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

Yinka Offehin, 35, Fighting For His Life After Landlady’s Children Cut His Private Parts

A 35-year-old man, Yinka Offehin, is battling for his life at a private hospital in Lagos State after his scrotum was cut by the children ... Full story

Patrick Sawyer’s Aide Shows Signs Of Ebola Virus Infection In Lagos,

Less than 7 days after the death of a Liberian Health Official who came to Nigeria for a conference, another case of Ebola infection has ... Full story

Fourth female suicide attack in Kano kills 6

A female suicide bomber killed six people at a college campus in Kano city today, the fourth time Boko Haram Islamists were suspected of using ...

Asari Dokubo Slams President Jonathan’s Comments On Buhari

The Leader of Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteers Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, on Tuesday slammed President Goodluck Jonathan over his comment that Nigeria would have boiled if ...

Chibok girls’ parents, community leaders clash over Jonathan's N100m largesse

Controversy has erupted between parents of the kidnapped girls and leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja over an alleged N100m largesse given by President ...

Oby Ezekwesili: Female suicide bombers may be Chibok girls

Former minister and one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has raised an alarm on the increasing use of teenage girls as ...

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai loses son in Abuja road crash

Tragedy hit the home of the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, in the early morning of Tuesday when his son, ...

Blessing Okagbare Wins 100 Metres Gold At Glasgow Commonwealth Games - Video

Blessing Okagbare wins women’s 100 metres gold in 10.85 seconds to increase Team Nigeria’s medals haul at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Okagbare also erased ...

Bomb Blast Rocks Kano Again, Many Feared Dead

Another explosion hit Kano, coming just 24 hours after the state suffered three bomb explosions in different locations. Today’s blast took place at the NNPC ...

Asari Dokubo: "Bomb attack on former Military Head of State was planned by Buhari himself"

This might look weird, but the former militant leader, Dokubo-Asari has alleged that the bomb attack on former Military Head of State was planned by ...

Kano State Catholic Church Bomb Blast Kills 6, Injures 13

2 Bombs went off in northern Nigeria’s main city of Kano, killing 6 people and wounded 13 others on Sunday, a senior police officer said. The ...

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

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Paula Obiewkwe

Breaking News

Anita Joseph - Though My Body Is Hot, I Don’t Flaunt It

Controversial Nollywood actress, Anita Joseph, is not happy with people who accused her of intentionally exposing her body on social media. The well endowned actress who ... Full story

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde Is The Most Beautiful Actress In The History Of Nigeria [Pictures]

--and the most trending Nigerian celebrity topic on StumbleUpon.2014 is the year of the Nigeria Centenary and since Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates ...

BABES LOVE MONEY: Beautiful Joy Bewaji Tells Guys The Truth

My Dear Bros,I am tired of you whining about your girlfriend. What is it that you want? What are your expectations? She grew up in ...

Money Saga: Press Release By Chibok Community In Abuja

Gentlemen of the Press,We are highly disturbed and disgusted by the recent information circulating in the media over alleged receipt of money by the leadership ...

I Have Serious Crush On Chidinma—Ruggedman Confesses

Michael Stephens Ugochukwu better known as Ruggedman, has disclosed that he loves Chidinma, winner of MTN Project Fames season three.The rapper made this announcement while ...

Charles Novia Alleges Liberian Ebola Victim As Medical Terrorist

Few weeks ago, after the 40 year old Liberian, Mr. Patrick Sawyer was quarantined after he arrived Lagos, Nigeria with symptoms of the Ebola virus ...

IK Ogbonna Lands In Trouble Over Hand On Actress‘Milk Factory’

A selfie posted by Nollywood actor, IK Ogbonna, may have landed him trouble due to what looks like him placing his hand on the milk ...

Ex-Wazobia FM OAP, Matse Shows Off 3-Month-Old Baby

A former staff of Wazobia FM, Matse, who later moved to Nigeria Info radio station in Lagos, but got fired afterwards, has showed off her ...

Femi Adebayo Celebrates Twins’ Birthday (Picture)

Sons of popular Yoruba actor, Femi Adebayo are marking their birthdays today, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The handsome son of veteran Nollywood actor, Adebayo Salami, ...

Pastor Ashimolowo's Son, Tomi Marries in Grand Style (Pictures)

Recently, son of Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), Tomi Michael, got married to his sweetheart, Jeneba Kamara. The event held ...