Millions still without power as Hurricane Sandy cripples East Coast

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 10/30/2012

Dozens were killed and millions are still without power nearly 24 hours after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast on Monday, Oct. 29. Emergency personnel are warning that it may take several days before power is restored in some of the hardest-hit areas and the full extent of the devastation is realized.

U.S. major disaster declarations have been issued for the states of New York and New Jersey, while emergency declarations have been issued for Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday, Oct. 30, more than 1,500 FEMA personnel have been deployed along the East Coast to help with the response operations.

Doug Morris, director of security in OOIDA’s Washington, DC, office told Land Line on Tuesday that “pretty much everything is closed down.”

“Commuter trains to DC are not up yet, and the airlines are just getting back up,” Morris said. “A lot of side roads are covered with debris, and the governor of Maryland told everyone but emergency service personnel to stay home.”

Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dr. Rick Knabb of the National Hurricane Center said in a podcast that post-tropical cyclone Sandy, downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane, was located about 120 miles east, southeast of Pittsburgh, PA, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

Sandy still poses a threat with high wind warnings, including gale-force winds over coastal waters of the Mid-Atlantic states, as well as New York and New England, along with rain and elevated water levels over coastal areas.

Knabb said a blizzard warning has been issued for the central Appalachian region. He said parts of West Virginia could get up to 2 to 3 feet of snow.

According to the FEMA briefing on Tuesday, Sandy is expected to move into western New York Tuesday night and into Canada on Wednesday.

Truck drivers with loads headed to the Northeast are encouraged to check road conditions first as many have sustained damage, flooding or are covered with debris from Sandy. On Tuesday, the governor of Connecticut, Dan Malloy, lifted the ban on trucks on state routes.

On Tuesday, the TravelCenters of America’s Facebook page stated that all but five locations were up and running and had fuel. The five sites currently without power include the TA at Willington, CT; the TA in Bloomsbury, NJ; the TA in Columbia, NJ; and the TA sites in Porter and Porter South, IN.

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