U.S Northeast cleans up from Superstorm Sandy, death toll rises

// News | General | U.S Northeast cleans up from Superstorm Sandy, death toll rises
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

New Yorkers took to the streets on Sunday to reinforce recovery from Super-storm Sandy, volunteering to help clean up devastated neighbourhoods.

The cleanup is to use an annual Veterans Day parade to collect donations for victims still struggling without homes or electricity, Reuters reports.

Police raised the storm-related fatality toll in New York City to 43, adding the death of a 77-year-old retired custodian who was found paralysed last week at the bottom of the steps of his apartment building in Rockaway, Queens, with head injuries.

He died at a hospital on Saturday, they said.

At least 121 people have perished in the storm, which caused an estimated 50 billion dollars in property damage and economic losses and ranks as one of the most destructive natural disasters to hit the U.S Northeast.

The Rockaways peninsula of the city’s Queens borough was especially hard hit when Sandy slarmed into the East Coast on Oct. 29, unleashing a record storm surge that flooded low-lying areas and fierce winds that toppled trees and power lines.

Many residents said they felt exhausted.

Priscilla Perez, 30, was climbing up 11 flights of stairs in the dark, carrying clothes, jugs of water supplies and her one year-old daughter to an apartment at the Bay Towers in Rockaway Park.

Helping to carry the load was her 10-year-old son, Elijah, who she said is struggling with the impact of the storm.

“He doesn’t want to eat. He’s never been through anything like this. I tell him when we go to get food, ‘Take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, take a hot dog,’ but he says no,” she said.

Recovery workers, from volunteers to firefighters, National Park Service workers and thousands of National Guard members, helped clean up in the Queens and the city’s Staten Island borough, also badly damaged, clearing mounds of garbage, sand and debris.

Medical teams went door to door to check on residents in high-rise buildings without power.

U.S Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano paid a visit on Sunday to hundreds of federal recovery workers crammed into the mess hall aboard the T.S. Kennedy, a merchant marine training ship docked on Staten Island to serve as a floating hotel for government employees taking part in the effort.

“Thank you, and thank you, and thank you,’” she told the workers, adding, “I hope you take some pride in what you’re doing.”

Throughout the Eastern seaboard, thousands of homes were destroyed or badly damaged, millions were left without power, and commerce was brought to a virtual standstill in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

The misery was compounded by an unseasonably early winter storm, or “Nor’easter” that lashed the region on Wednesday with more heavy winds, along with rain, sleet and snow.

As many as 8.6 million utility customers lost electricity at some point in the midst of the back-to-back storms.

On Sunday, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy first struck, thousands were still in temporary shelters, while the tally of power outages had dwindled to about 167,000, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

New York accounted for most of the remaining outages, the bulk of them on Long Island.

In what was likely to be a great relief to hundreds of thousands of commuters struggling to get to jobs without mass transit, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that some PATH trains that connect New York and New Jersey would resume service on Monday morning.

However, service at the Hoboken, Exchange Place and World Trade Centre stations was still suspended due to severe flooding and will likely remain so for several weeks, they said.

Officials also announced the limited reopening of the Governor Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, for rush-hour bus service on Monday morning.

The tunnel, which connects Brooklyn with downtown Manhattan, flooded with an estimated 162.8 million litres of water that damaged electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems, authorities said.

In addition, Amtrak planned to reopen the so-called North Turbe rail tunnel under the Hudson for Amtrak passenger train and New Jersey Transit commuter service on Monday, according to a statement from U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

He said the tunnel, which was shut down immediately following Sandy, was expected to operate at 63 per cent of normal capacity as further work continued.

Organisers of the Veterans Day parade, New York City’s first major post-Sandy event since its annual marathon race was cancelled last weekend, asked spectators lining the parade route to bring winter coats to be donated to storm victims.

The group New York Cares was hoping to collect 50,000 coats by week’s end, part of an annual drive that began two weeks earlier to help Sandy victims.

“What’s wonderful is that veterans came to us and felt in the spirit of service, that is so prevalent among folks in the armed forces, they wanted to make sure the veterans were not only being honoured today but also doing their bit to help,” said Gary Bagley, the group’s executive director.

Lingering power outages tested the patience of many residents who had been living without lights, heat or water for extended periods.

Sharp criticism was levelled in particular at the Long Island Power Authority, or LIPA, which was still trying to restore service to some 62,000 customers.

Speaking on CNN, U.S. Representative, Peter King, who represents the area, called the situation a “disgrace.”

“The LIPA has failed miserably. They are not doing a good job. It really has reached crisis proportions,” he said.

Sunday also marked the third day of gas rationing in New York City, under a system in which cars with odd- and even-numbered licence plates can fill up only on alternate days.

President Barack Obama is to visit hard-hit areas of New York City on Thursday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a radio address that the city has distributed almost two million meals, 500,000 litres of water and more than 100,000 blankets as well as space heaters, baby supplies and flash-light batteries.

The city was also distributing underwear, winter hats, toilet paper, bleach, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and towels.

