed landmarks and amusement parks, pushed houses off their foundations and toppled trees. It virtually shut down New York City, the nation's largest city, with major airports, highways, bridges and tunnels in and out of Manhattan shut down, just as they were after 9/11.

For millions of people in New York City and elsewhere, the lights remain out, communications remain down and floodwaters, downed trees and power lines still make roads impassable.

However, some of the hardest-hit areas on the East Coast were beginning to take the first steps towards recovery. For instance, some New York bridges, tunnels, highways and airports reopened or were slated to be reopened by Wednesday morning.

So far, Sandy has been blamed for up to 50 fatalities, and has left more than eight million customers without power. The number of dead continued to rise by the hour a day after the storm made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J., and rocked several states, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia.

"I just never thought I would see what I saw today -- ever," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. "It won't be same. It will be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed into the ocean."

The power outages were spread over 17 states, from Virginia to Maine, and while the number of customers affected topped eight million, the number of people living without power would be several times that number. The number of power outages topped two million customers in New Jersey and half a million in New York City, and approached another million on New York's Long Island.

President Obama issued disaster declarations for New York and New Jersey so that federal aid will be offered to the affected areas to help supplement state and local clean-up efforts.

During a visit to the Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon, Obama sent a very clear message to federal agencies.

"Do not figure out why we can't do something. I want you to figure out how we do something," the president said. "I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There's no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they need -- where they're needed as quickly as possible."

The president said mayors and governors who run into any trouble can call him directly at the White House. He praised the heroic efforts of rescuers and helpful community members, but emphasized that recovery is going to take some time.

"It is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recover swiftly, and so it is going to be important that we sustain that spirit of resilience, that we continue to be good neighbors for the duration until everybody is back on their feet," Obama said.

Among the hardest hit were New Jersey and New York, where public transportation was shut down, millions lost power and storm surges swamped cars, homes, businesses and boardwalks.

But in the wake of the devastation, states are beginning to make moves toward comebacks.

In New York, the New York Stock Exchange is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday after being closed for an unprecedented two days. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was scheduled to ring the opening bell.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the area's airports and bridges, said it plans to have two major airports -- John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y., and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey -- open Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. with limited service. However, LaGuardia Airport in New York City will remain closed amid flooding on the tarmac and other damage.

Public transportation in the city also screeched to a halt as the subway system, rail yards and bus depots were flooded in what officials called the biggest disaster of its 108 years in existence.

"The New York City subway system ... has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night," MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said in a statement.

All bridges into Manhattan were reopened Tuesday and limited bus service was to resume Tuesday evening -- though the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel remained submerged beneath floods. The Holland Tunnel also remained closed though the Lincoln Tunnel was reopened early Tuesday.

Officials hoped to have power restored to New York in two to three days and aim to have the subways running in three to four days, Bloomberg said.

It will take about a week for PATH trains between New Jersey and New York to resume service.

"This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced," Bloomberg said at a news conference Tuesday.

Obama will visit ravaged New Jersey on Wednesday, where search and rescue missions have become a priority.

A berm in Bergen County, N.J., was breached Tuesday morning, resulting in four to five feet of water flowing into three towns and endangering as many as 2,000 people, said Jeanne Beratta, spokeswoman for the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management.

"We're doing rescues by boat. We're doing rescues with large trucks. We're doing rescues all over those areas," Baratta told Good Morning America.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that the state "kind of took it in the neck worse than any other place," but praised Obama and his administration for how it has handled the crisis.

"[President Obama] called me last night around midnight to ask what else can be done," Christie told GMA. "I have to say, the administration, the president himself and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far. We have a great partnership with them and I want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this."

Other parts of the country were struggling with snow and blizzard conditions. West Virginia was under a blizzard warning and more than two feet of snow was reported in some parts of the states. More than 100,000 customers are without power.

Sandy also brought winter conditions from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, and into Ohio.

The former hurricane had joined forces with a cold front coming from the northwest and a high pressure system from Greenland to dump snow on eight states. Davis, West Virginia has been blanketed with 17 inches of snow, which continued to fall into the early morning.

By Thursday, meteorologists predict up to three feet of snow was possible in higher elevations.

New York University Medical Center was among the millions left without power in the wake of Sandy. A full evacuation was under way after the hospital's back-up generators had failed.

Early Tuesday morning, approximately 200 patients had been evacuated by private ambulance with assistance from the FDNY.

John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Con Edison, said it was too soon to say when power could be restored and that inspectors would be out once it was daylight to assess the damage.

Sandy was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm shortly before it made landfall at 8 p.m. in Atlantic City, N.J., on Monday.

By late Tuesday evening, Sandy remained a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Though it was weakening over Pennsylvania, it churned up the waters of the Great Lakes, prompting gale warnings and small craft advisories in some locations, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states remained under flash flood watches and warnings.

"Sandy is expected to turn north across Western New York or Lake Erie ... and continue to move northward into Canada on Wednesday," the National Weather Service said in it's 11 p.m. ET briefing Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct312012

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Worries About More Storms Like Sandy

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the scene in Lower Manhattan and at the World Trade Center Memorial Monday night as “frightening,” but said Tuesday that things were looking much better and that the city would quickly come back from Hurricane Sandy.

“It was all dark because [Con Edison] had turned off the power. And the water. The Hudson River was just a few hundred yards to the right from us. It had come over the banks. … And was filling this site [at the World Trade Center Memorial] at such a rate and from every direction,” he said Tuesday. “You were just wondering when it was going to stop. …We could not have taken much more of the flow that we were getting last night.”

Cuomo said officials feared for the memorial, its underground museum and the city’s other underground infrastructure such as its subway tunnels. He said that at one point Monday night, they even wondered whether the rushing waters would collapse the entire World Trade Center site.

“The way New York was designed, we’re not in a part of the country that deals with floods or [is] designed to deal with floods,” he said. “We have a lot of infrastructure under the ground that gets filled up. The subway tunnels have all flooded. Some of the subway stations, the water is up to the ceiling.”

Cuomo said officials did not know when the power would be completely restored. He said the subway tunnels would have to be pumped first because much of Con Edison’s equipment was located there. He estimated that would take a couple of days.

The New York governor told ABC News that he agreed with former Vice President Al Gore, who theorized in a blog post earlier Tuesday that Hurricane Sandy was a symptom of a larger climate crisis.

“I believe he’s right,” Cuomo said. “I said kiddingly the other day, ‘We have a 100-year flood every two years now.’ These situations never happened or if they happened, they were never going to happen again. … I think at this point it’s undeniable that we have a higher frequency of these extreme weather situations, and we’re going to have to deal with it.”

 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio