NEW YORK MAYOR ORDERS FUEL RATIONING ACROSS CITY AMID BEING HIT BY SECOND STORM

The Mayor of New York has ordered fuel rationing based on vehicle registration plates after the city was hit by its second severe storm in just over a week.Michael Bloomberg announced at a news conference that drivers will be

allowed to buy petrol on alternating days based on whether their licence plate ends in odd or even numbers.It comes as heavy snow fell across much of the northeastern US – bringing yet more misery for hundreds of thousands of people still without power since Sandy hit on October 29.”This is not a step that we take lightly,” Mr Bloomberg said. “Only 25% of our gas stations we estimate are open. Frustrations are only growing and it now appears there will be shortages for possibly another couple weeks.” The rationing plan, similar to one implemented in New Jersey last week, began on Friday at 6am local time (11am GMT).Long Island also imposed the rationing system one hour earlier. Police are at petrol stations to enforce the system. Mr Bloomberg did not say when the measure, which does not include emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and certain other vehicles, would end. People with licence plates ending in a letter are eligible to buy fuel on odd-numbered days. Officials hoped the move would cut queues of increasingly desperate drivers at city petrol stations.

The shortage has created a black market where online sellers are offering fuel at more than twice the industry rate. New York City has been hard hit by fuel shortages since Sandy struck due to power cuts and petrol being stranded at refineries. A second coastal storm, known as a nor’easter, struck on Wednesday bringing snow, rain and high winds and further hampering efforts to get the city’s infrastructure back online. More than 110 people died across the US northeast during Sandy, which began as a deadly Caribbean hurricane before driving into New Jersey .In New York City, authorities reported that the number of dead there reached 41 when an elderly man was found dead in his building. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated that Sandy and its aftermath had caused $50bn (£31bn) in damage, with New York state bearing $33bn (£21bn) of that. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun to move several hundred mobile homes into New York and New Jersey for the tens of thousands forced out of their homes.More than half a million people, mostly in New York and New Jersey, were still waiting on Friday morning for their electricity to come back

Advertisements

60,000 new power outages as nor’easter Athena slams US northeast

Snow blows past debris and nonfunctioning streetlights during a Nor’Easter snowstorm on November 7, 2012 in the Rockaway neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City (Mario Tama / Getty Images / AFP)  A Winter Storm has left thousands across the US East Coast without power, adding to the 640,000 already under blackouts after Hurricane Sandy. Residents fear more damage as the storm hits the storm-pummeled northeast with heavy wind, snow and rain. An estimated 60,000 people lost electricity as the nor’easter, named Athena by the National Weather Service, moved through New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Residents were urged to evacuate flooded areas on Wednesday night, and the storm is predicted to last well into Thursday. New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut have seen snowfall up to eight inches in some areas.Airports in New York and New Jersey have already cancelled more than 1,700 flights. Several parks were also closed throughout New York and New Jersey over fears of falling trees, and many schools canceled classes. A nor’easter does not have the destructive force of Sandy, which killed more than 110 people in the US, cut power to 8.5 million homes and flooded New York City and the New Jersey coast. The winter storm still poses a danger, however, because it is hitting areas already devastated by Sandy, increasing the risk of further flooding. “We’re petrified,” James Alexander told USA Today. Alexander lives in the hard-hit Rockaways section of New York City’s Queens borough. “It’s like a sequel to a horror movie.”The storm has also stalled post-Sandy repairs, preventing emergency workers from dealing with the hurricane’s impact.

New storm bears down on Sandy-battered NYC, NJ

Waves crash into a seawall and buildings along the coast in Hull, Mass., Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. A high-wind warning is in effect in the state until Wednesday night, with gusts of up to 60 mph expected in some costal areas, and 50 mph gusts expected for Boston and western Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)(Nov 7, 2012) A nor’easter blustered into New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, bringing wet snow to some areas, knocking down tree limbs and power lines, and inflicting misery all over again on tens of thousands of people still reeling from Superstorm Sandy.Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this sort wouldn’t be a big deal, but large swaths of the landscape were still an open wound, with the electrical system highly fragile and many of Sandy’s victims still mucking out their homes and cars and shivering in the deepening cold.Thousands of people in low-lying neighborhoods staggered by the superstorm just over a week ago were warned to clear out. Authorities said rain and 60 mph gusts in the evening and overnight could swamp homes again, topple trees wrenched loose by Sandy, and erase some of the hard-won progress made in restoring power to millions of customers.”I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. “We may take a setback in the next 24 hours.”Ahead of the storm, public works crews in New Jersey built up dunes to protect the stripped and battered coast, and new evacuations were ordered in a number of communities already emptied by Sandy. New shelters opened.In New York City, police went to low-lying neighborhoods with loudspeakers, urging residents to leave. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn’t issue mandatory evacuations, and many people stayed behind, some because they feared looting, others because they figured whatever happens couldn’t be any worse than what they have gone through already.”This is nothing,” Staten Island nurse Elena McDonnell said as she weathered the storm in a dark, flood-damaged home that she fled last week when cars on her block began floating away.

