Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy. Millions Without Electricity. Trees Down. Massive Flooding. Live Video Coverage.

Watch live: Raw video of Hurricane Sandy from high above New York City

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Crane Dangles from NYC High-Rise, Clearing Streets

Verena Doblik Published: Oct 29, 2012, 9:17 PM EDT Associated Press
A construction crane atop a luxury high-rise dangles precariously over the streets after collapsing in high winds from Superstorm Sandy, Oct. 29, in New York.
NEW YORK — A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan collapsed in high winds Monday and dangled precariously, prompting plans for engineers and inspectors to climb to the top to examine it as a huge storm bore down on the city.
Some buildings, including 900 guests at the Parker Meridien hotel, were being evacuated as a precaution and the streets below were cleared, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. City officials didn't have a number on how many people were told to leave.
Authorities received a call about the collapse at around 2 p.m. as conditions worsened from the approaching Hurricane Sandy. Meteorologists said winds atop the 74-story building could have been close to 95 mph at the time.
The nearly completed high-rise is known as One57 and is in one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods, near Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle and Central Park. It had been inspected, along with other city cranes, on Friday and was found to be ready for the weather.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said later Monday it wasn't clear why the accident happened.
"It's conceivable that nobody did anything wrong and there was no malfunction, it was just a strange gust of wind," Bloomberg said.
Engineers and inspectors were planning to hike up 74 flights of stairs to examine the crane. The harrowing inspection was being undertaken by experts who are "the best of the best," city Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said.

Hurricane Sandy a Chance at Redemption for FEMA

Hurricane Sandy blows away campaign plans

Both candidates abandon the campaign trail, as President Obama focuses on emergency response and Mitt Romney urges supporters to give aid. But it's unclear how the storm will sway voters.

Ohio rally
People in Youngstown, Ohio, line up for a campaign rally with former President Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. (John Moore, Getty Images / October 29, 2012)

WASHINGTON — For months, the two presidential campaigns have been bracing for an October surprise, and it finally arrived in the form of rain, wind and snow curled like a fist 1,000 miles wide.
There has never been anything like it in modern American history, a natural disaster so massive and so close to election day, and for all their minutely-plotted moves there was nothing for the candidates and their strategists to do but improvise and hope for the best.
President Obama scrapped a campaign appearance in Orlando, Fla., and hurried back to Washington to oversee the emergency response to Hurricane Sandy. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he brushed aside questions about the political implications.
"I'm not worried, at this point, about the impact on the election," he said. "I'm worried about the impact on families. I'm worried about the impact on our first responders. I'm worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation. The election will take care of itself next week."
His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, sought a balance between political imperative and concern for others. Campaigning in northeastern Ohio, he said a win in that Midwestern battleground state would ensure victory next Tuesday.
"We're counting on Ohio," he said in a stop outside Cleveland. But so are others, he said, urging supporters to donate to the Red Cross or find other ways to give. "The people in Ohio have big hearts, so we're expecting you to follow through and help out," he said before moving on to a stop in Iowa.
Obama abandoned his campaign schedule for Tuesday and may do so beyond that. Romney planned a "storm relief event" in Kettering, Ohio, where he earlier advertised a campaign stop. Both suspended fundraising emails in a broad area affected by the storm.
But their TV ads blazed on, creating a jarring juxtaposition as the heat of the campaign butted against the sober warnings of emergency officials and scenes of flooding and other damage from Hurricane Sandy.
"In what was already becoming perhaps the most unpredictable election we've had in a generation, this adds one more level of unpredictability," said Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster in Wisconsin, another of the home-stretch battlegrounds.
History suggests a few things. Fairly or not, Obama was treading the highest wire, since he is the face of Washington's response. He will be measured over the next week in a way he has not been up to now.

Hurricane Sandy: More than 225,000 lose power in Connecticut

Thousands of Con Edison customers lose power due to Hurricane Sandy through New York City and Westchester County

Con Edison opted to pull the plug because the “storm surge threatened to flood the underground electrical delivery system,” according to a statement.

 A woman stands on this piece of wood with a flash light to get a better view in Dumbo Brooklyn as the tide comes in on the East River on Monday October 29th, 2012. (


As power went out throughout New York City, a woman stood on a piece of wood with a flash light to get a better view in Dumbo, Brooklyn as the tide rose along the East River on Monday night. (John Taggart/for New York Daily News)

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Hurricane Sandy: More than 2 million already without power

Matt Moran, a trimmer with Townsend Tree Service, cuts a fallen tree limb from a power line on 19th Avenue that fell as a result of the strong winds from Hurricane Sandy, Monday, Oct., 29, 2012, in Sea Cliff, N.Y. / AP PHOTO/KATHY KMONICEK
Last Updated 9:41 p.m. ET
Hours before Hurricane Sandy makes landfall, utilities have already reported power outages for customers in several states. More than two million customers were without power in Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and several other states.
Connecticut Light & Power (which offers outage reports in both map and tableformats) says about 398,235 customers were without power Monday.
Delaware and Maryland
Delmarva reports over 84,000 customers lost power, with over 900 active outages.
BGE reports restoring service to over 38,000 customers Monday; about 102,852 are still without power.
PEPCO had at least 12,000 customers out, with over 500 active outages.
Over 17,000 outages were reported by Mon Power and Potomac Edison.
NStar reported about at least 152,709 outages Monday evening. National Grid had over 37,600 outages Monday afternoon.
Additional outages were reported by Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (about 3,683 customers) and Unitil (28,995 customers) Monday evening.
Central Maine Power reports at least 49,600 customers without power. Bangor Hydroreports over 506  customers affected.
New Hampshire
Unitil reports over 12,000 customers lost power in the capital area and over 19,000 on the sea coast.

Hurricane Sandy wreaks havoc on small businesses

NEW YORK - Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on small businesses along the East Coast Monday, keeping employees and customers away.
At Angelo's Civita Farnese, a restaurant in Providence, R.I., the lunchtime crowd didn't materialize and few customers were expected for dinner. By 12:30 p.m. — hours before the worst of the storm was expected to hit — there were about 10 customers inside, and owner Bob Antignano had no hopes of getting the usual 200 to 250 he usually serves for lunch. He had a smaller staff prepare fewer meals than usual, but most of the food was going to have to be donated to charity.
"It's a wasted day and it looks like tomorrow probably will be as well," Antignano said.
For many small businesses, opening depended on whether employees lived close by or could work remotely. Businesses vulnerable to wind and water damage and power outages were forced to close. The storm also ruined business trips, meetings and presentations.
Antignano serves between 400 and 500 meals a day between lunch and dinner. The loss of two days' revenue will wipe out his profit for the month. He would suffer losses if the restaurant lost power. He would have to close, and the food in his walk-in refrigerator and freezers could spoil.
The storm also created woes for small business owners based in other parts of the country.

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