The United States’ East Coast has begun a massive clean-up after Hurricane Sandy brought a nightmare mix of wind and rain, floods and fire, blackouts and transport paralysis.
Recovery effort is likely to last for weeks.
Police and fire officials, some with their own homes and departments flooded fanned out to rescue hundreds.
The US death toll climbed to 48; before that Sandy also killed 69 people in the Caribbean before making its way up the Eastern Seaboard.
Early estimates of the storm's damage ranged from $US10bn to $US20bn.
At least 7.4 million people across the US East were without electricity
Airlines cancelled around 12,500 flights in US and around the world because of the storm, a number that was expected to grow.
While JFK and Newark airports may partly re-open for business soon, La Guardia, almost at sea level, sustained greater damage and could be shut for days.
In records, the damage was the worst in the 108-year history of the New York subway. And, for the first time since 1888, the New York Stock Exchange was closed for weather reasons for a second day.
Remnants of the hurricane were forecast to head across Pennsylvania before taking another sharp turn into western New York by Wednesday morning (Thursday in PNG). Although weakening as it goes, the storm will continue to bring heavy rain and flooding.
Many Americans also struggled to contact loved ones amid cell phone signal blackouts, leaving them not just without power, but also cut off from the wider world.
In all, New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg said, the Sandy disaster was “maybe the worst we have ever experienced,” whose after-effects would be felt “for quite some time”.
This News story was taken from various International News Sources. AP/ Belfast Telegraph/news.com.au
FrontPage picture: clean up of downed power lines in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. Source: The Washington Times.com