News / USA

    Obama To Visit Storm-Ravaged New Jersey as Death Toll Mounts

    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama will visit the storm-battered state of New Jersey Wednesday to view damage with the governor and thank emergency workers struggling to cope with the disaster.

    The visit, announced Tuesday by the White House, comes as a vast army of rescue and utility workers confront the wreckage from Hurricane Sandy.  The storm hit the New Jersey shore late Monday as a powerful tropical storm, causing massive flooding, raging fires and power outages that crippled the New York metropolitan area.

    The storm, which stalked the East Coast for days before coming ashore, has killed at least 43 people.    

    Earlier Tuesday, the president declared "major disasters" in New York and New Jersey, freeing up federal funds aimed at off-setting billions of dollars in East Coast property damage.

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said many of the city's flooded subway tunnels are closed, and warned that the city faces days, if not weeks, of storm recovery challenges.

    "The damage we suffered across the city is clearly extensive and it will not be repaired overnight. The two biggest challenges facing our city going forward are getting our mass transit system up and running and restoring power," said Bloomberg.

    U.S. President Barack Obama has declared that Hurricane Sandy triggered a "major disaster" in New York and New Jersey. The declaration makes federal funding available to residents of both states.

    At least seven other locales are under a "State of Emergency" - they are:

    • West Virginia
    • Virginia
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Delaware
    • Rhode Island
    • Pennsylvania
    • Connecticut

    Trading at the New York Stock Exchange was canceled Tuesday for a second day in a row, marking the first time since 1888 that trading has been suspended for two consecutive days because of weather.  It will open on schedule Wednesday.

    In neighboring New Jersey, a possible berm breach has caused flooding in several towns, forcing at least 800 people to evacuate.  Also, a New Jersey nuclear power plant declared an alert after waters rose to a designated high-level mark.  Officials said there were no safety concerns at the plant, which was shut off for maintenance.

    In a news conference, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said a popular vacation destination in his state has been hit hard.

    "The level of devastation at the Jersey shore is unthinkable," said Christie.

    VOA's Daniela Schrier took her camera to the East Village district in Lower Manhattan Monday night to document the damage from flood waters rushing city streets.

     


    Christie, a Republican who has been harshly critical of President Barack Obama, praised the president for his response to the storm.  In an interview with the NBC television network's "Today" show, he said the president and federal emergency officials had done an "outstanding" job.

    Other U.S. cities along the Eastern Seaboard, including Washington, were also left gasping Tuesday, with public transit systems suspended, airports closed and millions of people forced to stay home from work for a second day.  


    • Homes devastated by fire and effects of Hurricane Sandy at the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York, October 30, 2012.
    • Water reaches the street level of the flooded Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, October 30, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy arrived along the East Coast putting more than 7.5 million homes and businesses in the dark and causing a number of deaths.
    • One World Trade Center and large portions of lower Manhattan and Hoboken, New Jersey, are seen without power from Jersey City, New Jersey, October 30, 2012, the morning after a powerful storm flooded the subway system, shuttered financial markets and left hundreds of thousands without power.
    • Residents, including a young child, are rescued by emergency personnel from flood waters brought on by Hurricane Sandy in Little Ferry, New Jersey, October 30, 2012.
    • A woman is lifted into a National Guard vehicle after leaving her flooded home at the Metropolitan Trailer Park in Moonachie, New Jersay, October 30, 2012, after superstorm Sandy.
    • Elaine Belviso, 72, is rescued from her flooded home by Suffolk County police after being trapped there overnight by superstorm Sandy, October 30, 2012, in Babylon, New York.
    • A car is crushed under a fallen tree in the Lower East Side in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York, October 30, 2012.
    • A dead deer is pictured with driftwood and debris left by a combination of storm surge from Hurricane Sandy and high tide in Southampton, New York, October 30, 2012.
    • Boats lie piled up as people work to secure a fuel dock in the wake of superstorm Sandy, October 30, 2012, in West Babylon, New York.
    • Sand and debris cover a part of town near the ocean in Atlantic City, New Jersey, October 30, 2012, a day after Sandy made landfall.
    • Large chunks of the boardwalk are piled near an apartment building on the ocean in Atlantic City, New Jersey, October 30, 2012.
    • Kim Johnson looks at the destruction left by Sandy near her seaside apartment in Atlantic City, New Jersey, October 30, 2012.
    • Snow falls in Elkins, West Virginia, October 30, 2012, a day after Sandy slammed the eastern coast of the Unites States. In some parts of West Virginia, the collision of multiple storm systems could produce up to 3 feet of snow.
    • A man takes a picture of calm seas and sun-dappled clouds in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, at sunrise on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, October 30, 2012.
    • An uprooted tree lies on top of a home after being pushed over by winds from Hurricane Sandy in Westhampton Beach, New York, October 30, 2012.
    • Consolidated Edision trucks are submerged on 14th Street near the ConEd power plant, October 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy knocked out power to at least 3.1 million people.
    • Sandy also impacted Canada, where flowers are left at the Toronto site where a woman was killed after being hit by a flying sign that shook loose due to high winds from the remnants of the hurricane, October 30, 2012.
    • This CCTV photo released by the official Twitter feed of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey shows flood waters from Hurricane Sandy rushing in to the Hoboken PATH station through an elevator shaft on October 29, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
    • This photo provided by MTA Bridges and Tunnels shows floodwaters from Sandy entering the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (former Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel), which was closed, October 29, 2012.
    • Rising water from the Hudson River overtakes a bank drive-through in Edgewater, New Jersey, October 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy lashed the East Coast.
    • The facade of a four-story building on 14th Street and 8th Avenue collapsed onto the sidewalk as FDNY firefighters respond, October 29, 2012, in New York.
    • FDNY inflatable boats travel along 14th street towards the East River on a rescue mission in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, October 29, 2012, in New York.
    • The skyline of lower Manhattan sits in darkness after a preventive power outage in New York, October 29, 2012.
    • Ambulances line up outside New York University Tisch Hospital during an evacuation of the hospital after its backup generator failed when the power was knocked out by Sandy, October 29, 2012.

