“Superstorm” Sandy has ravaged the Northeast, causing millions of power outages, severe flooding, significant property damages, and at least 57 deaths in the United States. In Connecticut, the shoreline has seen the greatest destruction due to the high storm surge, and nearly half a million homes remain without power throughout the state. Connecticut Light & Power has said that they will have a power restoration timeline for the state Thursday morning. However, it’s New Jersey and New York that have suffered the worst of Sandy’s wrath.
Most of the U.S. deaths attributed to Sandy happened in New York City, where incredible flooding occurred. The New York Stock Exhange was closed Monday and Tuesday for the first time since the 1800s, and several hospitals had to evacuate from failed back-up generators. Two Halloween parades have been cancelled for this evening, but the New York CIty marathon is on for this Sunday. The subway is closed until further notice – some stations are flooded up to the ceiling – and commuters are doing what they can to get to work with the city’s buses. Railways across the East Coast have been affected. People in New York and New Jersey are still stuck in their homes due to flooding, and news reports are saying that evacuations and emergency rescues are still needed in these areas.
New York City Subways Flooded
NYPD Rescues Flood Victims on Staten Island
In New Jersey, where Sandy made landfall, coastline houses were taken off their foundations due to storm surge and incredible flooding. The shore town of Mantoloking is fighting a fire from a believed gas main explosion this morning, and firefighters are having touble getting to the blaze due to damaged roadways. A similar fire happened in the town of Breezy Point, Queens, which burned down late Monday night amid chest-high flood waters. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said that the Jersey shore has been forever changed by Sandy, but he is speaking positively about restoring the coastline and recovery within the state.
“There are no words to describe what’s been New Jersey’s experience over the last 24 hours, and what we’ll have to contend with over the coming days, weeks and months,” Christie said at a press conference Tuesday.
Sandy in Connecticut
In both New York and New Jersey, Sandy has churned up additional complications, including water contamination and shortages. In New York City, the salt water flooding the subways is particularly problematic; the subway system is designed to withstand fresh water, but salt water flooding will likely cause extensive damages to equipment. Extensive inspections will have to take place, and that’s only after all the water is pumped out.
Sandy has also compromised cell phone service. Many towers have been damaged, leaving folks up and down the coast with spotty reception, or none at all. AT&T seems to be the cell service most affected in the New England area.
Mantoloking, New Jersey Fires
And it’s not over yet. Sandy is moving through Pennsylvania and up through New York state, still equipped with high winds, rain, and snow in some areas. New York and New Jersey are still vulnerable to more flooding and will likely have to wait several days before power can be safely restored – some substations are still underwater. Full recovery for these disaster areas are likely weeks, if not months, away.
Local Halloween celebrations have been cancelled in many places throughout the Northeast, including in Danbury, Connecticut, where Mayor Mark Boughton has rescheduled trick or treating for Sunday evening. Tonight from 5-8pm, Danbury area trick or treaters can head to the Big Y at 83 Stony Hill Road in Bethel and ‘”trunk or treat” in the parking lot. Residents are invited to decorate their cars and take part in the “trunking”. The annual ‘Trunk or Treat” event was started last year after Hurricane Irene cancelled local Halloween celebrations. The Danbury Fair Mall, located at 7 Backus Avenue, is also holding trick or treating from 4-6pm this evening.
Connecticut Light & Power is requesting that residents who lose power report outages by calling 1-800-286-2000 or to report online at cl-p.com. Even if your neighbors have already called, it’s important that you report your own outage.