SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 30, 2012

Superstorm Sandy slams into New Jersey coast

(Continued)

“When I think about how much water is already in the streets, and how much more is going to come with high tide tonight, this is going to be devastating,” said Bob McDevitt, president of the main Atlantic City casino workers union. “I think this is going to be a really bad situation tonight.”

In Maryland, at least 100 feet of a fishing pier at the beach resort of Ocean City was destroyed, and Gov. Martin O’Malley said there would be devastating flooding from the swollen Chesapeake Bay.

“There will be people who die and are killed in this storm,” he said.

At least half a million people had been ordered to evacuate, including 375,000 from low-lying parts of New York City, and by the afternoon authorities were warning that it could be too late for people who had not left already.

Sheila Gladden evacuated her home in Philadelphia’s flood-prone Eastwick neighborhood, which took on 5½ feet of water during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and headed for a hotel.

“I’m not going through this again,” she said.

Those who stayed behind had few ways to get out. Not only was the subway shut down, but the Holland Tunnel connecting New York to New Jersey was closed, as was a tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the city planned to shut down the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington, the Verrazano-Narrows and several other spans because of high winds.

If the storm reaches the higher estimate of $20 billion in damage, that would put it ahead of Hurricane Irene, which raked the Northeast in August 2011 and caused $16 billion in damage. Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,200 people, cost $108 billion.

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