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

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Says Many Pastors Will Go To Hell

Founder and head pastor of Believers Love World, popularly known as Christ Embassy, Chris Oyakhilome left members of his church shocked with his revelation while ... Full story

Ebola scare: Passengers quarantined at Scottish Airport after 10-year-old Nigerian passenger became ill

 Shocked airline passengers were recovering following a terrifying ebola scare which saw them quarantined for 90 minutes at a Scottish Airport yesterday, Mailonline reported.More than ... Full story

Fulani clash with Eggon youths in Nasarawa State leaves 17 dead

No fewer than 17 people were killed on Sunday night during a clash between suspected Eggon youths and their Fulani counterparts in  Alingani Fadaman Bauna, ... Full story

Nigerian soldiers flee Boko Haram insurgents, take refuge in Cameroon

About 480 Nigerian soldiers have fled into Cameroon following fierce fighting with Boko Haram insurgents. The Cameroonian Army Spokesman, Lt Col Didier Badjek, who confirmed this, ...

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau declares Gwoza as headquarters for a new Islamic caliphate in Nigeria

Abubakar Shekau, the mercurial leader of Nigeria’s Islamist group, Boko Haram, on Sunday released a video in which he declares the areas under his sect’s ...

Boko Haram Leader Shekau Releases Gruesome Video Showing Fleeing Soldiers And Killings Of Civilians

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau has released a new video yesterday, where he showed how innocent civilians were murdered. The video also shows how soldiers ...

Presidency denies Jonathan flown to Germany for medical attention

The Presidency on Sunday said there was no truth in media reports that President Goodluck Jonathan was flown to Germany on Friday for medical attention. Special ...

DSS asks Nigerians to watch out for female suicide bombers dressed as nuns

The Department of State of State Service (DSS) has warned that terrorists may be planning to attack in a different way after 13 pieces of ...

Blessing Egbe - Single and married women in Nollywood sleep around to get to the top

It isn’t really clear what prompted Blessing to take to twitter recently to vent her frustration over what she considered as the promiscuous and wanton ...

Toyin Lawani Vows To Torment Tonto Dike Until She Pays $15,000 Debt

Nollywood Actress, Tonto Dikeh reportedly owes Toyin Lawani of Tiannah Styling a lump sum of $15,000. According to reports, the former besties have been engaging ...

Parents of the Kidnapped Chibok Girls Perform Funeral Rites For Missing School Girls

It has been four months since the unfruitful search for the abducted girls; as a result they have presumed the girls are dead. This position was ...

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

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

WHY I DON’T HAVE CHURCH BRANCHES EVERYWHERE– T.B. JOSHUA

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has opened up as to why his church does not have foreign branches despite his popularity abroad.The cleric, who spoke on ...

Top 5 Reasons Why Jim Iyke is Too Much...And We Love It!

Jim Iyke Jim Iyke (James Ikechukwu Esomugha) is a Nigerian actor and singer-songwriter. He is one of the highest paid Nollywood actors and has featured in ...

I Don’t Take Stimulants Before Performance—Felix Duke

Music they say ‘is the food of the soul’ and as such, every singer wants to be at his or her best at every show ...

John Dumelo Advises Fans

Top Ghanaian actor, John Dumelo has taken to his social media page to render advice to his fans who are bothered about what people say ...

Lagos OAP, Tosyn Bucknor Goes About With Walk Stick

Barely a month since On-Air-Personality, Tosyn Bucknor, was involved in an accident in her home, which made her have a dislocation; the popular radio presenter ...

Sheyi Shay Acquires New Ride

Nigerian singer, Seyi Shay has been blessed with a Hyundai ix35 SUV.The singer announced the acquisition on her social media page and boasted of its ...

Yoruba Actress, Tola Ayeni Relocates To South Africa; Throws Lavish Party

Nigeriafilms.com can confirm that well known Yoruba actress-cum-producer, Adetola Ayeni, popularly known as Tola Ayeni, has left the shores of Nigeria to find solace in ...

Celebrity Birthday: Yvonne Jegede Adds Another Year

Sexy dark skinned Nollywood actress, Yvonne Jegede is a year older today, Monday, August 25, 2014.Recall that in 2007, the actress left the scene to ...

Germany beats Nigeria to win FIFA U-20 World Cup

Germany have won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup for a record-equalling third time after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Nigeria at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.Lena ...

Actor Soji Omo Banke In Hot Romance With Taye Taiwo’s Elder Sister

Soji Taiwo, aka Omo Banke is one of most sought-after Yoruba actors in the movie industry. Though, he came into limelight a few years back, ...