by Martha Sparks
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
That was the outlook many people in the Eastern U.S. had as dire weather forecasts predicted a “superstorm” of historic magnitude barreling toward the coast. As many as 50 million people were predicted to be affected.
And when Sandy washed ashore, striking the country’s most densely populated region, she packed a powerful punch with hurricane-force winds blowing upward of 80 mph.
In the light of day, the true devastation was visible: Entire neighborhoods were under water. Those living in higher elevations were being buried under a blanket of deep snow. Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas were without electricity.
The superstorm dumped two feet of snow in parts of West Virginia, caused several buildings to collapse, cut electricity to thousands and left others stranded by impassible roads. State officials have blamed the storm for five deaths, including a legislative candidate from Barbour County.
In New York, large swaths of lower Manhattan lost electricity and entire streets ended up under water, as did seven subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Mass transit was shut down, and the New York Stock Exchange was closed for two days due to weather, the first time that had happened since a blizzard in 1888. In a flooded beachfront neighborhood in Queens, a huge fire had destroyed more than 100 houses.
And in New Jersey, search and rescue crews were out in force. The devastation on the Jersey Shore was, as Gov. Chris Christie said, “some of the worst we’ve ever seen.” …
But when natural disasters of this magnitude happen, Americans rally. …
After all, that’s one of the best things about this country. We pick each other up and carry on. The paths are sometimes bumpy, but we don’t give up. We are resilient.
And that resilient spirit will prevail.
— Distributed by The Associated Press
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