US goes into shutdown ahead of Sandy
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:02p.m.
By Jenny Suo
The east coast of America has gone into shutdown as tens of millions of people prepare for what could be the biggest storm in the country's history.
US President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in nine states ahead of Hurricane Sandy's arrival tomorrow morning New Zealand time.
Coastal towns are being evacuated inland and to emergency shelters, and the hurricane - dubbed the Frankenstorm - is set to bring storm surge flooding to the mid-Atlantic coast.
“We should not underestimate the impact of this storm and we should not assume the predictions will be wrong,” says New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
In the town of Freeport in New York roads are already flooding as sea water rises from the sewerage.
New York's subway network has been shut down for fear a surge in water could flood the underground, schools are closed along the coast line and thousands of flights have been cancelled.
And before it's even arrived, Hurricane Sandy has blown the presidential race off course. Governor Mitt Romney has had to shift his campaign inland, while President Obama has cancelled rallies to monitor the storm from the White House.
“This is a serious and big storm and my first message is to all the people across the Eastern Seaboard, that you need to take this very seriously,” says Obama.
Emergency services are on high alert, their biggest worry is that peak surge will coincide with high tide, and with the storm expected to linger for a couple of days it's a concern shared by up to 60 million Americans - whose homes and businesses are on the line.
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