NYC counts cost of once-in-lifetime storm

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NYC counts cost of once-in-lifetime storm

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Superstorm Sandy, which hit New York last night, killing at least 18 people along America’s eastern seaboard, continues to batter north-east America with high winds and torrential rain, and is now heading towards Canada.

The city woke up on Tuesday morning after a nightmarish 12 hours of hurricane strength winds and a 4.2 metre storm surge that overwhelmed lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. It flooded the entire subway system, all the road and rail tunnels, and made cars pop out of underground car parks like abandoned corks. Both the Hudson and East rivers broke their banks.

New York’s Metro Transit Authority described the flooding as the worst disaster to hit the underground system in its 108-year history, and while a full bus service has been promised for Wednesday, and the east river bridges have been reopened, the subway will be another matter.

The flooding endangered America’s oldest nuclear power station and forced half a dozen others to go offline, and started 23 serious fires. In just one 80 houses were destroyed in Queens. Electricity has been cut to over 8 million homes and companies.

Power cuts extend from North Carolina to the Canadian border, and inland as far as Indiana and Ohio. One expert says the cost of Sandy to businesses and individuals could be some 16 billion euros, half of which is uninsured.

“As you can see New York city slowly is starting to come back to life after Superstorm Sandy moved through here. We are still without power in a lot of areas of Lower Manhattan and there still are some flooding issues. The New York City subway system is also still shutdown because they have several feet of water but we are told that bridges are starting to reopen and also the buses to moving back up and running this afternoon. The New York Stock Exchange is expected to likely to reopen tomorrow,” says ABC News, reporting for euronews in New York.

Also read: Hurricane Sandy sends the web into a spin – Live

Pictures by our correspondent Kirsten Ripper: