Hurricane Sandy powerfully roared through the Delaware Valley on Monday, Oct. 29.
The storm made landfall at approximately 8 p.m. near Atlantic City, N.J. Sections of the city’s boardwalk were destroyed, with experts predicting that only 25 feet of beach will be left.
Residents of New Jersey’s barrier islands were given strict notices to evacuate the islands and seek shelter with relatives or friends. Gov. Chris Christie has told residents not to return until he announces that it is safe to do so and is scheduled to assess damages to the state with President Barack Obama.
President Obama signed emergency declarations for the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York, meaning that the states are able to receive federal assistance funds for the costs of evacuation, sheltering and various other measures.
According to the US Department of Energy, the storm left at least eight million homes and businesses without power, including 1.2 million in the Philadelphia area.
Several mass transit systems in the region were forced to shut down. New York city’s subway system tunnels were flooded with electrical equipment being damaged, so there’s no timetable on when to expect the system to be fully operational. SEPTA service was shut down for the day on Monday; however, service was slowly being restored starting on Tuesday.
Philadelphia International Airport also cancelled a number of flights for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Delaware River Port Authority also suspended crossings of the Delaware River at the Walt Whitman, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry bridges to non-essential vehicles and interstates I-76, I-95, I-476, I-676 and U.S. Route 1 were restricted to emergency personnel only by PennDOT.
As of press time, Hurricane Sandy’s death toll is at 74 and that number is expected to increase. Millions will be without power for an unknown amount of time. Damage from the storm is expected to top $20 billion.
Hurricane Sandy may be one of the worst storms in the history of the United States, but there is no reason to give up hope.