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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

At least 16 deaths, 7.5 million without power in Superstorm Sandy's wake

Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people. (Oct. 29)

Tribune wire reports
5:53 a.m. CDT, October 30, 2012

What they have dubbed, the "Superstorm Sandy," slammed the New Jersey coast with over 80 mph winds Monday night. Then an unexpected 13-foot surge of sea-water hit New York City, flooding its tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street.

The National Hurricane Center said that as of 5 a.m. Tuesday, "The storm was moving westward across Pennsylvania and was centered about 90 miles west of Philadelphia."

At least 16 U.S. deaths were blamed on the storm. Sandy also killed 66 people in the Caribbean.

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in New York and Long Island.

The declaration makes federal funding available to people in the area. It bore the brunt of the sea surge from a superstorm that hit the East Coast on Monday.

An estimated 7.5 million people are without power across the East.

The unprecedented flooding was hampering efforts to fight a massive fire in one of the city's barrier island neighborhoods, Breezy Point in the borough Queens, the New York Fire Department said. More than 170 firefighters battled a fire that destroyed more than 50 homes.

Stock trading will be closed in the U.S. for a second day Tuesday — the first time the New York Stock Exchange will be closed for two consecutive days due to weather since 1888, when a blizzard struck the city.

Heavy rain and further flooding remain major threats for the next couple of days.

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