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Hurricane Sandy Could Cause Up to $600 Million in Lost Business Travel

Hurricane Sandy Could Cause Up to $600 Million in Lost Business Travel

Global Business Travel Association forecasts the cost of the deadly storm

Before Hurricane Sandy came ashore, analysts were already forecasting the cost of the "Frankenstorm." The Global Business Travel Association estimated the storm would cause up to $600 million in lost business travel.

With 12,000 flights already canceled, according to the Wall Street Journal, the storm is costing the East Coast states affected by Sandy as much as $50 million per day as a result of business travelers canceling plans.

Canceled flights, hotel bookings, and business lunches and dinners are just some of the financial impact that the powerful super storm has caused. The New York Stock Exchange is closed for a second day Tuesday and the cost of as many as 514,000 interrupted business trips is resulting in a GDP loss of at least $675 million and loss of federal, state, and local taxes of $176 million.

The Global Business Travel Association recently quantified the impact of major weather events on business travel by using its Business Travel Quarterly methodology to determine how a theoretical Category-3 hurricane on the East Coast would impact the business travel industry. When Hurricane Sandy made landfall Monday, it was a Category 1 storm, but its massive size and slow movement mean original estimated losses could rise.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


Coast Guard official: Hurricane Sandy 'could be bad, or it could be devastation'

Atlantic City, New Jersey, resident Kim Johnson inspects the area around her apartment building, which flooded on Tuesday, October 30. Large sections of an old boardwalk also were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 Red Cross-operated shelters across 16 states because of Sandy, the American Red Cross tells CNN. View photos of New York recovering from impact.

Cars float in a flooded parking area on Tuesday in the financial district of New York.

A power line knocked over by a falling tree blocks a street on Tuesday in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Waves break next to an apartment building in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Tuesday.

Workers shovel debris from the streets in Ocean City, Maryland, on Tuesday.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flies over Central Park in New York City.

A man jogs near a darkened Manhattan skyline on Tuesday after much of New York City lost electricity.

Workers clear a tree blocking East 96th Street in Central Park in New York on Tuesday.

Rising water rushes into an underground parking garage in New York's financial district on Monday, October 29.

Taxis drive down a New York street where the power was out late Monday, October 29.

A firefighter speaks to a colleague while surveying damage caused by Sandy on Monday in New York.

Flooded cars line the streets of New York's financial district Monday night.

A truck drives by a flooded gas station in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn on Monday.

A flooded street is seen at nightfall during the storm on Monday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Firefighters evaluate an apartment building in New York that had the front wall collapse during the storm on Monday.

Heavy rains fall in Manhattan on Monday.

People walk through water on the beach near high tide Monday as Sandy approaches Atlantic City.

Two men run down Foster Avenue while dodging high winds and waves from the storm on Monday in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

An emergency vehicle plows through floodwaters on Monday in Dewey Beach, Delaware.

A person tries to cross the street during the storm on Monday in Atlantic City.

A traffic sign warns motorists west of Philadelphia on Monday.

A wall of water makes its way to shore as residents brave the storm Monday in Ocean City, Maryland.

A downed tree and fallen power lines lie over homes Monday on Harvard Street in Garden City, New York.

Two people shoot video along Brooklyn Heights' Promenade on Monday as Sandy approaches landfall.

Work crews push sand from a roadway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, due to storm surge related to flooding on Monday.

Two women battle wind and rain with umbrellas in hand in Philadelphia on Monday.

Kira Brizill leads family members as high tide and winds flood the street on Monday in Freeport, New York.

John Edgecombe II, who is homeless, takes refuge from the rain and wind at a bus stop in Ward Circle in Washington on Monday.

Superstorm Sandy dumped a lot of rain, flooding a part of Greenpoint, Brooklyn

A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation truck slowly drives on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as Sandy approaches Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on Monday.

Buses at Frankford terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sit idle after Mayor Michael Nutter ordered that all city offices be closed Monday and Tuesday due to potential damage from Sandy.

A woman walks down the promenade along the East River in New York City on Monday.

Jillian Webb, left, and Arianna Corso are pelted by wind and sand on Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts, on Monday.

Waves slam into the sea wall in Scituate, Massachusetts, on Monday.

Chris Losordo carries his father, Vin, across a flooded road in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Monday.

A repair truck drives down a flooded street in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Monday.

Superstorm Sandy dumped a lot of rain on West Side Highway in Manhattan, NY.

Floodwaters cover the streets of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Monday.

Multiple waves hit the Cooper's Beach in Southampton, N.Y.

Waves crash against a previously damaged pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy approaches landfall on Monday.

High winds broke part of a crane boom on this building under construction in Manhattan, causing several nearby buildings to be evacuated.

An emergency vehicle drives down Cape May, New Jersey's flooded Ocean Avenue on Monday.

A young boy runs along Rockaway Beach in the Queens, New York, on Monday.

A woman examines her storm-damaged porch as heavy rain continues to pour in Winthrop, Massachusetts, on Monday.

A lone figure makes his way down Seventh Street in Lindenhurst, New York, on Monday.

People brave high winds and waves in Winthrop, Massachusetts, as Hurricane Sandy moves up the coast on Monday.

A tree felled by the storm blocks Kramer Drive in Lindenhurst, New York, on Monday.

Waves crash over a street in Winthrop, Massachusetts, as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast on Monday.

A police vehicle drives through a flooded area in New York on Monday.

The New York skyline is seen from the bank of the East River on Monday.

People walk on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday.

A man stands on the beach as heavy waves pound the shoreline Monday in Cape May, New Jersey.

The dome of the U.S. Capitol building is seen through a window as heavy rain hits Washington on Monday.

A member of the press takes a photo of a flooded street on Monday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A man takes a picture of the storm with his phone from the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday.

A man stands on the sidewalk Monday as a vehicle drives up a flooded street in Atlantic City.

The Hudson River comes over the sea wall along the West Side Promenade in the Battery Park area in New York on Monday.

The owner of the Wilton House locks up his bar on Monday in Hoboken, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the area.

Two people stand near the edge of the boardwalk on Monday in Ocean City, Maryland.

People fight against the wind along Brighton Beach in New York on Monday.

A jogger runs along the East River in New York on Monday as a police car secures the area.

A man watches as the tidal surge pounds a pier in Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday.

A street on the shoreline of Milford, Connecticut, floods at high tide as Hurricane Sandy approaches on Monday.

A sailboat smashes on the rocks after breaking free from its mooring on City Island, New York, on Monday.

A lone tourist stands in Times Square early Monday as New Yorkers brace against Hurricane Sandy.

A satellite image taken at 12:25 p.m. ET Monday shows Sandy moving over the Northeast.

A restaurant on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is boarded up in preparation for the bad weather on Monday.

A man walks down a flooded street in Atlantic City on Monday before the hurricane makes landfall.

Tourists wear plastic ponchos in Times Square on Monday.

Air Force One arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. President Barack Obama canceled his appearance at a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, and returned to Washington to monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy.

A road leading to casinos in Atlantic City is empty before the hurricane makes landfall on Monday.

Obama steps off Air Force One on Monday after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base.

A truck moves north on South Long Beach Avenue as rising water and wind ahead of Hurricane Sandy flood the area on Monday in Freeport, New York. The storm, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the United States, is expected to bring days of rain, high wind and, in places, heavy snow.

An overhead sign on the Southern Parkway alerts motorists to road closings in Wantagh, New York, on Monday.

A truck fights its way through water on a road in Southampton, New York, on Monday.

Andy Becica watches the heavy surf from Hurricane Sandy wash in Monday at Cape May, New Jersey. The full force of Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the New Jersey coastline later Monday.

Water forced ashore ahead of the hurricane starts to flood Beach Avenue in Cape May on Monday morning.

A tattered piece of a billboard blows in the wind Monday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Water floods a street in Atlantic City.

An ambulance maneuvers through water on Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens as the weather sours Monday in New York City.

People pose for pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday.

A wave crashes over the bow of a tugboat in New York Harbor on Monday.

Cape May Lighthouse shines over the heavy surf.

Dark clouds cover the skyline of Manhattan early Monday.

A satellite image shows Hurricane Sandy at 8:25 a.m. ET Monday. Forecasters warned that Sandy was likely to collide with a cold front and spawn a "superstorm" that could generate flash floods, snowstorms and massive power outages.

People stand on the beach watching the heavy surf caused by the approaching hurricane on Sunday in Cape May.

Sean Doyle of Levittown and Andrew Hodgson of Hicksville pull their boat from Long Island Sound on Sunday at Oyster Bay, New York.

With Hurricane Sandy approaching, the Long Island Railroad announced the suspension of service at 7 p.m. Sunday in Hicksville, New York.

Lisa Cellucci holds her umbrella as it is blown backward by Hurricane Sandy's winds as her friend Kim Vo watches on Sunday in Cape May.

People look at the surf as high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Sunday.

A construction worker covers air vents Sunday to try to prevent the New York subway system from flooding by Hurricane Sandy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a shutdown and suspension of all subway, bus and commuter rail service in response to the storm.

Residents of Long Beach, New York, fill sandbags on Sunday in preparation for the storm.

A satellite image from 10:10 a.m. ET on Sunday shows Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean grazing the East Coast.

A man surfs at Rockaway Beach in Queens as Hurricane Sandy approaches Sunday.

Scott Davenport brings plywood to cover the windows at the Trump Plaza casino on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Sunday.

Bob Kaege takes a measurement while boarding up a shop in Cold Spring, New Jersey, on Saturday as Marie Jadick speaks on the telephone getting an updated weather report in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

Houses are flooded in the neighborhood of La Javilla in Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic, on Friday.

Residents watch firefighters battle a blaze in Kingston, Jamaica, on Friday. The fire, which destroyed the home, was started by a faulty generator that was triggered when Sandy caused a blackout, firefighters said.

A motorcyclist rides through a flooded street Friday in Petit-Goâve, Haiti, where three overflowing rivers put homes and farms under water.

Corey Hutterli works on securing his sailboat as the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy are felt in Miami Beach, Florida, on Thursday, October 25.

A woman stands at the entrance of her house surrounded by flood water after heavy rain in Santo Domingo on Thursday.

People walk on a flooded street after Hurricane Sandy hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday.

Burt Myrich boards up a home in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on Saturday in Cape May, New Jersey.

A woman peers out the door of her house Thursday after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Bayamo, Cuba.

A man clears debris from his house on Thursday. It was demolished by Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba.

Residents in Bayamo, Cuba, try to fix a house damaged by hurricane Sandy on Thursday.

A U.N. peacekeeper on Thursday stands at the edge of a bridge that was washed away by heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

A house ruined by heavy flooding from Hurricane Sandy sits abandoned in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday.

Men deal with downed tree branches after heavy rain caused by Hurricane Sandy in Kingston, Jamaica, on Wednesday, October 24.

Students walk in floodwater from Hurricane Sandy's rain in Santo Domingo on Wednesday.

Citizens of Bayamo, Cuba, buy food on Wednesday, as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

Waves hit the coast in Santo Domingo on Wednesday.

Citizens of Bayamo talk on the sidewalk on Wednesday.

People in Bayamo hold umbrellas as they purchase food Wednesday before the arrival of the hurricane.

Jamaicans shelter themselves from the rain of approaching Hurricane Sandy as they walk along the Hope River on Wednesday.

The Hope River begins to swell with rain from approaching Hurricane Sandy in Kingston on Wednesday.

Houses sit along the Hope River in Kingston on Wednesday.

A satellite view shows Hurricane Sandy's position on Wednesday.

  • NEW: Centered 470 miles from New York, Sandy's hurricane force winds extend 175 miles
  • Millions of people could face flooding and power outages due to the storm
  • Washington's Metro joins New York and Philadelphia in suspending subway runs
  • "It could be bad, or it could be devastation," a Coast Guard official says

(CNN) -- Pelting rains, whipping winds, mass evacuations: There is no doubt that Hurricane Sandy, by Sunday, had already made a mammoth impact on the U.S. East Coast.

And it should only get worse.

That's the consensus view, among forecasters and officials, as the Category 1 storm continued to chug northeastward parallel to the shore. Even with its eye still hundreds of miles away, those on the North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland coasts felt its wrath Sunday.

But if, as expected, it turns toward the United States early Monday morning, Sandy will have an even more direct -- and potentially calamitous -- effect on millions. Forecasters warn it will likely collide with a cold front from the West to spawn a "superstorm" that could slog along the Eastern Seaboard for days -- meaning even more wind, flooding, power outages and, with that all, potential danger.

"I'm expecting it to be really bad," Paul DiCristina Jr. told CNN affiliate NY1, after prepping his Coney Island restaurant ahead of Sandy. "We're evacuating, we know that for sure, but I'm just hoping there's a restaurant here Wednesday or Thursday."

He's not alone in his fears. The National Hurricane Center is warning of no less than a "life-threatening storm surge flooding the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island and New York Harbor," all in addition to sustained winds in excess of 70 mph and even stronger gusts -- conditions that will affect millions of people.

"Sandy has a tremendous amount of energy," U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Ratti told CNN. "It could be bad, or it could be devastation."

On Sunday alone, power was knocked out in places such as Hampton Roads, Virginia, as rough waves crashed along the coast, said Penelope Penn. Another CNN iReporter, Elizabeth Switzer, reported waves topping 12 feet further south along Carolina Beach outside Wilmington, North Carolina. And by late afternoon, floodwaters washed over roads between Dewey and Bethany beaches in Delaware, said Gov. Jack Markell, adding even more urgency for people to get out before they get trapped.

"We're seeing more flooding than you normally do, and particularly since the storm's not here," Markell said around 5 p.m.

Sandy took a toll well before its U.S. arrival, causing at least 67 deaths -- including 51 in Haiti -- as it rumbled through the Caribbean.

As of 11 p.m. Sunday, Sandy still hadn't veered toward the United States, though the National Hurricane Center said that should happen "during the next several hours." Centered 470 miles south-southeast of New York, the hurricane should make landfall late Monday in southern New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes Delaware and parts of Maryland and Virginia, according to the CNN Weather Unit.

One thing that makes this storm unique is not so much its 75 mph sustained winds, but the fact such hurricane-force winds extend 175 miles out from its eye. That portends to affect hundreds of miles of territory, on both sides of Sandy's eye, hit hard by destructive winds, with an even bigger swath getting tropical force-level gusts and drenching rains.

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Sandy prompted evacuation orders on New Jersey's barrier islands, in downtown Ocean City, Maryland, and in flood-prone coastal communities in southern Delaware. Low-lying areas of New York City, including Coney Island and parts of Manhattan, are being cleared out as well.

Jim Brady was among those who heeded the call, leaving his Cape May home about three blocks from the Atlantic and heading 85 miles north to his sister-in-law's house in Toms River. Packing what they can and stashing bigger valuables as high as possible, what happens next is now out of their hands as it may take days before they find out if they've skirted disaster.

"We'll just hunker down and wait for it to pass," Brady said.

Many other communities, big and small, also are bracing for the worst. The process of halting subway service in New York, the city that never sleeps, began Sunday evening. Other mass transit systems are doing the same by suspending their services Monday, including Washington's Metro service and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority trains and buses in and around Philadelphia.

Across the bay from Brooklyn in Sea Bright, New Jersey, Yvette Cafaro pleaded on the plywood that covered up her burger restaurant, "Be kind to us Sandy." The seaside area largely dodged last year's Hurricane Irene, and Cafaro is hoping for -- but not expecting -- any more reprieves.

"Everything that we've been watching on the news looks like this one will really get us," she said. "We're definitely worried about it . Hopefully, she'll spare us."

After filling his trunk with sandbags Sunday in Cranston, Rhode Island, resident Steve Pacheco said he has done what he can by clearing Halloween decorations and other items from his yard. Still, for all his preparation, he admits Sandy makes him nervous.

"I don't want to go through this again," Pacheco told CNN affiliate WPRI.

Officials from North Carolina to Maine have been raising alarms, and taking preventive steps like the subway shut-downs, for days.

By Sunday evening, officials already had canceled classes Monday for well over 2 million public school students in districts such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore, while numerous universities as well as federal government offices in Washington and government offices in states like New Jersey were preemptively closed. Sandy has even managed to put the presidential election on the back burner, turning campaign plans upside down.

Then there are the travel nightmares that the storm has already, and will continue, to cause with thousands of flights called off, Amtrak train runs scuttled, and hundreds of roads and highways expected to flood.

A full moon, which always brings out higher than normal tides, should exacerbate storm surge problems on Monday in coastal areas. In addition to one 12 hours earlier, high tide is scheduled for around 8:30 p.m. -- meaning parts of Delaware and New Jersey, for instance, could see significant flooding then even if Sandy has come ashore by then. Irrespective of the tides, the National Weather Service is forecasting potentially harmful storm surges of between 6 to 11 feet in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.

"This is not a typical storm. It could very well be historic in nature and in scope and in magnitude because of the widespread anticipated power outages, flooding and potential major wind damage," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said, speaking of his state but just as well about many others in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

"Essentially, this is a hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter."

CNN's Jareen Iman, Chelsea J. Carter, Alison Kosik, Sarah Dillingham, Brandon Miller, Catherine Shoichet, George Howell, Athena Jones, Shawn Nottingham, Alden Mahler Levine, Joe Sutton and Devon Sayers contributed to this report.


Losses May Exceed Those of 2011 Storm

Stores in Long Beach, N.Y., were boarded up Sunday before Sandy hit.

Hurricane Sandy caused massive disruptions to U.S. businesses and threatened billions of dollars in damage to a region packed with corporate headquarters, retail stores and transportation hubs.

At the storm's approach, banks, retailers, stock exchanges and manufacturers including General Motors Co. sent workers in the storm's path home. Shuttered highways, tunnels, public transportation and airports made travel impossible up and down the busy Northeast corridor.

The pain is likely to persist for days given widespread power outages and long periods of heavy wind and rain. By late Monday, hundreds of thousands were already without power in the Northeast.


Superstorm Sandy could cost $45bn in damage and lost production

Superstorm Sandy could cost up to $45bn in damage and lost production after it swept across America's east coast, wreaking far more havoc than hurricane Irene last year, economists say.

While it will take weeks to count the cost, Sandy is likely to be among the most costly disasters in history and could slow down the American economy's momentum in the fourth quarter.

Wall Street was closed for two days and few US companies released results, with knock-on effects on share trading in London. The devastation is a big worry for stocks and share prices are set to take a hit if trade resumes on Wall Street on Wednesday as planned. Insurance shares in London including Hiscox, Amlin and Catlin, which slipped on Monday, regained some ground.

Sandy left behind a trail of damage – homes underwater, trees toppled and power lines downed – while New York's subway system was flooded, the worst disaster in its 108-year history.

The US economists Gregory Daco and Nigel Gault at IHS Global Insight estimate Sandy will cause $10bn of insured losses to infrastructure and twice as much in terms of total damages. Irene left behind it a $15bn path of destruction across 13 states last year. But the researchers warned that the much bigger Sandy was likely to end up causing more flooding damage.

The superstorm has also forced 70% of the east coast's oil refineries to shut down, which will put up gasoline prices in coming days. Its commercial impact is likely to be worse than that of Irene, which hit on a Sunday, while Sandy hit the east coast on a Monday. Economic losses caused by business shutdowns and a slump in consumption could easily outweigh infrastructure damage.

Mohammad Khan, insurance partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, estimated total economic losses from Sandy at $45bn, taking the 1938 New England storm as a proxy, and warned of higher insurance premiums. "Will hurricane Sandy impact insurance premiums? If losses are in the range of $10-$20bn, there may be a short knock-on effect. A loss double that size, however, is more likely to raise premiums globally, as was the case with other events such as hurricane Andrew, 9/11 and hurricane Katrina."

The $45bn estimate pales in comparison with hurricane Katrina, which caused $120bn of damage in 2005, while the cost of last year's earthquake in Japan was more than $200bn.

"The effect on growth for the fourth quarter will not be catastrophic but might still be noticeable, especially in an economy with little momentum anyway," the IHS economists said. "Suppose that the affected regions lose just 25% of their overall output for two days that is not recoverable later. That would knock about $25bn annualised ($6bn actual) off GDP, and could take as much as 0.6 percentage points off the annualised fourth-quarter real GDP growth rate."

The economics consultancy Capital Economics reckons Sandy's economic impact is likely to be small in the long run because the effects of the infrastructure damage and power outages will be offset to some extent by the massive clean-up that will follow. Paul Ashworth, the chief US economist, said the impact could be quite large initially because the 12 affected states account for nearly a quarter of national GDP, with the New York area alone accounting for a tenth.

If all output was lost for two days, the economic loss would be about 0.7% for the fourth quarter – but this would be largely offset by the resulting clean-up. The overall impact on GDP growth could even be positive, he said, as households and businesses sweep up the damage.

The credit ratings agency Fitch said losses related to Sandy would be largely borne by primary insurers such as State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual Group and Travelers. Christopher Grimes, senior director of insurance, said losses were likely to be similar to hurricane Irene, which cost insurers $4-5bn.


Superstorm Sandy: New York, Northeast Reeling As Death Toll Climbs (LIVE UPDATES)

NEW YORK - Two major airports reopened and the floor of the New York Stock Exchange came back to life Wednesday, while across the river in New Jersey, National Guardsmen rushed to rescue flood victims and fires still raged two days after Superstorm Sandy.

For the first time since the storm battered the Northeast, killing at least 57 people and doing billions of dollars in damage, brilliant sunshine washed over the nation’s largest city _ a striking sight after days of gray skies, rain and wind.

At the stock exchange, running on generator power, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a thumbs-up and rang the opening bell to whoops from traders on the floor. Trading resumed after the first two-day weather shutdown since the Blizzard of 1888.

Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports reopened with limited service just after 7 a.m. New York’s LaGuardia Airport, which suffered far worse damage and where water covered parts of runways, remained closed.

It was clear that restoring the region to its ordinarily frenetic pace could take days _ and that rebuilding the hardest-hit communities and the transportation networks that link them together could take considerably longer.

About 6.5 million homes and businesses were still without power, including 4 million in New York and New Jersey. Electricity was out as far west as Wisconsin and as far south as the Carolinas.

The scale of the challenge could be seen across the Hudson River in New Jersey, where National Guard troops arrived in the heavily flooded city of Hoboken to help evacuate thousands still stuck in their homes.

Live wires dangled in floodwaters that Mayor Dawn Zimmer said were rapidly mixing with sewage.

And new problems arose when firefighters were unable to reach blazes rekindled by natural gas leaks in the heavily hit shore town of Mantoloking.

President Barack Obama planned to visit Atlantic City, N.J., which was directly in the storm’s path Monday night and where part of the historic boardwalk washed away.

Gov. Chris Christie said he plans to ask the president to assign the Army Corps of Engineers to work on how to rebuild beaches and find "the best way to rebuild the beach to protect these towns."

Outages in the state’s two largest cities, Newark and Jersey City, left traffic signals dark, resulting in fender-benders at intersections where police were not directing traffic. At one Jersey City supermarket, there were long lines to get bread and use an electrical outlet to charge cellphones.

Amid the despair, talk of recovery was already beginning.

