Sandy Lands, Millions Lose Power, 3 People Dead, 1821 Flood Record Smashed

Flood level record of 1821 SMASHED as Sandy touches down

Hurricane Sandy began breaking up as it hit the New Jersey shore Monday evening on what’s expected to be a destructive path across the Northeast, killing two people, plunging more than 3 million into darkness and crippling transportation across a huge swath of the Eastern U.S.

Wiped out: The surge from New York’s East River has flooded East 20th Street, turning the road into a river

Sandy made landfall at Atlantic City, N.J., about 6:45 p.m. ET, throwing off sustained winds of 90 mph, NBC New York reported. By 8 p.m., its center was about 5 miles southwest of Atlantic City and about 40 miles northeast of Cape May, N.J. Maximum sustained winds had fallen to 80 mph.

The National Hurricane Center re-designated Sandy as a “post-tropical cyclone,” saying it was rapidly losing its tropical characteristics as it merged into an enormous nor’easter. While it was still packing hurricane-force winds, the worst appeared to be over, said Bill Karins, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel.

At least two people were killed Monday:

  • A 30-year-old man was found dead in Flushing in the New York borough of Queens, apparently after having been trapped beneath a tree that crashed into his home about 7 p.m. ET, police told NBC News.
  • A second person was killed when a car hydroplaned over high water in Montgomery County, Md., in the suburbs of Washington, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told MSNBC TV.
  • A third person died after a tree fell in Mansfield, Conn., NBC Connecticut reported.

With strong winds extending 175 miles from its center, Sandy is as broad as any hurricane to ever hit the U.S., sucked in by the lowest central pressure ever recorded for landfall of a major storm in the continental U.S., said Bryan Norcross, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel.

The National Weather Service predicted “historic and life-threatening coastal flooding” through Tuesday morning, with the greatest danger coming at high tide. That was coming as early as 8:53 p.m. ET at the southern tip of Manhattan, which is known as the Battery, to as late as midnight ET in Stamford, Conn.

At 7:30 p.m. ET, the water level at Battery Park had reached 11.87 feet, surpassing the previous record of 11.2 feet in 1821.

About 3.1 million customers — about half of them in New York and New Jersey — had already lost power. New York’s electric utility, Con Ed, preemptively began shutting off power to part of Lower Manhattan to protect its equipment and to allow for faster restoration after the storm has passed.source – MSNBC



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