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

INEC Announces Nigeian Elections Will Continue Tomorrow

INEC just announced via its newly created Twitter account for alerts @INECAlert that elections will be postponed till tomorrow in some polling units. This affects ... Full story

Bomb Blast At Polling Station In Enugu State

There was pandemonium today as two bombs were detonated at the WTC primary school polling station in Enugu North local government area by operatives of ... Full story

32 Year Guy Fell In Love With A Woman Sixty Years Older Than Himself

A man who fell in love with a woman sixty years older than himself has told of his special relationship with her that transcended age. It ... Full story

Children Spotted In Line Getting Accredited To Vote In Katsina State

A young boy clearly under the age of 18 had just been photographed by a voter in Katsina state getting his finger prints read by ... Full story

I’m Single And Searching, May D Confirms Breakup With Baby Mama

May D has confirmed to HipTv that he has moved on from his babymama and he is definitely single and still browsing (using the exact ... Full story

Pastor Madubuko Suffering In His Marriage With Emmy Kosgey Silently

Reports emerging from Nigeria indicate that all might not be well with Emmy Kosgey following the history of her rich pastor husband with women. A ... Full story

Jennifer Lopez And Toyboy Casper Smart Seen Kissing in LA

Jennifer Lopez and toyboy Casper Smart are supposedly back together after the couple were spotted kissing backstage at her American Idol season 14 taping in ... Full story

Nigerian Stars, Kunle Afolayan, Banky W And Others Spotted At Polling Stations

Our celebrities seem to be really eager to show their fans ways of being a patriotic Nigerians. Some of them are already out queuing to cast ... Full story

Nollywood Actress, Omoni Oboli- Dont Be Influenced By Money

Omoni Oboli, Nollywood diva and mother of three awesome boys also has some piece of advise for Nigerians as they cast their votes today. The delectable ... Full story

One killed In Osun Violence

The 2015 presidential elections have kicked off and so far it has been going on peacefully except in some states such as Enugu and Osun ... Full story

APC Presidential Candidate Accredited In Daura

Accreditation of Voters is underway at Kofar Baru 3 in Sarkin Yara “A” in Daura Local Government Area. Of Katsina State. Presidential candidate of All Progressives ...

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

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Sandra Muna Korie Grabs Beauty Queen’s Boobs

Well, he’s not really grabbing it, but you can see where his hand is…hehe. That’s Sandra Muna Korie, Most Beautiful Face in Nigeria Amity winner. ... Full story

Election 2015: Muma Gee Escapes Assassination In Rivers State

Actress singer and performer turned politician Muma Gee Eke who had earlier dumped PDP to Labour party reportedly escaped an assassination attempt on her life ...

2015: Mixed Reactions Trail Polling Units During Accreditation

As Nigeria decides who will be the president for the next four years, the different centers designated for the accreditation process are having people experience ...

2015 Election: Praiz Postpones UK Tour, Apologies To Fan

Talented vocalist and musician, Praiz, has postponed his UK tour. The reason is not far-fetched, as it might likely be linked to the on going 2015 ...

Eniola Aluko Puts Her law Career On Hold

Nigerian born-England striker, Eniola Aluko has expressed her intentions to put her law career on hold as she focuses on full time football. The 28-year old ... Full story

Don't Be Swayed By Money- Omoni Oboli Advises Voters

Omoni Oboli, Nollywood diva and mother of three awesome boys also has some piece of advise for Nigerians as they cast their votes today. The delectable ...

Election Day Fever, Iyanya Prays For Nigeria

Finally, the must anticipated election day is here. Today, March 28, 2015, Nigerians would decide who would be their leader for the next four years.On that ...

Ubi Franklin Opens Up On Engagement To Lilian Usoro, Plans Big Wedding

He took everyone by surprise when he popped 'will you marry me'? question to Lilian Usoro. The news of the engagement between Made Men Music Group ...

Celebrities Decide: Kunle Afolayan, Banky W, Gbenga Adeyinka, Others Spotted At Polling Stations

Our celebrities seem to be really eager to show their fans ways of being a patriotic Nigerians.Some of them are already out queuing to cast ...

How Popular Actress Introduced Me To Hard Drugs- Terry G

He would easily pass as one of the most controversial artistes in Nigeria. Benue state born artiste, Terry G, is very controversial and doesn't hid it. ...