"It’s heartbreaking after being here 37 years," Barry Prezioso of Point Pleasant, N.J., said as he returned to his house in the beachfront community to survey the damage. "You see your home demolished like this, it’s tough. But nobody got hurt and the upstairs is still livable, so we can still live upstairs and clean this out. I’m sure there’s people that had worse. I feel kind of lucky."

As New York began its second day after the megastorm, morning rush-hour traffic was heavy as people started returning to work. There was even a sign of normalcy: commuters waiting at bus stops. School was out for a third day.

The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan, and the Holland Tunnel, between New York and New Jersey, remained closed. But bridges into the city were open, and city buses were running, free of charge.

On the Brooklyn Bridge, closed earlier because of high winds, joggers and bikers made their way across before sunrise. One cyclist carried a flashlight. Car traffic on the bridge was busy.

Bloomberg said it could be the weekend before the subway, which suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history, is running again. High water prevented inspectors from immediately assessing damage to key equipment.

The chairman of the state agency that runs the subway, Joseph Lhota, said service might have to resume piecemeal, and experts said the cost of the repairs could be staggering.

Power company Consolidated Edison said it could also be the weekend before power is restored to Manhattan and Brooklyn, perhaps longer for other New York boroughs and the New York suburbs.

The recovery and rebuilding will take far longer.

When Christie stopped in Belmar, N.J., during a tour of the devastation, one woman wept, and 42-year-old Walter Patrickis told him, "Governor, I lost everything."

Christie, who called the shore damage "unthinkable," said a full recovery would take months, at least, and it would probably be a week or more before power is restored to everyone who lost it.

"Now we’ve got a big task ahead of us that we have to do together. This is the kind of thing New Jerseyans are built for," he said.

Amtrak laid out plans to resume runs in the Northeast on Wednesday, with modified service between Newark, N.J., and points south. But flooding continued to prevent service to and from New York’s Penn Station. Amtrak said the water in train tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers was unprecedented.

There was no Northeast Regional service between New York and Boston and no Acela Express service for the entire length of the Northeast Corridor. No date was set for when it might resume.

In Connecticut, some residents of Fairfield returned home in kayaks and canoes to inspect widespread damage left by retreating floodwaters that kept other homeowners at bay.

"The uncertainty is the worst," said Jessica Levitt, who was told it could be a week before she can enter her house. "Even if we had damage, you just want to be able to do something. We can’t even get started."

The storm caused irreparable damage to homes in East Haven, Milford and other shore towns. Still, many were grateful the storm did not deliver a bigger blow, considering the havoc wrought in New York City and New Jersey.

"I feel like we are blessed," said Bertha Weismann, whose garage was flooded in Bridgeport. "It could have been worse."

And in New York, residents of the flooded beachfront neighborhood of Breezy Point in returned home to find fire had taken everything the water had not. A huge blaze destroyed perhaps 100 homes in the close-knit community where many had stayed behind despite being told to evacuate.

John Frawley acknowledged the mistake. Frawley, who lived about five houses from the fire’s edge, said he spent the night terrified "not knowing if the fire was going to jump the boulevard and come up to my house."

"I stayed up all night," he said. "The screams. The fire. It was horrifying."

There were still only hints of the economic impact of the storm.

Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicted it would cause $20 billion in damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. Another firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated losses up to $15 billion.

"The biggest problem is not the first few days but the coming months," said Alan Rubin, an expert in natural disaster recovery.

Some of those who lost homes and businesses to Sandy were promising to return and rebuild, but many sounded chastened by their encounter with nature’s fury. They included Tom Shalvey of Warwick, R.I., whose cottage on the beach in South Kingstown was washed away by raging surf, leaving a utility pipe as the only marker of where it once sat.

"We love the beach. We had many great times here," Shalvey said. "We will be back. But it will not be on the front row."


Haiti faces hunger catastrophe after hurricane Sandy destroys harvests

Relief groups have launched fresh appeals for funds to feed over a million Haitians after hurricane Sandy devastated farmland, compounding agricultural damage from tropical storm Isaac which destroyed 40% of the harvest in August.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said up to 450,000 people, including at least 4,000 children under five, are at risk from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition that requires urgent treatment. With harvests destroyed in most of the country, Haiti's entire food security situation is threatened, it added.

Although Haiti was not directly in Sandy's path, the storm last month triggered heavy rains and severe flooding in the west and the south. Rivers which flooded during the storm washed away topsoil, fruit trees and cultures. Eroded banks gave way and protective walls were shattered. Of the country's 140 communes, 70 were affected by the storm. Water levels are receding, but several areas remain inaccessible due to damaged bridges and roads.

Plantations of corn, beans, sorghum, pigeon peas, bananas, tubers, peanuts, vegetables and rice were entirely destroyed or badly damaged by wind and water. The government, which declared a state of emergency on 30 October, confirmed that over 64,000 heads of livestock were washed away, adding that the drought that preceded Isaac had already caused huge losses.

Significant reductions in the availability of food has led to big price rises – 200% in some communities at the end of September compared with prices in September 2011, according to Ocha.

"As a direct impact of the combined effects of the drought, Isaac and Sandy, the population in affected areas is facing a triple threat of decreased job opportunities, reduced access to food and less agricultural land to cultivate for the coming harvest season (June 2013)," said the UN agency.

ActionAid said farmers it works with are reporting crop losses of 70-90% in their areas and need immediate help to clear fields. They also require seeds and tools if they are to take advantage of the current planting season. "Crops like corn, rice and coffee that provide food and cash for at least 50% of families in Haiti are now rotting in fields all over the southern coast," said Jean-Claude Fignolé, ActionAid Haiti's country director. "Policymakers, donors and humanitarian agencies must act now to prevent a hunger crisis of potentially catastrophic proportions."

Nessilo Dorestant, 49, a farmer from Roseaux in the south-west of the country, told ActionAid: "We have lost everything. If I do not find seeds and seedlings now, I will have to prepare them myself from remaining devastated crops. But it will take a year for them to be ready and more than six months after to harvest. There is no possible way for my family to survive this long without food. All the farmers are in the same situation."

The hurricane destroyed at least 6,274 houses and damaged a further 21,427 according to the Haitian directorate for civil protection. Out of the estimated 31,370 people who lost their houses, most are now living with host families or in improvised accommodation, while 2,949 are still living in 18 hurricane shelters. Hundreds of public buildings, including cholera treatment facilities, hospitals and schools, were destroyed, and infrastructure, notably potable water networks, suffered significant damage.

The UN said the new needs arising from Sandy will require $39.9m (£25m) in additional funding this year and next. Of this $23.2m will be required to finance the first phase to immediately address the critical needs of 1.2 million in terms of food, shelter, sanitation and education. This brings the 2012 appeal's revised requirements to $151m, leaving a shortfall of $95.3m.

"Shortfalls in humanitarian funding throughout 2011 and 2012 have reduced capacities to the extent that there is insufficient capacity under current conditions to meet the additional humanitarian needs resulting from hurricane Sandy," said Ocha.


New York Gov. Cuomo says superstorm Sandy may cost state $33 billion

NEW YORK – Damage in New York state from Superstorm Sandy could total $33 billion when all is said and done, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday as the state began cleaning up from a nor'easter that dumped snow, brought down power lines and left hundreds of thousands of new customers in darkness.

A damage forecasting firm had previously estimated that Sandy might have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses from the Carolinas to Maine, including property damage, lost business and extra living expenses. Cuomo's estimate will likely pushes the bill even higher.

A damage estimate of even $50 billion total would make Sandy the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, right behind Hurricane Katrina. Sandy inundated parts of New York City and New Jersey with a storm surge as high as 14 feet, killed more than 100 people and left more than 8.5 million people without power at its peak.

On Thursday, a nor'easter that stymied recovery efforts from Sandy pulled away from New York and New Jersey, leaving hundreds of thousands of new people in darkness.

From Brooklyn to storm-battered sections of the Jersey shore and Connecticut, about 750,000 customers -- more than 200,000 from the new storm -- in the region were without power in temperatures near freezing, some living for days in the dark.

"We lost power last week, just got it back for a day or two, and now we lost it again," said John Monticello, of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. "Every day it's the same now: turn on the gas burner for heat. Instant coffee. Use the iPad to find out what's going on in the rest of the world."

But most were just grateful the new storm didn't bring a fresh round of devastation.

"For a home without power, it's great. It came through the storm just great," said Iliay Bardash, 61, a computer programmer on Staten Island without electricity since last week. "But things are not worse, and for that I am thankful."

Nearby, Vladimir Repnin emerged from his powerless home with a snow shovel in his hand, a cigarette in his mouth and a question from someone cut off from the outside world.

"The Democrats ruined my business," he said, referring to his shuttered clothing manufacturing firm.

Unlike other holdouts who got by with generators or gas stoves, the 63-year-old from Ukraine has been without power since Sandy brought 8 feet of water through his door and his neighbor's deck into his yard. He tried to beat the cold Wednesday night by sleeping with his Yorkie, Kuzya, and cat, Channel.

"I had the dog right here," he said, pointing to his left side, "and the cat on my chest. It was still too cold, but I cannot leave my house."

Throughout Staten Island's beach area, the storm had blanketed growing piles of debris with several inches of snow. By mid-morning, it was starting to melt, filling the streets with filthy sludge.

Airlines canceled hundreds of flights before and during the new storm. On Thursday, there were about 600 canceled, according to flight tracking service FlightAware, mostly in the New York area.

But roads in New Jersey and New York City were clear for the morning commute, and rail lines into New York were running smoothly so far, despite snow still coming down heavily in some areas.

The nor'easter, as promised, brought gusting winds, rain and snow, but not the flooding that was anticipated.

"The good news, thank goodness, is except for maybe 2 inches of snow, there were no other problems," said Randi Savron, 51, a schoolteacher who lives in the Rockaways, one of the areas that flooded badly last week. The idyllic beachfront boardwalk was loosed from pilings and ended up outside her apartment building door.

She said it seemed like work would continue.

But additional outages could stall recovery efforts, even though utility companies had prepared, adding extra crews ahead of the nor'easter.

In New Jersey, there were about 400,000 power outages early Thursday 150,000 of those were new. In New York City and Westchester, more than 70,000 customers were without power after the storm knocked out an additional 55,000 customers.

For Consolidated Edison, the extra outages were dealt with swiftly, so there were only about 3,000 additional customers without power from the total Wednesday of 67,000.

"I think we're going to be able to power through. Our objective was to get power restored to everyone by the weekend and we're still working with that goal," said Alfonso Quiroz, a spokesman for the utility.

On Long Island, an area badly battered, there were 125,000 new outages, but about 80,000 were restored, making a total of about 300,000 customers without power. Long Island Power Authority spokesman Mark Gross said the utility was assessing new damage while working to restore outages.

Paul Farash of West Babylon, N.Y., said he got power back after three days and didn't lose it again.

"Whatever I experienced was minimal compared to a whole lot of other people," he said. "I've seen some things. I've heard about some things. and I know some things. And I'm counting my blessings. I'll survive."

Anthony Gragnano, who lives in Lindenhurst, worried the new storm would further stall getting power returned to his flooded family home.

"It's just colder now," he said. "We still don't have heat or power, but aside from a little snow, we're good."

Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this sort wouldn't be a big deal. But large swaths of the landscape were still an open wound, with the electrical system highly fragile and many of Sandy's victims still mucking out their homes and cars and shivering in the deepening cold. As the storm picked up in intensity Wednesday evening, lights started flickering off again.

Residents from Connecticut to Rhode Island saw 3 to 6 inches of snow on Wednesday. Worcester, Mass., had 8 inches of snow, and Freehold, N.J., had just over a foot overnight. Some parts of Connecticut got a foot or more.

There was good weather news: temperatures over the next few days will be in the 50s in southern New England, said meteorologist Frank Nocera, and on Sunday it could edge into the 60s.


Stock Exchanges Shift To Contingency Plans As Sandy Wreaks Havoc

NEW YORK, N.Y.--Construction workers carry boards of wood to cover air vents that could cause the . [+] New York subway system to flood in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Update 11:40 p.m.: The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Bunge reports that exchange operators are testing a new contingency plan as they strive to resume trading. From the report:

Under the plan outlined late Monday, all trading in NYSE-listed securities would execute on the Arca exchange, according to the notice from NYSE Euronext.

"NYSE Arca should be considered the primary market in this scenario," exchange officials wrote in the notice. Certain orders wouldn't be able to be used under the scenario, and the exchange operator warned members that while regulatory relief from some trading rules was being sought, there was no guarantee that this would be granted.

via NYSE to Test New Contingency Plan Tuesday - WSJ.com.

U.S. trading came to a halt Monday morning and will remain at a standstill Tuesday, as Hurricane Sandy drenches the East Coast. Monday's pause came hours before the massive storm even made landfall, virtually ensuring that the exchanges would remain closed Tuesday.

The NYSE and Nasdaq stock exchange hope to reopen Wednesday, after stock and bond exchanges already called off Monday or ended early.

Originally, the NYSE hoped to shift Monday's trading to its electronic NYSE Arca exchange, which is not based near New York. The Nasdaq, already an electronic platform, had intended to stay open as well.

The decision to remain closed came after concerns about the safety of staff brought into Wall Street firms to manage the lighter-than-usual volume. It's also unknown how Arca would have managed the billions of dollars that trade daily on the NYSE with so little notice. "As sophisticated as electronic systems have become, they have not been completely foolproof, so the markets still have a ways to go in designing a truly optimal trading experience," says Morningstar analyst Gaston Ceron.

Stopping activity on Wall Street is an unusual occurrence. It is the first time in more than a century that weather stopped activity on Wall Street for more than 24 hours. A blizzard in 1885 forced exchanges closed for two days. And morerecently, the NYSE opened the day after Tropical Storm Irene's Sunday arrival last year.

The CBOE, which trades options, will stop too. Meanwhile, the CME Group plans to close the trading floor of the Nymex commodities exchange, moving it to an electronic platform. And the settlement of some products sold by the Federal Reserve of New York will be delayed.

Delays also hit corporate earnings. Pfizer, Thomson Reuters, Acorda Therapeutics and NRG Energy all made the early decision to push back quarterly reports. Pfizer, with headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, will go Thursday, two days late. Acorda plans to report on Wednesday, while NRG Energy and Thomson will report Friday.

For now, Hurricane Sandy's "impact on the financial markets and the economy is uncertain at this point," says UBS economist Joseph LaVorgna. "Moreover, it is conceivable that the various economic data releases between now and the next couple of days could be delayed." Data this morning showed that consumers stepped up spending in September, dipping into savings.

Most of Manhattan darkened by 9 p.m. Sunday, after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the city's subways, bus and rail lines closed. That will choke off access to the city for the 8.5 million commuters who normally use those systems to enter New York.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall Monday, bringing heavy rains, gusting winds, flooding and power outages. It's flooding that could impact Manhattan's Financial District most. The neighborhood sits in a low-lying part of the island, and officials have cautioned that flooding could likely affect wide parts of the New York area.

While not expected to be as devastating as Hurricane Katrina, Sandy will bare down on a swath of the country with 50 million people. Not as lethal, yet likely larger. Strong winds already stretch more than 500 miles from the storm's eye a potent combination of an Arctic jet stream wrapped around a tropical storm give Sandy its might. Forecasters see 12 inches of rain in some places, while three feet of snow is expected in the Appalachian Mountains.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Sandy was 260 miles from New York, traveling at 18 mph. Meteorologists predict the storm will land near southern New Jersey, then make a northwesterly turn.

