Hurricane Sandy slammed into the northeast Monday evening, leaving flooding a trail of severe damage in its wake. The storm is expected to weaken as it moves inland across Pennsylvania on Tuesday and then western New York on Wednesday. Forecasters say the former category 1 hurricane will continue to dump heavy rain as it travels, which will likely cause additional flooding in already affected areas.
Before even making landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey Monday evening around 8 p.m., Sandy had caused flooding in New York City and nearby areas. Severe wind from the storm prompted weather officials to issue warnings from Florida to Canada. Authorities also initiated evacuations before Sandy’s arrival.
The already-strong hurricane was further strengthened when it collided with Arctic winds and a storm from the west. The collision created a massive superstorm that affected areas from the Carolinas to Maine and even some Midwestern states. Sandy left more than 7.4 million homes and business without power and prompted the closing of the stock exchange two days in a row.
Authorities in northern coastal areas reported a thirteen-foot storm surge and massive flooding. New York City was hard hit with floodwater rushing into subway tunnels, underground parking garages and the ground zero construction site. It is unclear when the subway system will begin running again.
"The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region," said Metropolitan Transportation Authority Joseph Lhota.
Rescuers are already out locating stranded residents and authorities have begun clear roads of debris as well as downed trees and power lines. The extent of Sandy’s damage has yet to be determined. Officials have confirmed 29 storm-related deaths.
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