U.S. prepares for arrival of Hurricane Sandy

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Monday, October 29, 2012

The United States is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane, which is expected to hit late Sunday into Monday, could affect up to sixty million people. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced that all subway, bus and train services in New York City would be suspended from 19:00 EST on Sunday evening.

The hurricane has already caused damage and fatalities in several Caribbean countries this week. Meteorologists are concerned that it will turn into a "Frankenstorm" as it amalgamates with a winter storm in the run up to Halloween. It has now been downgraded to a post-tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center. It has sustained winds of 85 mph. Authorities warned that a full moon could trigger high tides with storm surges of up to 3 metres which would cause sea water to surge through Lower Manhattan.

Country Damage caused
Haiti At least 44 people killed and homes flooded
Cuba Eleven people killed and second city left without power
Dominican Republic Two people killed and 8,755 people evacuated
Jamaica One person killed and schools, airports closed
Bahamas Power cuts and flooding

It is also expected to cause serious flooding in several areas on the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island Sound and New York Harbour.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg
Image: Rubenstein.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg urged people to take action now to keep themselves safe. "I don't want anybody to go to bed tonight thinking that they can spend the day worrying about the night after," Mr Bloomberg said. "If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," he said.

It is expected that the hurricane will affect flights. Air France announced that it will cancel all flights to New York and Washington today. British Airways has cancelled all flights to and from the east coast of the U.S. today.

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has announced that several bridges are to close from 19:00 EDT — George Washington, Verrazano-Narrows, Throgs Neck, Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Cross Bay Veterans, and from 16:00 EDT the Tappan Zee. He also said the worst of the storm has not yet reached the city.

The New York Stock Exchange trading floor is closed today and is to remain closed tomorrow but electronic transactions are still able to take place. Spokesman Rich Adamonis told Reuters "We continue to monitor the situation and to communicate with government officials, regulators, and markets participants,". The United Nations headquarters in New York have also been shut down. Several states have announced states of emergency- Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC and also a coastal county in North Carolina.

Public schools are to remain closed tomorrow in New York, Washington and Philadelphia. The Washington metro is also to be closed tomorrow because of the hurricane.

The state of Delaware has announced a mandatory evacuation order for 50,000 people from coastal areas and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged people not to take risks. "We have to be prepared for the worst here. I can be as cynical as any of you but when the storm comes, if it's as bad as they're predicting it will be, you're gonna wish you weren't as cynical as you might otherwise have been." he said.

CNN have reported that about 1.5 million people are now being affected by power cuts.

President Obama receives an update on the response to Hurricane Sandy.

The hurricane has also affected the election campaigning plans of the two main presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Romney announced that he had cancelled a planned campaign rally yesterday evening in Virginia Beach and Vice-President Joe Biden cancelled a visit there on Saturday.


Sources

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