Aftermath of Sandy Update

With at least 50 people dead, transit crippled in New York City and millions of people along the U.S. East Coast struggling without electricity, communities face a daunting challenge of repairing the damage wrought by super-storm Sandy. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg surveyed the destruction in the hardest-hit neighborhoods Tuesday. He said he saw homes so utterly destroyed only “chimneys and foundations” were visible. But despite the daunting challenge of recovery efforts, Bloomberg said “New Yorkers are resilient.” About a third of New York’s fleet of taxis were operating Tuesday, bus service was partially restored, and the New York Stock Exchange was expected to reopen Wednesday. U.S. President Barack Obama declared New York and Long Island a “major” disaster area. The declaration means federal funding is now available to residents of the hardest-hit areas, who awoke to a tragic aftermath of the deadly storm that slammed ashore in New Jersey on Monday evening. New York had seen a four-meter surge of seawater crash ashore overnight, inundating the city’s tunnels and electrical systems and causing massive damage to the city’s famed subway. The storm left New York with no running trains, a vacated business district and entire neighborhoods under water. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the subway system, which remains closed, had suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history. As of midday Tuesday, Sandy’s sustained winds were already diminishing from the 130 km/h it was packing at landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. on Monday evening. But forecasters warn the storm system will continue to affect a region stretching from the U.S. eastern seaboard north to Canada, and as far west as Wisconsin and Illinois, as it churns across Pennsylvania before veering into western New York state sometime Wednesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a bleak update at a morning news conference Tuesday, saying seaside rail lines were washed away, and there was no safe place on the state’s barrier islands for him as large parts of the coast are still under water.

“We are in the midst of urban search and rescue. Our teams are moving as fast as they can,” Christie said. “The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we’ve ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point.” The effects aren’t contained to America’s largest city. More than 7.4 million homes and businesses in an area that stretches from the Carolinas in the south to Ohio in the northeast are without power Tuesday. Tens of thousands were also without electricity in southern parts of Ontario and Quebec too, as Sandy carries its combination of rain and wind northwards. In Canada, a Toronto woman was killed Monday evening after she was struck by a falling sign blown down in the powerful storm’s high winds. Most of the Sandy-related wind warnings issued by Environment Canada have been called off however, except for the Sarnia region, areas along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec and Inverness County in Nova Scotia. The storm was officially downgraded from hurricane status, but it came ashore packing a lot of energy due to its unusually low barometric pressure. Combined with a cold-weather system from the north, and the high tide of the full moon, the storm is forecast to continue wreaking havoc across a 1,300-kilometre region that’s home to 50 million people through Wednesday. Sandy may cost the U.S. more than $20 billion in damage.

At least 48 dead, millions without power in Sandy’s aftermath

The misery of superstorm Sandy’s devastation grew Tuesday as millions along the U.S. East Coast faced life without power or mass transit for days, and huge swaths of New York City remained eerily quiet. The U.S. death toll climbed to at least 48, many of the victims killed by falling trees, and rescue work continued.

The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening with hurricane force cut power to more than 8.2 million across the East and put the presidential campaign on hold just one week before Election Day.

New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart closed for a second day. The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of the city’s subway system, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it could be four or five days before the biggest U.S. transit system was running again.

“This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced,” Bloomberg said.

But the full extent of the damage in New Jersey was being revealed as morning arrived. Emergency crews fanned out to rescue hundreds.

A hoarse-voiced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave bleak news at a morning news conference: Seaside rail lines washed away. No safe place on the state’s barrier islands for him to land. Parts of the coast still under water.

“It is beyond anything I thought I’d ever see,” he said. “It is a devastating sight right now.”

The death toll from Sandy in the U.S. included several killed by falling trees. Sandy killed 18 people in New York City. It also killed 69 people in the Caribbean before making its way up the Eastern Seaboard.

Airlines canceled more than 15,000 flights. New York City’s three major airports remained closed.

Some bridges into the city reopened at midday, but most major tunnels and bridges remained closed, as were schools and Broadway theaters.

The storm sent a nearly 14-foot surge of seawater, a record, coursing over Lower Manhattan‘s seawalls and highways and into low-lying streets. The water inundated tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street and sent hospital patients and tourists scrambling for safety. Skyscrapers swayed and creaked in winds that partially toppled a crane 74 stories above Midtown. A large tanker ship ran aground on the city’s Staten Island.