    Unseasonably powerful blizzards struck further inland.  As much as a meter of snow was predicted in some places, as the storm spanned some 1,500 kilometers.

    Weather forecaster Dan Pydinowski (of the AccuWeather service) said that "Sandy" has been a unique storm.

    "This is certainly pretty amazing.  Just a number of amazing aspects to this storm, obviously how large it was.  The low pressure which made for such a strong and expansive wind field and, of course, having the cold air on the western side of this storm add in an even more unique element to it - that we had a couple feet of snow in the southern Appalachians, the central Appalachians," said Pydinowski.

    Federal government offices have been closed since Monday.

    Watch related video


    Q&A with Accuweather's Dan Pydynowsky
    Q&A with Accuweather's Dan Padinowski
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Adrija from: India
    November 03, 2012 1:45 AM
    this accident have caused a great deal of trouble and pain to both life and property. I really feel that the people are very brave and have a steady nerve. I pray for God's blessing so that they may overcome the loss!

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    November 02, 2012 9:08 AM
    I'm sure New Yorkers and New Jersey people are strong and courageous enough to stand on their own foot to restore ordinary flourish life. Hurray, the Americans!!

    by: Heinz Munz from: Jackson WY
    October 31, 2012 2:57 PM
    Nashville Grand Old Opry got flooded a few years ago, they are finishing a state of the art flood protection system to protect all the buildings—EKO Flood USA designed the closures. With a similar system New York could be safe.

    by: Mohamed Jama from: Hargeisa
    October 31, 2012 1:47 AM
    I Implore Allah(The GOD), Almighty, the Merciful to cope you the side effects of Sandy Storm. Allah may Stop it and make it a good sea breeze that refresher you Insha'allah. Thanks

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    October 30, 2012 10:36 AM
    Tell me what KARMA means?
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    October 30, 2012 11:30 PM
    to smarthanu from NYC. Maybe this KARMA isnt for NY is for the whole US? From Those innocent dead souls from Iraq and Afghanistan?
    "I think this is karma.------Sharon Stone" she said this when China suffered a serious earthquake. Now it comes back around, perfect definition of KARMA. LOL
    In Response

    by: smarterthanyou from: nyc
    October 30, 2012 12:32 PM
    For you - Karma means NYC as a whole did something to make everyone mad and now that a natural disaster occurs it's peoples time to take advantage by posting irrelevant statements on random web sites.

    For the rest of the world - It's what goes around comes back around.

    I don't recall NY aiming hurricanes at anyone recently. Anyway It's a nice day I'll go outside to Starbucks now, have a great one ;)

    by: James from: Nebraska
    October 30, 2012 9:40 AM
    Facebook and Instagram (cited in the article) are good sources for instant updates – especially the faked-up sort.

    From Mashable, seven faked pictures making the rounds (with examples from the real sources). Some of them seem to be zombie photos, as they keep coming back from the dead for every major storm.

    by: sachin halder from: Bangladesh
    October 30, 2012 7:34 AM
    Natural disaster kills and damages a lots. This situation only god can help us. We hope US government over come this and rehabilitate affected people.

    Sachin

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.