Bloomberg said the city was sending in teams of contractors and inspectors to help hasten the process of restoring power to thousands of utility customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island who cannot get electricity back until equipment is repaired and tested.

In Staten Island, a fear of crime in the darkened neighbourhoods was evident in signs hanging on many houses that read “Beware of Dog” or “this home is Remington protected.”

In Queens, small cranes scooped up mounds of sand washed ashore by the storm, and firefighters used hoses to power-wash streets.

“We’re taking it one day at a time,’’ said Jim Long, a fire-fighter whose home suffered water damage.

“The water table is pretty high. You clean out some water and come back the next day and there’s more water.”

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Rev. Peter Mbaka And Three Other Priests Beaten To A Pulp By Task-Force Members In Enugu

Without fear that they are clerics, some members of task-force working with the Enugu State Housing Corporation, allegedly dealt with four priests, beating them mercilessly. The ... Full story

Nollywood Actor Arrested For Selling His Son For N350k

Nemesis has finally caught up with an upcoming Nollywood actor and his wife as they are currently in police custody for selling their two-year-old son, ... Full story

Eze Isaac Ikonne: Muhammdu Buhari Has Already Bought The Clothes I’d Wear On May 29

In this interview with STEPHEN UKANDU, one of the oldest traditional rulers in Igbo land, His Royal Majesty, Eze Isaac Ikonne, the Enyi 1 of ... Full story

Unemployed Man Runs Mad, Dies In Friend’s Residence

Unemployed and desperate, 24-year-old Taiwo Bamidele saw an opportunity as soon as he met his Lagos-based friend, Akinkunmi Odetunde, during a wedding ceremony in Akure, ... Full story

Rape: 14 year Old Victim Seeks Justice

Rape and other acts of violence against females continue to take horrifying dimensions despite the efforts of the Federal Government to check the menace. abdullahi ... Full story

Yvonne Nelson And John Dumelo Attack Each Other On Social Media

Sadly, these two are no best friends anymore, at-least for now. Last weekend Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson led a #DumsorMustStop vigil along with other Ghanaian celebrities ... Full story

Cabinet Members Who Failed Goodluck Jonathan

In the next five days, President Goodluck Jonathan will hand over the nation’s mantle of leadership to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. The five-year tenure of ... Full story

Grant Amnesty To Boko Haram, Northern Elders Tell Buhari

OME prominent northerners including the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mohammed Uwais and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe ... Full story

NDLEA Officials Surround Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu’s Residence

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have surrounded the residence of Ogun State Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu. The drug law enforcement agency is said ... Full story

N2.7billion SURE-P fund: El Rufai Sends Signals

Kaduna state governor-elect, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i, a former Minister of the FCT, has always been associated with controversy and barely a week to his inauguration, ... Full story

Comment on: U.S Northeast cleans up from Superstorm Sandy, death toll rises

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Okonjo-Iweala vows not to pay marketers

•Calls N159bn subsidy payment claim fraudulent The federal government is spoiling for a fresh showdown with oil importers over subsidy payment. This is coming as there is ...

Singer, Sey Shay Succumbs to Threats as She Apologise to Fan

Many have seen the social media as a bad place to interact base on the ills it has cost many in the society but some ...

DROK ENERGY JOURNAL: Eland Oil and Gas secures OML 42 By Dr Wole Kupolokun

Eland Oil & Gas have confirmed that its Nigerian joint venture company has received approval from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to operate the ...

Buhari rejects Rolls Royce in London

•Meets PM Cameron President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, currently on a private visit to England, on Friday turned down the use of a Rolls Royce made available for ...

Mavin's Records, Reekado Banks Marries Hearthrob In Ghana

Mavin's Records dreadlocks artiste, 'Reekado Banks, is now married, Nigeriafilms.com can authoritatively inform you. Signed on to the Don Jazzy's owned music company, Reekado Banks had ...

I'll Cheat On My New Wife If......- Kenneth 'Andy' Okonkwo Confesses

One of the pioneers of Nollywood, Ace actor, lawyer and politician, Kenneth Arinzechukwu Okonkwo popularly known as Andy Okeke, needs no further introduction. The name 'Andy' ...

Controversial Actress, Tonto Dikeh, To Judge Beauty Contest Cause Uproar

The big announcement that Nollywood controversial actress, Tonto Dikeh, was going to be a judge at a beauty contest in Lagos broke recently and everyone ...

Nollywood Actor, Kanayo Arrested For Selling Son For N350k

Nemesis has finally caught up with an upcoming Nollywood actor and his wife as they are currently in police custody for selling their two-year-old son, ...

Reminisce: My Wife Acts Like A Man

Reminisce posted a picture on Instagram of himself and a lady he referred to as ‘Mama Afusat.’ In the caption, he even referred to the ... Full story

Video: Don Jazzy And The Mavins Arrive In Ghana For Tigo Ghana Meets Naija Concert

7-men Nigerian music group led by Don Jazzy, The Mavins have touched down in Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport this morning for tomorrow's Tigo ...