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Hurricane Sandy Halts Northeast Travel: Complete Air, Rail & Road Report

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Hurricane Sandy hit ground last night causing more than $20 billion in damage according to Bloomberg reports citing Kinetic Analysis Corp., a hazard-research company. As a result of the storm, there have been 11 deaths from toppled trees and fires and more than 6 million households lost power in 17 states (including 660,000 in New York City). In New Jersey, Atlantic City, the entire Jersey Shore, and parts of Bergen County, sustained significant flooding, with many areas still under water and without power. President Obama has declared New York City, Long, Island and eight counties in New Jersey a federal disaster area.

By the time the storm hit yesterday, the New York airports were closed, subways and Amtrak trains were shut down from Boston to Washington, and New York bridges and tunnels were shut.

Image credit wikimedia, user: Mr.choppers

Travel and transportation infrastructure remain paralyzed throughout the East Coast. Power is supposed to be restored to all of New York within four days, but Chelsea below 29th street and spots of lower Manhattan are still without power.  The storm has resulted in one of five flights being canceled today. The rest of Chelsea below 29th Street, the West Village, Greenwich Village and Soho are still without power.

Roads throughout the Northeast are closed due to downed power lines. Seven tunnels in the New York subways system flooded and overall the subway sustained the worst damage it has seen in 108 years of operation. Right now, there are MTA buses running on a Sunday schedule and there will be full bus service tomorrow. Unofficial reports indicate that the subway to be out 3-5 days. Amtrak said that it will decided at the end of Tuesday if it can restore limited service from New York on Wednesday. Additionally, the commuter rail remains closed as crews survey damage to rail lines.

According to FlightStats, 16,271 flights have been canceled as an overall result of Hurricane Sandy. Today, 6,127 flights have been canceled and 547 flights are canceled for tomorrow, but more delays are expected. Philadelphia International and Newark Liberty airport have been most affected by flight cancellations.

Currently, New York City’s three airport—John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty are closed for damage assessment and even the airport websites are down. Also closed is Atlantic City International Airport, Groton-New London Airport, New Haven Airport, Morristown Municipal Airport, and Teterboro Airport. Click here for a complete list of the closed airport and any projections regarding reopening.

Crew are working to restore power, reopen roads and airport, but there is no clear projection for when travel will be back on track. With East Coast flights off the table, airlines have been using alternate hubs. Delta has been using Atlanta, Cincinnati and Detroit to stage flights that had been set to New York.

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy, now being seen as a post-tropical cyclone is not over. Reports state that storm-force winds could hit as Canada stretch west to the Great Lakes, potentially causing further destruction and loss of power.

For more Hurricane Sandy coverage, check out:

By Lily J. Kosner for  Feature Image Credit Flickr user: The Birkes