Update: St. John’s family driving from New Jersey ahead of Sandy

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Published on October 29, 2012

Life long Cape May resident Andy Becica watches rough surf pound the beach today in Cape May, N.J., as high tide and hurricane Sandy begin to arrive. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

Rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the beach and across Beach Ave., this morning in Cape May, N.J., as high tide and Hurricane Sandy begin to arrive. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

Terry Robinson checks on his flooded trailer at RV Park in Kitty Hawk, N.C., today. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.
— Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

Peter Cusack (centre) and Mel Bermudez walk their dogs Teague (left) and Molly along the Brooklyn waterfront beneath the New York skyline as hurricane Sandy advances on the city, — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

Lamar Chambers watches waves as winds from hurricane Sandy reach Seaside Park in Bridgeport today. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

A truck backs up hastily, as rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the beach and across Beach Avenue, today in Cape May, N.J., as high tide and hurricane Sandy begin to arrive. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

The Hudson River swells and rises over the banks of the Hoboken, N.J. waterfront as hurricane Sandy approaches today. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on October 29, 2012

The Hudson River swells and rises over the banks of the Hoboken, N.J. waterfront as hurricane Sandy approaches today. — Photo by The Associated Press

Lorelei Woolridge and members of her family have decided to try to drive to Toronto, based on news reports there is still time to make it out of New Jersey before the hurricane hits.

Meanwhile, Sheila Pomeroy said many people aren’t taking the threat of the superstorm seriously, after bracing for hurricane Irene this summer. Pomeroy is a dance instructor living in Manhattan.

Pomeroy, whose family is from Placentia, is well stocked up for potential power outages.

“I’ve got everything I need,” said Pomeroy, who was in a restaurant packed with people this afternoon.

Many businesses have boarded up their windows to brace for the storm, although it’s not an evacuation area.

•••

(Earlier story)

A St. John’s woman travelling in New Jersey says she’s not too worried yet about hurricane Sandy, the superstorm bearing down on the Eastern U.S.

Lorelei Woolridge and her family are in the U.S. state where her daughter, Julie, is a college athlete.

Woolridge was due to fly home Tuesday and was trying to decide this morning whether it is best to stay put in the hotel they are staying in or hit the road in a rental car for Toronto or Montreal.

“I could be in a car in a worse situation. Also, getting out of those cities could be an issue due to the impending weather there and/or the flights not getting into st. John's,” Woolridge said via online messaging.

She described the mood in the area as “a bit of panic,” but the family managed to get candles, lighters and water. Stores have been all out of flashlights for a few days.

“Costco was lined out into the street (Sunday) morning,” Woolridge said.

“There is a bit of panic. Apparently, that's what happens here during storms — although they may be right on this one.”

Gloria Williams of St. John’s is also in New York City, travelling with her daughter for educational workshops.

The impending storm has put a damper on their activities, but Williams said they are more worried there will be harm to people from the hurricane.

“It's pretty quiet in upper west side but the wind has picked up,” she said at 12:30 p.m.

Williams said where she is on the upper west side, she can’t feel the wind in the shelter of the tall buildings.

“Most of Atlantic City is underwater. There are eight to 10-foot swells of waves at Statin Island. It’s not safe on the boardwalk,” Williams said of reports in the New York, New Jersey and the coast.

People have been warned away from parks and streets where power lines could come down.

“I am in the upper west side. We are so surrounded by sturdy old big buildings that we do not feel the wind (now anyway),” Williams said. “I was just down round the corner Columbus and 73 Street area to a restaurant which is quite busy as most are closed. People are pretty casual about it here. The wait staff are like ‘Well what happens, happens.’”

If you are a Newfoundlander living or travelling in New York, New Jersey or in the path of Sandy, tweet us at #telynl and let us know how you are doing.

Forecasters warned that the New York City region could face the worst of hurricane Sandy as it bore down on the U.S. East Coast’s largest cities today, forcing the shutdown of financial markets and mass transit, sending coastal residents fleeing and threatening high winds, rain and a wall of water up to 11 feet (3.35 metres) tall. It could endanger up to 50 million people for days.

Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward New York, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia— putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles (1,280 kilometres) from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Up to 3 feet (0.9 metres) of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.

Airports closed, and authorities warned that the time for evacuation was running out or already past. Many workers planned to stay home as subways, buses and trains shut down across the region under the threat of flooding that could inundate tracks and tunnels. Utilities anticipated widespread power failures.

The centre 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.

•••

Hurricane Sandy poised to bring heavy rains and high winds to Ontario, Maritimes

THE CANADIAN PRESS

HALIFAX — The Canadian Hurricane Centre says hurricane Sandy has started to shift towards land as expected, bringing with it heavy rains and winds reaching 150 kilometres per hour.

Centre spokesman Bob Robichaud says the storm is expected to make landfall in New Jersey on Monday night.

Robichaud says Sandy is forecast to dump 50 to 100 millimetres of rain for the western Maritimes from Tuesday into Wednesday.

He says parts of southern Ontario could see 30 to 50 mm of rain as the storm passes through, though some areas in that region could see higher amounts.

As of 11 a.m. ET, the storm’s eye was situated about 415 kilometres southeast of New York City.

Hundreds of Air Canada flights have already been affected and the airline is advising travellers to check the status of their flight ahead of time.

Sandy was blamed for at least 60 deaths as it churned across the Caribbean.

 ••••

Superstorm bears down on US East Coast as residents flee threat of wall of water

By Allen G. Breed,Katie Zezima

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Hurricane Sandy wheeled toward land as forecasters feared Monday, raking major cities along the U.S. East Coast with rain and wind gusts, flooding shore towns and threatening to cripple Wall Street and New York City’s subway system with a huge surge of corrosive seawater.

By midday, the storm was picking up speed and was expected to blow ashore in New Jersey early in the evening, hours sooner than previously expected. Forecasters warned it would combine with two other weather systems — a wintry storm from the west and cold air rushing in from the Arctic — to create an epic superstorm. The potential for havoc stretched over 800 miles (1,280 kilometres) from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

Even before making landfall, the storm washed away a section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey. Water was splashing over the seawalls at the southern tip of Manhattan. Emergency workers rushed to the scene of a crane dangling off a 65-story luxury building in midtown Manhattan and streets were cleared as a precaution.

Airports closed, and authorities warned that the time for evacuation was running out or already past. Many workers planned to stay home as subways, buses and trains shut down across the region under the threat of flooding that could inundate tracks and tunnels. Utilities anticipated widespread power failures.

At the White House, President Barack Obama made a direct appeal to those in harm’s way: “Please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Don’t delay, don’t pause, don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a powerful storm.”

The centre 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.

“Leave immediately. Conditions are deteriorating very rapidly, and the window for you getting out safely is closing,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told those in low-lying areas.

Airlines cancelled nearly 7,500 flights and Amtrak cancelled all train service cross the Northeast through Tuesday.

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, New Jersey, where the city’s 12 casinos shut down for only the fourth time ever.

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.

Obama and Republican Mitt Romney called off their campaign events at the height of the presidential race, with just over a week to go before Election Day. Early voting was cancelled Monday in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

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 centre.

Major U.S. financial markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and CME Group in Chicago, planned a rare shutdown Monday. The United Nations also shut down.

New York shut down all train, bus and subway service Sunday night. More than 5 million riders a day depend on the transit system. Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., also shut down their transit systems. Authorities moved to close the Holland Tunnel, which connects New York and New Jersey, and a tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 mph (144 kph) early Monday afternoon, was blamed for at least 69 deaths in the Caribbean before it began travelling northward, parallel to the Eastern Seaboard.

By afternoon, the storm was centred about 85 miles (140 kilometres) southeast of Atlantic City. It has speeded up to 28 mph (44 kph) and had begun the turn toward the coast that forecasters had feared. Forecasters say Sandy should reach the coast within three or five hours.

Sandy was expected to then collide with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic and cut across into Pennsylvania and travel up through New York state. Up to 3 feet (0.9 metres) of snow were forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was typically blunt: “Don’t be stupid. Get out.”

Coast Guard officials rescued 14 people and searched for two more who had abandoned a replica of the tall ship made famous in the film “Mutiny on the Bounty” after the vessel began taking on water off the North Carolina coast.

In Maryland, the storm caused significant damage to a large fishing pier in the beach resort of Ocean City. Gov. Martin O’Malley says the fishing pier is now “half-gone.”

In the casino-heavy Atlantic City, New Jersey, the emptied-out streets were mostly under water.

Despite the dire warnings, some refused to budge.

Jonas Clark of Manchester Township, New Jersey — 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.

 

Organizations: Costco

Geographic location: New Jersey, U.S., New York City Toronto Montreal Washington Baltimore Philadelphia Great Lakes Long Island

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Recent comments

  • Marg
    October 29, 2012 - 17:53

    Why would Woolridge's decision be a News item? Who cares what she does other than her family.

  • tom claw
    October 29, 2012 - 16:37

    Certainly God this is not headline news ! A woman thinkin of driving to TO ,,, Who Cares,,,,,, Tell us NFLD news. We can see all that US-BS on other sites. And to think your top dogs have a chance at a Giller Award? Slim pickins,, Must Be?