Recovering From Sandy
The East Coast of the United States begins to clean up after Sandy’s destruction
TOP: The storm’s strong winds uprooted trees which have fallen on cars and buildings. (Kirsten Luce / The New York Times / Redux)
BOTTOM: Sandy has caused an estimated $20 billion in damage. (Associated Press)
The superstorm Sandy carved out a path of destruction along the East Coast on Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Residents now face the challenging task of cleaning up the enormous damage left behind by the storm.
People living on the East Coast have been preparing for Sandy since last week. Even so, officials estimate that Sandy has caused $20 billion in property and other damage. Massive flooding has damaged homes along the coast. Fallen trees have landed on homes and cars and torn down power lines. More than 7 million people were left without power on Tuesday morning.
Many people evacuated (or left) their homes before the storm hit. However, 26 people in 7 states died as a result of Sandy’s fury. In New York City alone, 10 people died.
The powerful storm hit the Big Apple particularly hard. A crane 74 stories above street level was dangling for hours after part of it collapsed as a result of strong winds. Cars floated down Wall Street amid massive flooding in the southern end of Manhattan. Additionally, an explosion at an electrical plant on the east side of the city knocked out power for thousands of homes and businesses.
Sandy began in the Caribbean Sea and was classified as a hurricane before hitting Jamaica on October 24. A hurricane is a storm that typically originates over the Atlantic Ocean, with winds of at least 74 miles per hour (mph).
As Sandy moved north through the Atlantic Ocean, it combined forces with cold winds from the Arctic that increased its strength. Because of this rare occurrence, many meteorologists (people who study the weather) have called Sandy a “superstorm.” Sandy turned inland on Sunday evening, crashing ashore at Atlantic City, New Jersey, with 80-mph winds.
Officials expect Sandy to move northwest into Canada, with lessening force, by Wednesday. But recovery from the damage will take weeks. Workers need to pump floodwater from streets and underground systems like the New York City subway. And restoring electricity to millions of homes will take time.
President Barack Obama addressed the country on Tuesday afternoon during a visit to the Red Cross’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. “It is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recover swiftly,” he told reporters. “And so it’s important that we continue to be good neighbors for the duration until everybody is back on their feet.”