Hurricane Sandy Makes Landfall
Superstorm begins to pound northeast
It's 7 p.m. in New York City, and Hurricane Sandy is making landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey, about 120 miles away.
Hurricane Sandy made landfall as a Category 1 storm. Sandy produced winds of 90 mph with gusts of up to 115 mph. It's a mammoth storm that threatens 50 million people in the North East corridor.
The National Hurricane Center said that the hurricane-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the storm's center, with tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 500 miles.
The areas expected to feel the full force of the storm — including high winds and record flooding — include coastal New Jersey, Long Island, New York, and Lower Manhattan in New York City. More than a million people up and down the east coast are without power.
New York City prepared for the superstorm's landfall by closing public schools, mass transit system, stock exchanges, and theaters on Broadway. Hundreds of thousands of people (including this Scholastic Kid reporter) were ordered to leave their homes.
New York is the nation's largest city. Lower Manhattan already had flooding on Monday morning hours before Sandy was expected to hit New York City.
New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo closed two major tunnels and numerous bridges into Manhattan. Furthermore, the New York State Thruway Authority ordered the Tappan Zee Bridge closed. The George Washington Bridge was also closed.
But Lower Manhattan isn't the only part of the city dealing with Sandy's destruction. At a construction site at 57th Street in midtown, a crane at the top of a skyscraper more than 80 stories high collapsed and is dangling from the top of the building. Emergency crews have evacuated surrounding buildings, and engineers are trying to find a way to keep the crane from falling to the street.
Sandy is the result of an unusual weather confluence creating a historic weather event with life-threatening storm surges. Forecasters called Sandy a worst-case scenario. The hurricane strengthened as it landed on the New Jersey-Delaware border, reaching 90-mile-an-hour winds, resulting in life-threatening storm surges. Thousands of people lost power in the northeast.
This reporter and her parents evacuated from New York's Zone A (an area designated a flood threat in hurricane) to the SoHo Grand Hotel in SoHo neighborhood, which is north of Lower Manhattan in Zone B. The hotel was prepared for Hurricane Sandy. "We've been preparing in every way possible to make sure that our standard of service is up to par for our guests," said Aron Kelly, general Manager of the SoHo Grand. "We have generators on hand we have drums of fuel to allow the generators to run those generators for a few days we're working on getting a steam truck because our steam was cut off so we have no hot water. We have stocked up on food, linens, napkins, water, flashlights, batteries and candles."
We weren't the only ones who sought shelter at the hotel after being evacuated. Other Lowere Manhattan residents also came to the hotel.
"I'm glad we had a safe place to stay during the storm," said 12-year-old Christina. Christina's brother Damon, 11, added that because school was cancelled, "this is like a snow day."
Many businesses closed in advance of the storm. Lucky Strike, a downtown bistro boarded up on Sunday and posted a hand written note stating, "Closed. We will open at 5pm on Tuesday."
The most severe weather began on Monday at 6pm with powerful winds, downed trees and flooding. The worst of the storm is expected to move out of the area early Tuesday morning. But the city and other parts of New York and New Jersey will feel the effects of Sandy — including high winds, flooding, and disrupted public transportation — for weeks.
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