Superstorm Sandy Devastates the Northeast - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Superstorm Sandy Devastates the Northeast

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UPDATE: Large parts of Manhattan plunged into darkness

NEW YORK (AP) - A superstorm that sent water rushing onto city streets has left a large swath of the lower part of Manhattan without power.

Consolidated Edison spokesman Chris Olert said Monday evening that the power was out for most of Manhattan south of 26th Street.

On the east side, the power outage extended from 29th Street south. There were some scattered areas that still had electricity.

Olert said the damage stemmed from flooding and the probable loss of a transmission feeder.

The power outage was separate from a planned power cut that Con Ed did in certain lower Manhattan neighborhoods to protect underwater systems from flood damage.

Olert said there were 250,000 customers without power in Manhattan. A customer represents a single meter, so the number of people actually affected is likely higher.



UPDATE: Sandy makes landfall, at least 10 (new number) deaths

UNDATED (AP) - It's no longer classified a hurricane, but that's doesn't mean much to the folks who are feeling the effects of superstorm Sandy.

The National Hurricane Center now says Sandy is a post-tropical cyclone and while it's losing strength, it still has sustained winds at 85 mph. The center of the enormous storm made landfall at 8 p.m. (Eastern) near Atlantic City. It's merging with Arctic cold and a winter storm from the West.

Forecasters say the storm is still a vast and dangerous hybrid storm. It's already knocked out electricity to more than 3 million customers.

The storm is blamed for at least ten deaths.



Woman killed by falling sign in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) - Police in Toronto say a woman was killed by a falling sign as high winds from the approaching superstorm Sandy whip Canada's largest city.

A Toronto police spokesman said Monday that winds were about 40 mph (65 kph) in the area at the time the woman was hit by flying debris while walking along a street.

People across central and eastern Canada are bracing for the storm which is set to arrive early Tuesday with powerful winds and a deluge of rain.

Officials have warned residents in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces to prepare, though the East Coast of the United States will bear the brunt of the unusually large storm.

The storm is expected to continue to churn north and northwest, lashing parts of Canada.



Snow plows out in Appalachia, ski resorts opening

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Snow plows are out in the southern Appalachian mountains, beginning what could be a long week of snow removal as forecasters predict as much as 3 feet of snow spawned by Hurricane Sandy.

The early snowfall in higher elevations could be a boon for the area's ski resorts, which have sometimes struggled to keep their slopes open.

Forecasters in West Virginia expanded a blizzard warning for high winds and heavy, wet snow. No significant power outages were reported as of Monday afternoon.

Farther south in Boone, N.C., as much as a foot of snow is expected. Sugar Mountain spokeswoman Kim Jochl says the ski resort plans to open by Halloween, the earliest opening ever in 43 years of operation.



Amtrak cancels Tuesday service in Northeast

WASHINGTON (AP) - Amtrak says it has canceled all Tuesday service in the Northeast due to high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy.

The railroad said passenger service between Boston and Raleigh, N.C., and between the East Coast and Chicago, New Orleans and Florida will be suspended for the second day in a row.

Cancellations include Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle service, among other trains. Passengers were urged to follow developments on and Facebook and Twitter sites. No decision has yet been made on when service will be resumed.

Amtrak said passengers who have paid but who didn't travel because of the service disruption can receive a refund or a voucher for future travel.



Romney, Obama alter campaign plans because of storm

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - They can't exactly shut down their campaigns, with eight days to go until Election Day. But President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can't ignore Hurricane Sandy, either.

Obama today canceled a midday rally in Florida and flew back to Washington to keep tabs on the storm. He has canceled plans to go to Wisconsin tomorrow.

Romney has been campaigning in Ohio and Iowa, but canceled events tonight and tomorrow. Campaign officials say vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan will also scrap campaign rallies during the same time frame.

Romney's campaign is thinking of sending him to New Jersey later this week, where he could meet with victims and with Gov. Chris Christie, a Romney ally.



Regulators: Financial system operating normally

WASHINGTON (AP) - Though U.S. stock trading was suspended Monday because of Hurricane Sandy, the parts of the financial system that stayed open functioned normally, the Treasury Department says.

Financial regulators found that systems involving payments, clearing and settlements of stock, bond and other market transactions worked without problems, in some cases through backup systems.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discussed the issues Monday with other members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which Geithner chairs. Among the matters they reviewed were the temporary closings of banks in areas affected by the storm.

The New York Stock Exchange has announced that stock trading will be closed again Tuesday.



Analysts say Sandy unlikely to damage US economy

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hurricane Sandy has already caused the cancellation of thousands of flights, stranding travellers. Insurers are expecting to have to pay up to $5 billion. Retailers are expecting smaller sales.

But for the overall economy, damage from the storm is expected to be limited. And analysts say any economic growth that is lost to the storm in the short run will probably be restored after reconstruction begins.

Preliminary estimates are that the damage will range between $10 billion and $20 billion. That could top last year's Hurricane Irene, which cost $15.8 billion.

If so, Sandy would be among the 10 most costly hurricanes in U.S. history. But it would still be far below the worst -- Hurricane Katrina, which cost $108 billion.

Hurricanes, like other disasters, can cause big losses -- but also big spikes in economic activity afterward, as buildings are rebuilt or repaired. And Americans may spend more before the storm when they stock up on extra food, water and batteries.

Economic activity in October and November might slow if factory output declines, and if some workers are laid off temporarily and seek unemployment benefits. But the economy could strengthen in December as companies rebound.



Crane dangles from NYC high-rise, clearing streets

NEW YORK (AP) - A construction crane is dangling off a luxury high-rise in Manhattan, prompting a large emergency response as a huge storm bears down on New York City.

The crane is at West 57th Street. No injuries are reported.

The city has ordered people in neighboring buildings to move to lower floors. Streets have been cleared.

The call came in around 2:30 p.m. Monday as conditions worsened from the approaching Hurricane Sandy. Meteorologists say winds that far off the ground might have been close to 95 mph at the time.

The Buildings Department had suspended construction work at 5 p.m. Saturday. It reminded contractors and property owners to secure construction sites and buildings.

A six-bedroom penthouse at the building, called One57, is under contract for a reported $90 million.

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