Superstorm Sandy aftermath: Race to reach starving survivors of Sandy
TENS of thousands of people remained stranded in some of the areas worst-hit by superstorm Sandy yesterday, as the Pentagon rallied to assist the rescue effort and a host of US music superstars geared up to perform in a benefit concert.
While floodwaters have started to recede in the town of Hoboken, which suffered extensive damage during Monday’s storm, an estimated 20,000 residents are still trapped in their homes, many without power, food and water.
National Guard troops continued their search and rescue operation in the stricken community yesterday, but a full recovery is still a long way off, with officials estimating it could be seven to 10 days before power is restored to around two million people in the surrounding region.
As people across the eastern seaboard spent another day trying to return to normality, authorities faced new challenges, including a shortage of fuel.
Long queues of drivers waited in line for hours in the hope of filling up their tanks, with skirmishes breaking out in places as people lost patience.
Officials warned that 336,000 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled into the waters around Staten Island and New Jersey after a storage tank was ruptured and lifted from its holdings. Doubts were also growing as to whether polling stations in the state would have power in time for election day on Tuesday.
In New York, the city’s subway system partially reopened three days after its stations and tunnels had been inundated by torrents of seawater in the vast, record-breaking storm surge caused by Sandy. More than a dozen lines were running, but none travelled below 34th Street on Manhattan.
The city’s three major airports were all running a limited service, with the badly flooded LaGuardia hub the latest to reopen. The Amtrack route which spans the north-east of the US is due to become operational again today.
Despite the progress that has been made in restoring the transport infrastructure, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers were still without power, especially in downtown Manhattan, which remained in the dark roughly south of the Empire State Building after floodwaters knocked out electricity supplies. It is expected that power will be restored by tomorrow.
Concerns were also mounting over the elderly and poor, all but trapped on upper floors of housing complexes in the powerless area, and who face pitch-black hallways, elevators and dwindling food supplies.
While emergency deliveries were being made to those cut off, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, said: “Our problem is making sure they know that food is available.”
Meanwhile, music stars Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, both from New Jersey, Long Island’s Billy Joel, and Staten Island-born Christina Aguilera are due to perform at a benefit concert today to raise funds for the American Red Cross.
The concert, entitled “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together”, will be recorded at NBC’s studios in New York and broadcast across the country.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east