Around midday, Sandy was about 120 miles east of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, pushing westward with winds of 45 mph, and was expected to make a turn into New York State on Tuesday night. Although weakening as it goes, the storm will continue to bring heavy rain and flooding, said Daniel Brown of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Sandy also brought blizzard conditions to West Virginia and neighboring Appalachian states, with more than 2 feet of snow expected in some places.

Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damage and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, making it one of the costliest natural disasters on record in the U.S., according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in New York and Long Island, making federal funding available to residents of the area. He suspended campaigning for a third day Wednesday, and planned to join Christie in viewing the damage in New Jersey.

Obama, speaking during a stop Tuesday at Red Cross headquarters, warned the public that the massive storm that struck the East Coast “is not yet over.” He said there were still risks of flooding and downed power lines. He called the storm “heartbreaking for the nation.”

The president offered his thoughts and prayers to those affected and told them “America is with you.” He said he also told government officials coordinating the response that there was “no excuse for inaction.”

And he said he told governors in affected areas that if they get no for an answer, “they can call me personally at the White House.”

Republican challenger Mitt Romney resumed his campaign, but with plans to turn a political rally in Ohio into a “storm relief event.”

Water cascaded into the gaping, unfinished construction pit at the World Trade Center, and the New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day, the first time that has happened because of weather since the Blizzard of 1888. The NYSE said it will reopen on Wednesday.

A fire raged in a neighborhood Tuesday morning in the borough of Queens, near the Atlantic Ocean, with 80 to 100 homes destroyed but no deaths reported.

“This will be one for the record books,” said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Consolidated Edison, which had more than 670,000 customers without power in and around New York City.

In New Jersey, where the superstorm came ashore, Sandy cut off barrier islands, swept houses from their foundations and washed amusement pier rides into the ocean. It also wrecked several boardwalks up and down the coast, tearing away a section of Atlantic City’s world-famous promenade. Atlantic City’s 12 waterfront casinos came through largely unscathed.

A huge swell of water swept over the small town of Moonachie, and authorities struggled to rescue about 800 people, some of them living in a trailer park. Police and fire officials used boats to try to reach the stranded.

The massive storm reached well into the Midwest with heavy rain and snow. Chicago officials warned residents to stay away from the Lake Michigan shore as the city prepared for winds of up to 60 mph and waves exceeding 24 feet well into Wednesday.

Curiosity turned to concern overnight as New York City residents watched whole neighborhoods disappear into darkness as power was cut. The World Trade Center site was a glowing ghost near the tip of Lower Manhattan. Residents reported seeing no lights but the strobes of emergency vehicles and the glimpses of flashlights in nearby apartments. Lobbies were flooded, cars floated and people started to worry about food.

As Hurricane Sandy closed in on the Northeast, it converged with a cold-weather system that turned it into a monstrous hybrid of rain and high winds — even bringing snow in West Virginia and other mountainous areas inland.

Just before it made landfall, forecasters stripped Sandy of hurricane status, but the distinction was purely technical, based on its shape and internal temperature. It still packed hurricane-force winds.

While the hurricane’s 90 mph (144 kph) winds registered as only a Category 1 on a scale of five, it packed “astoundingly low” barometric pressure, giving it terrific energy to push water inland, said Kerry Emanuel, a professor of meteorology at MIT.

New York University’s Tisch Hospital was forced to evacuate 200 patients after its backup generator failed. NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman said patients — among them 20 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit who were on battery-powered respirators — had to be carried down staircases and to dozens of ambulances waiting to take them to other hospitals.

A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise overlooking Central Park collapsed in high winds and dangled precariously. Thousands of people were ordered to leave several nearby buildings as a precaution.

Bloomberg told reporters that the storm deaths were tragic but said the city pulled through better than some people expected, considering the magnitude of the storm.

The mayor said: “We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times — by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet.”

Click for updates from the MTA website

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2012/10/30/at-least-17-dead-millions-without-power-in-sandy-aftermath/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2ArRlcGHm

Tanker Run Aground by Superstorm

Powerful storm surges from Superstorm Sandy caused a nearly 170-foot water tanker to run aground in Staten Island, N.Y., on Monday night.

The front third of the tanker is grounded into Front Street. The city’s waterfront was largely destroyed, which includes a number of businesses on the water.

 

The 168-foot tanker was moored about a mile away when Sandy’s powerful force propelled it toward land.

 

No one was on the tanker and no one was hurt as a result of it running aground.

 

Sandy struck the East Coast on Monday night, leaving a trail of massive flooding, power outages and destruction. President Obama has issued disaster declarations for New York and New Jersey.