Superstorm Sandy is whipping through New England, leaving behind $20 billion in damage, while President Obama declares New York City a “major disaster area.”
The storm’s ferocity has moved north, but it will be a slow recovery for the Washington-New York area, where rain still is falling in many areas. The capital has been described as a “ghost town,” and New York was virtually shut down.
The death toll has reached 17, and the subway systems in Philadelphia and New York City remain closed.
Economic damage is estimated to be approximately $20 billion, and the number is likely to grow when the East Coast begins to discover disastrous after effects when they begin dry out. The salt water that gushed into New York City streets may have done untold damage to subway mechanisms.
The storm set off an “alert” at the New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, where a rise in flood waters could force the use of emergency water supplies to cool down spent uranium fuel rods.
Sandy was lashing southeastern Canada as of noon Israeli time Tuesday, and more than 100,000 in Ontario are without electricity. A falling sign in Toronto killed one woman Monday night.
Several areas in the Mid-Atlantic states still are being evacuated due to rising flood waters.
Sandy was rare in several aspects, not the least of which is its size, reaching as far inland from the East Coast as the Midwest.
High winds knocked out power for more than 23,000 homes and businesses in Michigan and more than 200,000 in Ohio. Residents in at least one small lake-side village in Wisconsin were warned to evacuate.
Snow was expected in higher regions in Tennessee, West Virginia and Western Maryland.
Photos by Reuters: