Special Reports

Hurricane Freezes US Election Campaigning

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viagra order http://celiac-disease.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-links-list-table.php geneva;”>This is because of the storm sandy that caused flooding in Eastern US.

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stuff http://chuaxuattinhsom.info/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/sso.php geneva; color: #333333;”>Sandy made landfall in New Jersey. It caused a record surge of seawater in New York City, http://cctvcameraz.com/wp-includes/simplepie/rating.php flooding car and subway tunnels and leaving much of lower Manhattan without power.

It has been blamed for 10 deaths so far across several states.

An estimated 50 million people could be affected, with up to one million ordered to evacuate homes. At least 5 million people are without electricity but the full extent of the damage caused by Sandy may not be known until daybreak.

Public transport has been halted in several eastern cities, and thousands of flights have been grounded. The storm made landfall close to Atlantic City in New Jersey at about 20:00 local time (midnight GMT), packing winds of more than 80mph (129km/h).

Much of Atlantic City was underwater, and 30,000 residents were evacuated. America’s oldest nuclear power plant, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, was put on alert due to rising water, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Sandy threatens an 800-mile (1,290-km) swathe of the US, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes in the Mid-West.

It lost its hurricane status late on Monday as it neared the coast and collided with winter weather systems, but was still generating hurricane-strength winds.

In New York, some 375,000 residents were ordered out of lower Manhattan and other areas, as the Hudson and East rivers began overflowing.

“Lower Manhattan is being covered by seawater,” Howard Glaser, director of operations for the New York state government, was quoted as saying. “I am not exaggerating. Seawater is rushing into the Battery Tunnel.”

Battery Tunnel links Manhattan with Long Island. The city’s Consolidated Edison utility provider said some 500,000 homes in Manhattan were without power.

There were reports of an explosion at a Con Edison power station on the east side of Manhattan.

Agence France-Presse quoted company vice president John Miksad as saying it was caused by flooding or flying debris, and he added that it could take a week to restore power completely.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the storm surge was higher than the highest forecast, but he expected the waters to start receding from midnight local time.

Back-up power at New York University hospital had failed and authorities were trying to get people out, he said.

Public transport was suspended in the US capital, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston. Amtrak has suspended passenger train services across the north-east, while nearly 14,000 flights were cancelled, according to Flightaware.com.

Up to 3ft (91cm) of snow is expected to fall on the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.

The disaster estimating firm Eqecat has forecast that Sandy could cause economic losses to the US of between $10bn and $20bn (£6.2bn-£12.4bn).

Sandy had earlier killed dozens of people as it passed through the Caribbean, mainly in Haiti.

Impact on Politics

The storm is already pulling politics out of shape, changing the dynamic of the last few days before the election.

The crowd had gathered in the open air, beneath a huge stars-and-stripes and giant white letters reading: Vote Now.

This was to have been an important, high-energy moment on the first day of the last full week of campaigning. But the double act was robbed of its star attraction.

The president had arrived the night before and moved the event earlier but, even so, he decided he had to return to the White House as the other big speaker, former President Bill Clinton, explained to the crowd.

“I was supposed to be the warm-up man – but that storm had other ideas,” he said.

He said they had stayed up late planning the rally and talking but, this morning: “He called me and he said: ‘I gotta go back, it’s going to be worse than we thought. It’s going to hit further south of where we thought,’ so keep your fingers crossed for your fellow Americans today”.

The event had far less energy than if the president was here but it is proof that politics will not stop in the vital swing states away from the storm.

Mitt Romney too has cancelled events planned for tonight and tomorrow.

His campaign said it was “out of sensitivity for the millions of Americans in the path of Hurricane Sandy”, adding “Governor Romney believes this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harm’s way”.

But there is a risk that he is shoved out of the picture.

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