New York – Fallen trees and branches blocked sidewalks and roads. Extreme waves from the Long Island Sound destroyed fences and homes. A restaurant caught fire as a back-up generator malfunctioned. Here in New York City, neighborhoods were bombarded with deadly winds unleashed by Tropical Storm Sandy.
Public and private schools were closed at all levels—colleges and elementary schools alike. The Metropolitan Transit Authority halted all city subways and buses Sunday night in anticipation of what forecasters were calling a historic storm that would level many parts of the eastern seaboard.
They were right, as MTA chairman Joseph Lota said, “I can say unequivocally that the MTA last night faced a disaster as devastating as it has ever faced in its history.”
Bronx resident Mary Halton, who has enjoyed daily walks since she retired, said she was upset that the storm had upended her routine and kept her inside for three days in a row. “I just walked back and forth in my apartment, through my kitchen,” she remarked.
Living feet from the Long Island Sound, Halton declared, “This is the worst I’ve ever seen.”
Her life was just one of the millions upended by the dangerous storm.
The presidential race between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney was suspended. Neither wanted to appear insensitive, and both cancelled campaign rallies.
Mr. Obama visited New Jersey on Tuesday to tour the damage that Sandy wreaked on the state, and said he wasn’t worried about the storm’s impact on the approaching election. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that the damage to the popular tourist sight the Jersey Shore left “most of it gone”.
Officials cautioned residents across the Northeast to stay inside in order to remain clear of fallen debris and blowing projectiles, as the strong winds from the storm persisted.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled the annual Greenwich Village Halloween parade, but while said most of the streets would be cleared in time for children to celebrate Halloween,
Many are in no mood to celebrate. The Wall Street Journal estimated that the damage could top at least $10 billion dollars. Con Edison said that 200,000 people lost power during Tropical Storm Irene last year, which affected the Northeast as well. This year the number of people without power increased to 350,000 as a result of Sandy.
Sandy was a lethal storm. Ten people were killed as a result of the storm in New York City alone. The New York Times reported that 39 people died “within 48 hours” in the numerous states that were hit by Sandy. The storm had already claimed more than 60 lives in the Caribbean islands.
Fix Contributor Michael Sorge is a student at SUNY Purchase, and a resident of New York City.
(Image: NASA / Wikimedia Commons)