Investors are excused for a bit of deja vu. Little more than a year ago, another hurricane prompted transit shutdowns, flooding worries and an evacuation of lower Manhattan. Wall Street then activated contingency plans, though flooding was not as bad as feared. Most trading firms keep alternative sites to ensure a smooth operation, while both the NYSE and Nasdaq keep their servers based in suburban New Jersey. Look for lower volume on the exchanges, though. Firms will not be running fully staffed.

The NYSE has not altered a day's trading for weather in more than a decade. In 1996, a blizzard delayed the opening, and the exchange then closed at 2 p.m. Before that, Hurricane Gloria forced the Big Board closed in 1986. Since then, the NYSE has developed electronic trading to keep brokers' orders flowing. The longest period of no trading: the four days following 9/11.

What will be in focus when the Opening Bell finally chimes? Technology will remain a key theme this week, after a series of negative quarterly reports. Apple lost 1% last week. Amazon.com gave up 0.7%. Netflix ended up 7% after speculation about a Microsoft takeover bid.

Futures before closing indicated a lower open—whenever that does occur. Dow Jones industrial average futures dropped 87 points. Nasdaq composite futures gave up 21.8 points. And S&P 500 futures lost 8.1 points.

Overseas, markets were restrained by New York's absence and downbeat readings on the European economy. The London-based FTSE closed down 0.2% to 5,795.10. Trading in Asia: the Shanghai index fell 0.4% to 2058.94.

Investors will also examine those postponed quarterly reports. Burger King went ahead this morning with its earnings report. The fast-food chain made 6 cents a share in profit on $451 million in sales, less than the 15 cents a share that analysts forecast.


5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy For Emergency Preparedness

Hurricane Sandy will go down in history as one of the most destructive storms ever, inflicting at least $50 to $60 billion in damage across the Northeast, according to early estimates. As the dust settles and our country manages the recovery phase of this crisis, it’s wise to think through what was done well, and what areas could be improved upon to better prepare for future crisis situations.

There are a number of factors that must be considered during emergency planning, such as the projected impact of each type of emergency on the infrastructure of the impacted area, the safety of people and property and the coordination of emergency personnel. However, every plan must rely on one critical component for success – communication. Essentially, the most critical component of any emergency plan is based on the ability of an organization to communicate to their targeted recipients in a timely and effective manner.

Critical communications during emergencies - such as severe weather - are typically classified under the terms emergency notification or mass communication. Historically, the most common form of emergency notification has been reverse 911. This allows municipalities to send a pre-recorded message to a list of landlines in their community using contact information typically sourced from published telephone white pages listings. Challenging this method is the fact that the use of a landline ‘home phone’ has diminished significantly over the last decade. In lower income communities, in student populations and for military personnel, most rely exclusively on mobile devices as their primary phone. According to the International Telecommunication Union, there were almost 6 billion mobile subscriptions at the end of 2011, which is equivalent to 87 percent of the world population. Given these statistics, are our employers and communities leveraging technology advances in the best way to protect our lives and property during catastrophic events?

During Hurricane Sandy, organizations and municipalities delivered more than 10 million alerts only 10% of those alerts were sent using SMS, with 20% sent via email.

Today’s technology capabilities support a key emergency notification best practice, which is to use multiple contact paths (landline, email, SMS, mobile phones, etc.) to ensure that each alert conveys critical information or a call to action that reaches each intended recipient and is easy to understand.

To ensure that organizations can help protect the lives and property of their communities, they must implement communications strategies that integrate mobile and social media technologies into their emergency plans.

Here are five strategies that companies and municipalities can implement to better prepare for crisis situations:

  • Every organization should have multiple contact paths for each individual to decrease reliance on any one device, and the demographic of the community should be assessed when determining the optimal contact paths for each group. During Hurricane Sandy, some universities sent 17% of their messages by phone, 37% by text, and 46% by email. In contrast, a sample of corporations sent 60% of its messages by phone, 9% by text, and 19% by email. If a storm has knocked out physical phone lines, no landline attempts will be successful.
  • Organizations must plan to manage the entire lifecycle of any critical event. Dr. Robert C. Chandler, crisis communication expert, suggests creating a crisis plan that addresses each of the 6 stages of a crisis: Warning, Risk Assessment, Response, Management, Resolution and Recovery.
  • Social media has dramatically changed the public’s expectations around communications. Social media sites like Twitter are being monitored for real-time, location-specific impact to individuals and communities to deliver situational intelligence to emergency response teams as quickly as possible.
  • Regular system and staff testing and preparation procedures are followed including system testing for effectiveness and data accuracy. Staff should be trained to operate the critical communications system from both computer and mobile devices to achieve an aptitude with the system ensuring more consistent results in high anxiety situations.
  • Message construction is key in getting your target audience to read your message and follow its instructions. Dr. Chandler recommends that message maps consist of three short sentences that convey three key messages in 30 words or less and audio/video needs to convey its message in the first 9 seconds. SMS messages should be no longer than 120 characters.

After a long career at Barron's, I joined Forbes as San Francisco bureau chief in December 2010. I've been writing about technology and investing for more than 25 years.…


Magnitude Unexpected

New York City committed $29.2 million to emergency contractors and the costs related to Sandy will probably reach “the tens of millions of dollars,” City Comptroller John Liu said. The city “will easily be able to absorb the actual cost of the clean out” and state or federal agencies will help cover the expenses, he said.

“Nobody expected a storm of this magnitude to hit New York City,” Liu said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We will keep people safe, and we will start helping people dig out from this storm.”

Record tides from the storm combined with hours of pounding wind and rain to flood seven subway tunnels under the East River and electrical substations and shut down New York’s financial district. Power was lost in Manhattan south of 35th Street. Some outages were deliberate as Consolidated Edison Inc., the city’s utility, proactively shut off parts of downtown Manhattan, including Wall Street, and Brooklyn.


Sandy wreaks havoc across Northeast at least 11 dead

Atlantic City, New Jersey, resident Kim Johnson inspects the area around her apartment building, which flooded on Tuesday, October 30. Large sections of an old boardwalk also were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 Red Cross-operated shelters across 16 states because of Sandy, the American Red Cross tells CNN. View photos of New York recovering from impact.

Cars float in a flooded parking area on Tuesday in the financial district of New York.

A power line knocked over by a falling tree blocks a street on Tuesday in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Waves break next to an apartment building in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Tuesday.

Workers shovel debris from the streets in Ocean City, Maryland, on Tuesday.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flies over Central Park in New York City.

A man jogs near a darkened Manhattan skyline on Tuesday after much of New York City lost electricity.

Workers clear a tree blocking East 96th Street in Central Park in New York on Tuesday.

Rising water rushes into an underground parking garage in New York's financial district on Monday, October 29.

Taxis drive down a New York street where the power was out late Monday, October 29.

A firefighter speaks to a colleague while surveying damage caused by Sandy on Monday in New York.

Flooded cars line the streets of New York's financial district Monday night.

A truck drives by a flooded gas station in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn on Monday.

A flooded street is seen at nightfall during the storm on Monday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Firefighters evaluate an apartment building in New York that had the front wall collapse during the storm on Monday.

Heavy rains fall in Manhattan on Monday.

People walk through water on the beach near high tide Monday as Sandy approaches Atlantic City.

Two men run down Foster Avenue while dodging high winds and waves from the storm on Monday in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

An emergency vehicle plows through floodwaters on Monday in Dewey Beach, Delaware.

A person tries to cross the street during the storm on Monday in Atlantic City.

A traffic sign warns motorists west of Philadelphia on Monday.

A wall of water makes its way to shore as residents brave the storm Monday in Ocean City, Maryland.

A downed tree and fallen power lines lie over homes Monday on Harvard Street in Garden City, New York.

Two people shoot video along Brooklyn Heights' Promenade on Monday as Sandy approaches landfall.

Work crews push sand from a roadway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, due to storm surge related to flooding on Monday.

Two women battle wind and rain with umbrellas in hand in Philadelphia on Monday.

