Sandy kills at least 61 on East Coast, affects Milwaukee area
Jay Sorgi, the WTMJ News Team and the Associated Press
How is Sandy affecting you or someone you know - especially from southeastern Wisconsin? Comment below with your/their experience.
Click here for a way to help Sandy victims through TODAY'S TMJ4's American Red Cross phone back on Wednesday.
Wednesday, October 31
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 61 people and inflicting 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.
Help out victims of Hurricane Sandy! TODAY'S TMJ4 will host a phone bank this afternoon to benefit the American Red Cross.
New Jersey National Guard trucks are delivering ready-to-eat meals and evacuating the city of Hoboken.
About half the city remains flooded two days after superstorm Sandy struck. Thousands are still holed up in their brownstones, condos, and other housing.
The mile-square city is across the Hudson River from New York.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has rung Wall Street back to business.
Traffic is snarled, subways out of commission, streets flooded and power out for many parts of the city, but the New York Stock Exchange opened without hitch Wednesday after an historic two-day shutdown, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy.
Bloomberg rang the opening bell at 9:30 a.m., right on schedule, as stock traders cheered from the iconic trading floor below, rumored to be flooded, but dry Wednesday morning, and festive.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg planned to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to reopen it after a rare two-day closure.
In about 70 minutes, crews from We Energies will depart from Racine to help restore power to the 8.5 million or so on the East Coast who don't have it.
Superstorm Sandy is STILL having its effect on Milwaukee's weather. 14 to 18 foot waves expected along Lake Michigan.
Authorities are again warning people not to head along the lake to do activities or look at those waves.
Want to see what the big waves look like along Lake Michigan - safely? Check them out here:
- Bradford Beach live webcam
- North Shore live webcam
- South Shore live webcam
- Concordia University webcam
People in the coastal corridor battered by superstorm Sandy took the first cautious steps to reclaim routines upended by the disaster, even as rescuers combed neighborhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire.
But while New York City buses returned to darkened streets eerily free of traffic and the New York Stock Exchange prepared to reopen its storied trading floor Wednesday, it became 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.
"We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times -- by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
By late Tuesday, the winds and flooding inflicted by the fast-weakening Sandy had subsided, leaving at least 55 people dead along the Atlantic Coast and splintering beachfront homes and boardwalks from the mid-Atlantic states to southern New England.
Tuesday, October 30
As Superstorm Sandy begins to loosen its grip the new battle will be getting back home after getting stuck in Milwaukee.
The massive storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, putting more than 8.5 million homes and businesses in the dark and causing more than 50 deaths in the U.S.
We weren't hit by the storm, but some people here are having big problems because of what's happening out east.
People up and down the Lake Michigan shoreline are feeling Superstorm Sandy's effects.
Manhattan resident Laura Zarougian is weathering the storm that is Superstorm Sandy. She told Newsradio 620 WTMJ that where she is -- midtown Manhattan -- people are trying to stay calm.
Superstorm Sandy is causing havoc on the East Coast and making an impact on southeast Wisconsin. Click here to see some photos.
Many of you have asked what's the best way to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy. TODAY'S TMJ4 wants to help, too. That's why we're opening up our phone lines on Wednesday.
Village of Pleasant Prairie officials have canceled their flood advisory along the village's lakeshore.
Waves from Superstorm Sandy are pounding the Lake Michigan shoreline. There's also a long line of cars full of people wanting to see the waves, and high tides.
A Wisconsin family is trying to get a hold of relatives who live in the path of Superstorm Sandy.
Officials say the death toll from Superstorm Sandy has reached 48. Many of the victims were killed by trees toppled by the storm, including a New Yorker killed in bed by a tree that fell onto an apartment.
3:30 p.m.The Wind Advisory for southeast Wisconsin's lakeshore counties has been canceled, says Storm Team 4Caster Brian Gotter.
Gotter says it's windy, but with gusts only reaching 30 miles per hour, the advisory is no longer in effect.
We have posted some photos of the giant waves along Lake Michigan. Click here to see them.
People are asking how they can help Superstorm Sandy victims. Here's some ways to help, and things to think about in making sure it's legitimate charities, from Call 4 Action's Karen Stiles.
Many blood donation sites in the East Coast have been closed up due to Sandy, so blood donations are needed.
The American Red Cross says there's a shortfall of 3,200 units of blood and platelets.
The massive storm that pummeled the East killed 10 people in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday, but he offered no firm timeline on when power would be restored to hundreds of thousands of people or when the city's flooded subway system would be running again.
We've added even more photos to our comprehensive photo gallery of Superstorm Sandy.
Pleasant Prairie reports that there's been no flooding yet from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Thousands of sandbags have been placed there to help if flooding happens.
Want to see what the big waves look like along Lake Michigan - safely? Check them out here:
- Bradford Beach live webcam
- North Shore live webcam
- South Shore live webcam
- Concordia University webcam
Note: Users have had some trouble getting the video to work on their browsers. A suggestion: Close other video browsers in use, then refresh the page.
Officials in Milwaukee are asking people to stay away from the lakefront.
Waves 35 feet high could come a few miles within the coast of Southeastern Wisconsin, all from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
Thousands of sandbags have headed to Kenosha County to battle flooding. More from Nick Montes here.
The death toll has now risen to 17 from the effects of Sandy, according to the Associated Press.
Those gale and storm warnings in Lake Michigan are leading officials with a lakeside ferry to stop sending boats across the lake.
Winds could bring waves of 35 feet to Southeastern Wisconsin. Many in Kenosha County are preparing by sandbagging and possibly evacuating.
The effects of "Superstorm Sandy" are reaching the shorelines of Southeastern Wisconsin.
A wind advisory has been issued for the lakeshore counties of Milwaukee, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Racine and Kenosha Counties until 7:00 p.m. Storm Team 4Caster Scott Steele says 35 foot waves are possible in our area.
Meanwhile, as Sandy marched slowly inland, millions along the East Coast awoke Tuesday without power or mass transit, with huge swaths of the nation's largest city unusually vacant and dark.
New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart in Lower Manhattan shuttered for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center.
The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening with 80 mph sustained winds killed at least 16 people in seven states, cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio, caused scares at two nuclear power plants and stopped the presidential campaign cold.
Monday, October 29
People living in Milwaukee, including Marquette University junior Elise Angelopulos, with family and friends living on the East Coast are worried about family back home.
Warnings are being issued along the lakefront in Milwaukee County. The message from rescue crews: The best way to stay safe, is to stay away.
Superstorm Sandy is keeping President Obama from making a campaign stop in Green Bay Tuesday. Also, Mitt Romney canceled his event at State Fair Park Monday due to the storm along the East Coast.
Port of Milwaukee officials are taking steps to avoid damage to boats and docks following reports of high waves and strong wind gusts along Lake Michigan
Kenosha County's sheriff is urging some to leave their homes due to possible flooding.
Stripped of hurricane status but every bit as dangerous, the weather monster known as Sandy wheeled toward the New Jersey and Delaware coast Monday after washing away part of the Atlantic City boardwalk, putting the presidential campaign on hold and threatening to cripple Wall Street and the New York subway system with an epic surge of seawater.
Just before it was expected to blow ashore in the evening, the National Hurricane Center announced that it considered Sandy no longer a hurricane but a wintry hybrid known as a post-tropical storm.
The decision was technical and based on the storm's shape and its mix of cold and warm temperatures -- a distinction that meant more to meteorologists than the 50 million people still in peril. The storm's top sustained winds weakened only slightly, to 85 mph from 90.
While the East Coast is getting hammered by post-tropical storm Sandy, Wisconsin-based Generac is getting flooded with calls and orders for back-up generators to help soften the blow left behind by Sandy
TODAY'S TMJ4's Annie Scholz says officials tell her that waves along Lake Michigan could reach as high as 40 feet Tuesday.
Milwaukee Police Captain Steve Basting says they will have limited resources to help people along the lakefront tomorrow.
"These are lake conditions we haven't seen for many many years," says Basting. "Please stay home."
TODAY'S TMJ4 talked with Baltimore, Maryland resident Lauren Varnas about conditions on the East Coast during Hurricane Sandy. Click here to watch.
Ahead of Hurricane Sandy, Washington D.C. residents are being told to stay inside. TODAY'S TMJ4 talked with a Marquette alum, who now lives in Washington D.C. Click here to watch that interview.
With waves expected to reach as high as 33 feet Tuesday on Lake Michigan, the Port of Milwaukee is taking steps to protect its docks and boats. The superstorm bearing down on the East Coast is expected to create dangerous conditions on the Great Lakes. The National Weather Service issued gale and storm warnings for the lakes through Wednesday.
Madison-based Alliant Energy is sending more than 100 people to the East Coast to help with Hurricane Sandy's aftermath.
Governor Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is ready to help with relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy.
Melissa McCrady of TODAY'S TMJ4 talked with two Sandy-stranded travelers, one in Milwaukee, one in New York.
Mitt Romney has become the second Presidential candidate to cancel a campaign appearance. He was going to speak in West Allis tonight, but he will not due to Hurricane Sandy.
The effects of Sandy are so prevalent that President Obama's campaign has canceled his trip to Green Bay on Tuesday.
Below, we mentioned that Hurricane Sandy could bring 33 foot waves to Lake Michigan. Storm Team 4Caster Scott Steele says waves THAT high won't reach Milwaukee.
What will Hurricane Sandy's effect be on Lake Michigan's levels? It could bring 33 foot waves. Click here for more info.
One of WTMJ's own barely got out of New York City before the storm.
"Last plane that left LaGuardia," said WTMJ's Johnathan Woodward, who made that plane. He works for both our radio and TV news teams.
On our Facebook page, TODAY'S TMJ4 viewer Diane Habermann tells us the story of what many people are enduring due to Sandy:
"Have friends vacationing with another friend that lives in New Hampshire they were suppose to come home today but their stuck out there now for at least 3-4 more days!!?? Praying for all affected!!"
WTMJ's own Johnathan Woodward tells us he's gone on a rather roundabout way from New York to Milwaukee - Fort Lauderdale. He's one of many from our area who have had to take a rather indirect method to get back.
Who do you know who has had to find another way to get home to Southeastern Wisconsin? Comment below!
Storm Team 4Caster Scott Steele explains the path of the storm in our video to the left. Check it out!
NEW YORK - Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing for higher ground, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall.
Sandy stayed on a predicted path that could take it over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York on its way to a collision course with two other weather systems, creating a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.
The tempest could endanger up to 50 million people for days.
Many workers planned to stay home Monday as subways, buses and trains shut down across the region under the threat of flooding that could inundate tracks and tunnels.
Airports also closed, causing lots of cancellations for airline fliers including those at Mitchell International Airport.
As of 4:50 a.m., airlines canceled 24 departures from Mitchell between then and 4:20 p.m.
Authorities warned that the time for evacuation was running out or already past. Utilities brought in extra crews in anticipation of widespread power failures.
The center of the storm was positioned to come ashore Monday night in New Jersey, meaning the worst of the surge could be in the northern part of that state and in New York City and on Long Island. Higher tides brought by a full moon compounded the threat to the metropolitan area of about 20 million people.
"This is the worst-case scenario," said Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
As rain from the leading edges began to fall over the Northeast on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people from Maryland to Connecticut were ordered to leave low-lying coastal areas, including 375,000 in lower Manhattan and other parts of New York City, 50,000 in Delaware and 30,000 in Atlantic City, N.J., where the city's 12 casinos shut down for only the fourth time ever.
"I think this one's going to do us in," said Mark Palazzolo, who boarded up his bait-and-tackle shop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., with the same wood he used in past storms, crossing out the names of Hurricanes Isaac and Irene and spray-painting "Sandy" next to them. "I got a call from a friend of mine from Florida last night who said, `Mark, get out! If it's not the storm, it'll be the aftermath. People are going to be fighting in the streets over gasoline and food."'
President Barack Obama declared emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, authorizing federal relief work to begin well ahead of time. He promised the government would "respond big and respond fast" after the storm hits.
"My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape," Obama said. "We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules."
Authorities warned that New York could get hit with a surge of seawater that could swamp parts of lower Manhattan, flood subway tunnels and cripple the network of electrical and communications lines that are vital to the nation's financial center.
Major U.S. financial markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and CME Group in Chicago, planned a rare shutdown Monday. The NYSE shut down on Sept. 27, 1985, for Hurricane Gloria. The United Nations also shut down and canceled all meetings at its New York headquarters.
New York called off school Monday for the city's 1.1 million students and announced it would suspend all train, bus and subway service Sunday night. More than 5 million riders a day depend on the transit system.
"If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned. "This is a serious and dangerous storm."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was typically blunt: "Don't be stupid. Get out."
Wary of being seen as putting their political pursuits ahead of public safety, Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney reshuffled campaign plans as the storm approached.
In Virginia, one of the most competitive states, election officials eased absentee voting requirements for those affected by the storm. Early voting was canceled Monday in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph, was blamed for 65 deaths in the Caribbean before it began traveling northward, parallel to the Eastern Seaboard. As of 2 a.m. Monday, it was centered about 425 miles southeast of New York City, moving to the north at 14 mph, with hurricane-force winds extending an unusual 175 miles from its center.
Gale-force winds blew overnight over coastal North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and coastal New Jersey.
Sandy was expected to hook inland Monday, colliding with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic, and then cut across into Pennsylvania and travel up through New York state.
Forecasters said the combination could bring close to a foot of rain in places, a potentially lethal storm surge of 4 to 11 feet across much of the region, and punishing winds that could cause widespread power outages that last for days. The storm could also dump up to 2 feet of snow in Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.
Airlines canceled nearly 7,500 flights and Amtrak began suspending train service across the Northeast. New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore moved to shut down their subways, buses and trains. Those cities shut down their schools, as did Boston. Non-essential government offices closed in the nation's capital.
Pennsylvania's largest utilities brought in hundreds of line and tree-trimming crews in anticipation of several days of power failures or intentional shutdowns in areas with heavy flooding.
In New Jersey, where utilities were widely criticized last year for slow responses after the remnants of storms Irene and Lee, authorities promised a better performance. Bob Hanna, president of the state's Board of Public Utilities, noted that this storm has the potential to threaten even large transmission lines.
Nearly 100 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., a replica of the tall ship made famous in the film "Munity on the Bounty" was taking on water and without propulsion with 17 people aboard. The Coast Guard was monitoring the situation early Monday.
On Monday evening in Rehoboth, Del., only a few cars rolled along Route 1, an artery that is often bumper-to-bumper in summer.
"We were told to get the heck out. I was going to stay, but it's better to be safe than sorry," said Hugh Phillips, who was one of the first in line when a Red Cross shelter opened Sunday afternoon in neighboring Lewes.
Despite the dire warnings, some souls refused to budge.
Jonas Clark of Manchester Township, N.J. -- right in Sandy's projected path -- stood outside a convenience store, calmly sipping a coffee and wondering why people were working themselves "into a tizzy."
"I've seen a lot of major storms in my time, and there's nothing you can do but take reasonable precautions and ride out things the best you can," said Clark, 73.
The storm threatened to drop inches of rain on some areas still recovering from last year's deluges.
In Pompton Lakes, N.J., where record flooding inundated homes a year ago, some residents were already putting belongings out near the curb in advance of the storm.
"They're figuring, divide and conquer," said resident Kevin Gogots. "They'll take the stuff they want to save and put the rest out. Of course, if the street floods again, we'll just have things floating around."
Breed reported from Raleigh, N.C.; Contributing to this report were AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington; Katie Zezima in Atlantic City, N.J.; David Porter in Pompton Lakes, N.J.; Wayne Parry in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.; and David Dishneau in Delaware.