At least 50 killed in US storms
on 31/10/2012 02:10:18
Superstorm Sandy, which was reclassified after starting as a hurricane, has killed at least 50 people, many hit by falling trees, as the east coast was ravaged.
It inched inland across Pennsylvania, ready to bank toward western New York state to dump more of its water and likely cause more havoc on Tuesday night.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, when asked to assess the damage left by the storm, said: "Nature is an awful lot more powerful than we are."
More than 8.2 million households were without power in 17 states as far west as Michigan.
Nearly two million of those were in New York, where large parts of lower Manhattan lost electricity and entire streets ended up underwater - as did seven subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn at one point, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
The New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day from weather, the first time that has happened since a blizzard in 1888.
The city's subway system, the lifeblood of more than five million residents, was damaged like never before and closed indefinitely, and Consolidated Edison said electricity in and around New York could take a week to restore.
Though early predictions of river flooding in Sandy's inland path were petering out, colder temperatures made snow the main product of Sandy's slow march from the sea.
Parts of the West Virginia mountains were blanketed with two feet of snow by Tuesday afternoon and drifts four feet deep were reported at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border.
By Tuesday afternoon, there were still only hints of the economic impact of the storm. Airports remained closed across the East Coast and far beyond as tens of thousands of travellers found they were unable to get where they were going.
Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicted the storm will end up causing about 20 billion US dollars (£12 billion) in damages.
The presidential candidates' campaign plans on Tuesday revealed the delicacy of the need to look presidential in a crisis without appearing to capitalise on a disaster.
President Barack Obama cancelled a third straight day of campaigning, scratching events scheduled for Wednesday in Ohio, in Sandy's path.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney resumed his campaign with plans for an Ohio rally billed as a "storm relief event".
Sandy began in the Atlantic and knocked around the Caribbean - killing nearly 70 people - and strengthened into a hurricane as it chugged across the southeastern coast of the United States.