Kira Brizill leads family members as high tide and winds flood the street on Monday in Freeport, New York.

John Edgecombe II, who is homeless, takes refuge from the rain and wind at a bus stop in Ward Circle in Washington on Monday.

Superstorm Sandy dumped a lot of rain, flooding a part of Greenpoint, Brooklyn

A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation truck slowly drives on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as Sandy approaches Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on Monday.

Buses at Frankford terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sit idle after Mayor Michael Nutter ordered that all city offices be closed Monday and Tuesday due to potential damage from Sandy.

A woman walks down the promenade along the East River in New York City on Monday.

Jillian Webb, left, and Arianna Corso are pelted by wind and sand on Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts, on Monday.

Waves slam into the sea wall in Scituate, Massachusetts, on Monday.

Chris Losordo carries his father, Vin, across a flooded road in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Monday.

A repair truck drives down a flooded street in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Monday.

Superstorm Sandy dumped a lot of rain on West Side Highway in Manhattan, NY.

Floodwaters cover the streets of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Monday.

Multiple waves hit the Cooper's Beach in Southampton, N.Y.

Waves crash against a previously damaged pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy approaches landfall on Monday.

High winds broke part of a crane boom on this building under construction in Manhattan, causing several nearby buildings to be evacuated.

An emergency vehicle drives down Cape May, New Jersey's flooded Ocean Avenue on Monday.

A young boy runs along Rockaway Beach in the Queens, New York, on Monday.

A woman examines her storm-damaged porch as heavy rain continues to pour in Winthrop, Massachusetts, on Monday.

A lone figure makes his way down Seventh Street in Lindenhurst, New York, on Monday.

People brave high winds and waves in Winthrop, Massachusetts, as Hurricane Sandy moves up the coast on Monday.

A tree felled by the storm blocks Kramer Drive in Lindenhurst, New York, on Monday.

Waves crash over a street in Winthrop, Massachusetts, as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast on Monday.

A police vehicle drives through a flooded area in New York on Monday.

The New York skyline is seen from the bank of the East River on Monday.

People walk on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday.

A man stands on the beach as heavy waves pound the shoreline Monday in Cape May, New Jersey.

The dome of the U.S. Capitol building is seen through a window as heavy rain hits Washington on Monday.

A member of the press takes a photo of a flooded street on Monday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A man takes a picture of the storm with his phone from the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday.

A man stands on the sidewalk Monday as a vehicle drives up a flooded street in Atlantic City.

The Hudson River comes over the sea wall along the West Side Promenade in the Battery Park area in New York on Monday.

The owner of the Wilton House locks up his bar on Monday in Hoboken, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the area.

Two people stand near the edge of the boardwalk on Monday in Ocean City, Maryland.

People fight against the wind along Brighton Beach in New York on Monday.

A jogger runs along the East River in New York on Monday as a police car secures the area.

A man watches as the tidal surge pounds a pier in Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday.

A street on the shoreline of Milford, Connecticut, floods at high tide as Hurricane Sandy approaches on Monday.

A sailboat smashes on the rocks after breaking free from its mooring on City Island, New York, on Monday.

A lone tourist stands in Times Square early Monday as New Yorkers brace against Hurricane Sandy.

A satellite image taken at 12:25 p.m. ET Monday shows Sandy moving over the Northeast.

A restaurant on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is boarded up in preparation for the bad weather on Monday.

A man walks down a flooded street in Atlantic City on Monday before the hurricane makes landfall.

Tourists wear plastic ponchos in Times Square on Monday.

Air Force One arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. President Barack Obama canceled his appearance at a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, and returned to Washington to monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy.

A road leading to casinos in Atlantic City is empty before the hurricane makes landfall on Monday.

Obama steps off Air Force One on Monday after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base.

A truck moves north on South Long Beach Avenue as rising water and wind ahead of Hurricane Sandy flood the area on Monday in Freeport, New York. The storm, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the United States, is expected to bring days of rain, high wind and, in places, heavy snow.

An overhead sign on the Southern Parkway alerts motorists to road closings in Wantagh, New York, on Monday.

A truck fights its way through water on a road in Southampton, New York, on Monday.

Andy Becica watches the heavy surf from Hurricane Sandy wash in Monday at Cape May, New Jersey. The full force of Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the New Jersey coastline later Monday.

Water forced ashore ahead of the hurricane starts to flood Beach Avenue in Cape May on Monday morning.

A tattered piece of a billboard blows in the wind Monday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Water floods a street in Atlantic City.

An ambulance maneuvers through water on Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens as the weather sours Monday in New York City.

People pose for pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday.

A wave crashes over the bow of a tugboat in New York Harbor on Monday.

Cape May Lighthouse shines over the heavy surf.

Dark clouds cover the skyline of Manhattan early Monday.

A satellite image shows Hurricane Sandy at 8:25 a.m. ET Monday. Forecasters warned that Sandy was likely to collide with a cold front and spawn a "superstorm" that could generate flash floods, snowstorms and massive power outages.

People stand on the beach watching the heavy surf caused by the approaching hurricane on Sunday in Cape May.

Sean Doyle of Levittown and Andrew Hodgson of Hicksville pull their boat from Long Island Sound on Sunday at Oyster Bay, New York.

With Hurricane Sandy approaching, the Long Island Railroad announced the suspension of service at 7 p.m. Sunday in Hicksville, New York.

Lisa Cellucci holds her umbrella as it is blown backward by Hurricane Sandy's winds as her friend Kim Vo watches on Sunday in Cape May.

People look at the surf as high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Sunday.

A construction worker covers air vents Sunday to try to prevent the New York subway system from flooding by Hurricane Sandy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a shutdown and suspension of all subway, bus and commuter rail service in response to the storm.

Residents of Long Beach, New York, fill sandbags on Sunday in preparation for the storm.

A satellite image from 10:10 a.m. ET on Sunday shows Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean grazing the East Coast.

A man surfs at Rockaway Beach in Queens as Hurricane Sandy approaches Sunday.

Scott Davenport brings plywood to cover the windows at the Trump Plaza casino on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Sunday.

Bob Kaege takes a measurement while boarding up a shop in Cold Spring, New Jersey, on Saturday as Marie Jadick speaks on the telephone getting an updated weather report in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

Houses are flooded in the neighborhood of La Javilla in Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic, on Friday.

Residents watch firefighters battle a blaze in Kingston, Jamaica, on Friday. The fire, which destroyed the home, was started by a faulty generator that was triggered when Sandy caused a blackout, firefighters said.

A motorcyclist rides through a flooded street Friday in Petit-Goâve, Haiti, where three overflowing rivers put homes and farms under water.

Corey Hutterli works on securing his sailboat as the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy are felt in Miami Beach, Florida, on Thursday, October 25.

A woman stands at the entrance of her house surrounded by flood water after heavy rain in Santo Domingo on Thursday.

People walk on a flooded street after Hurricane Sandy hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday.

Burt Myrich boards up a home in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on Saturday in Cape May, New Jersey.

A woman peers out the door of her house Thursday after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Bayamo, Cuba.

A man clears debris from his house on Thursday. It was demolished by Hurricane Sandy in Santiago de Cuba.

Residents in Bayamo, Cuba, try to fix a house damaged by hurricane Sandy on Thursday.

A U.N. peacekeeper on Thursday stands at the edge of a bridge that was washed away by heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

A house ruined by heavy flooding from Hurricane Sandy sits abandoned in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday.

Men deal with downed tree branches after heavy rain caused by Hurricane Sandy in Kingston, Jamaica, on Wednesday, October 24.

Students walk in floodwater from Hurricane Sandy's rain in Santo Domingo on Wednesday.

Citizens of Bayamo, Cuba, buy food on Wednesday, as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

Waves hit the coast in Santo Domingo on Wednesday.

Citizens of Bayamo talk on the sidewalk on Wednesday.

People in Bayamo hold umbrellas as they purchase food Wednesday before the arrival of the hurricane.

Jamaicans shelter themselves from the rain of approaching Hurricane Sandy as they walk along the Hope River on Wednesday.

The Hope River begins to swell with rain from approaching Hurricane Sandy in Kingston on Wednesday.

Houses sit along the Hope River in Kingston on Wednesday.

A satellite view shows Hurricane Sandy's position on Wednesday.

  • One New York hospital evacuates 200 patients another turns to backup power
  • At least 11 U.S. deaths have been blamed on Sandy
  • "Extraordinary" amount of water in Lower Manhattan, Bloomberg says
  • Jersey Shore police: "The whole north side of my town is totally under water"

(CNN) -- Though no longer a hurricane, "post-tropical" superstorm Sandy packed a hurricane-sized punch as it slammed into the Jersey Shore on Monday, killing at least 11 people from West Virginia to North Carolina and Connecticut.

Sandy whipped torrents of water over the streets of Atlantic City, stretching for blocks inland and ripping up part of the vacation spot's fabled boardwalk. The storm surge set records in Lower Manhattan, where flooded substations caused a widespread power outage. It swamped beachfronts on both sides of Long Island Sound and delivered hurricane-force winds from Virginia to Cape Cod as it came ashore.

Sandy's wrath also prompted the evacuation of about 200 patients at NYU Langone Medical Center.

"We are having intermittent telephone access issues, and for this reason the receiving hospital will notify the families of their arrival," spokeswoman Lisa Greiner said.

In addition, the basement of New York's Bellevue Hospital Center flooded, and the hospital was running off of emergency backup power. Ian Michaels of the Office of Emergency Management said the main priority is to help secure additional power and obtain additional fuel and pumps for the hospital.

The storm hit near Atlantic City about 8 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center reported. It packed 80-mph winds at landfall, down from the 90 mph clocked earlier Monday.

"I've been down here for about 16 years, and it's shocking what I'm looking at now. It's unbelievable," said Montgomery Dahm, owner of the Tun Tavern in Atlantic City, which stayed open as Sandy neared the Jersey Shore. "I mean, there's cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water."

Dahm's family cleared out of Atlantic City before the storm hit, but he says he stayed put to serve emergency personnel. At nightfall Monday, he said the water was lapping at the steps of his restaurant, where a generator was keeping the lights on.

Sandy makes landfall Ray Kelly: We're concerned with flooding Sandy sends waves crashing in New York Blizzard conditions hit Appalachians

The storm had already knocked down power lines and tree limbs while still 50 miles offshore and washed out a section of the boardwalk on the north end of town, Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford told CNN. He said there were still "too many people" who didn't heed instructions to evacuate, and he urged anyone still in town to "hunker down and try to wait this thing out."

"When Mother Nature sends her wrath your way, we're at her mercy, and so all we can do is stay prayerful and do the best that we can," Langford said.

And in Seaside Heights, about 30 miles north of Atlantic City, Police Chief Thomas Boyd told CNN, "The whole north side of my town is totally under water."

In New York, lower Manhattan's Battery Park recorded nearly 14-foot tide, smashing a record set by 1960's Hurricane Donna by more than 3 feet. The city had already halted service on its bus and train lines, closing schools and ordering about 400,000 people out of their homes in low-lying areas of Manhattan and elsewhere.

Flooding forced the closure of all three of the major airports in the area, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty. Water seeped into subway stations in Lower Manhattan and into the tunnel connecting Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, while high winds damaged a crane perched atop a Midtown skyscraper under construction, forcing authorities to evacuate the surrounding area.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters there was an "extraordinary" amount of water in Lower Manhattan, as well as downed trees throughout the city and widespread power outages.

"We knew that this was going to be a very dangerous storm, and the storm has met our expectations," he said. "The worst of the weather has come, and city certainly is feeling the impacts."

The storm was blamed for more than 2.8 million outages across the Northeast. About 350,000 of them were in the New York city area, where utility provider Con Edison reported it had also cut power to customers in parts of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan to protect underground equipment as the storm waters rose.

But as water crept into its substations, Con Ed said it had lost service to about 250,000 customers in Manhattan -- including most of the island south of 39th Street.

At least five people had been killed in storm-related incidents in New York state, including three killed by trees falling on homes in Queens and in the town of New Salem, near Albany, city and state officials said. Falling trees were also blamed for three deaths reported in New Jersey and one in Connecticut, authorities there told CNN.

In West Virginia, a woman was killed in a car accident after the storm dumped 5 inches of snow on the town of Davis, said Amy Shuler Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office.

Water washes over downtown Atlantic City Transformer explodes in lower Manhattan Waves lapping into New Jersey surf club Wall Street closes for Hurricane Sandy

And before hitting land, it overwhelmed the sailing ship HMS Bounty, a replica of the historic British vessel, off North Carolina. Fourteen of the ship's crew of 16 were rescued, but the body of one deckhand was found Monday evening and the ship's captain was still missing Monday night, the Coast Guard said.

Sandy had already claimed at least 67 lives in the Caribbean, including 51 in Haiti.

Sandy's storm surges were boosted by a full moon, which already brings the highest tides of the month. And forecasters said the storm was likely to collide with a cold front and spawn a superstorm that could generate flash floods and snowstorms.

"It could be bad," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Rattior, "or it could be devastation."

Mass transit shut down across the densely populated Northeast, landmarks stood empty and schools and government offices were closed. The National Grid, which provides power to millions of customers, said 60 million people could be affected before it's over.

On Fire Island, off Long Island, the water rose above promenades and docks on Monday afternoon, homeowner Karen Boss said. Boss stayed on the island with her husband despite a mandatory evacuation order. She said they own several properties and a business there and had weathered previous storms.

"I'm concerned that it might come into the first floor," she said. "If that's the case, I'll just move into another house that's higher up."

Based on pressure readings, it's likely to be the strongest storm to make landfall north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. The benchmark storm, the 1938 "Long Island Express" Hurricane, contained a low pressure reading of 946 millibars Sandy had a minimum pressure of 943 millibars. Generally speaking, the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

In Sea Bright, New Jersey, Yvette Cafaro scrawled a plea on the plywood that covered her burger restaurant: "Be kind to us Sandy." The seaside area largely dodged last year's Hurricane Irene, but Cafaro was not optimistic that Sea Bright would be spared Sandy.

"Everything that we've been watching on the news looks like this one will really get us," she said. "We're definitely worried about it."

Its arrival, eight days before the U.S. presidential election, forced President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, to alter or cancel several campaign stops. Obama flew back to Washington from Florida, telling reporters at the White House that assets were in place for an effective response to the storm.

"The most important message I have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying," Obama said. "When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate."

And in Ohio, Romney asked supporters to drop off items and cash at his "victory centers" to be donated to victims of the storm.

"There are families in harm's way that will be hurt -- either in their possessions or perhaps in something more severe," Romney said.

By Monday afternoon, 23 states were under a warning or advisory for wind related to Sandy. Thousands of flights had been canceled, and hundreds of roads and highways were expected to flood. And according to a government model, Sandy's wind damage alone could cause more than $7 billion in economic loss.

Sandy was expected to weaken once it moves inland, but the center was expected to move slowly northward, meaning gusty winds and heavy rain would continue through Wednesday.

On the western side of the storm, the mountains of West Virginia expected up to 3 feet of snow and the mountains of southwestern Virginia to the Kentucky state line could see up to 2 feet. Twelve to 18 inches of snow were expected in the mountains near the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

"This is not a typical storm," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. "Essentially, this is a hurricane wrapped in a 'nor'easter.'"

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen, Dana Ford, Tom Watkins, Josh Levs, Chelsea J. Carter, Greg Botelho, Jason Kessler, Sarah Dillingham, Sean Morris, Ashley Corum, Eden Pontz and George Howell contributed to this report.