Sandy makes landfall, plunging millions into darkness - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Sandy makes landfall, plunging millions into darkness

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Coast line in Kill Devil, NC was battered by Hurricane Sandy's high winds. (Source: WSOC/CNN) Coast line in Kill Devil, NC was battered by Hurricane Sandy's high winds. (Source: WSOC/CNN)
Hurricane Sandy is expected to affect some of the country's most populated cities. It is expected to make landfall near Atlantic City, NJ. (Source: NHC) Hurricane Sandy is expected to affect some of the country's most populated cities. It is expected to make landfall near Atlantic City, NJ. (Source: NHC)
A person in Kill Devil, NC is hit with high winds from Hurricane Sandy. The storm is expected to make landfall late Monday. (Source: WSOC/CNN) A person in Kill Devil, NC is hit with high winds from Hurricane Sandy. The storm is expected to make landfall late Monday. (Source: WSOC/CNN)
A shot from a satellite shows how large Hurricane Sandy is. (Source: NASA) A shot from a satellite shows how large Hurricane Sandy is. (Source: NASA)
Flood waters rush in to the Hoboken PATH station through an elevator shaft. (Source: Port Authority of New York/New Jersey) Flood waters rush in to the Hoboken PATH station through an elevator shaft. (Source: Port Authority of New York/New Jersey)

(RNN) – At least 13 people in the U.S. have died from now post-tropical storm Sandy, which made landfall Monday night along the southern coast of New Jersey. 

Five people were reported dead in New York, three in New Jersey, two in Pennsylvania and one each in North Carolina, Connecticut and West Virginia.

However, the death toll continues to rise.

Sandy has sustained winds of 85 mph. But for residents of New York City, the winds aren't causing as much trouble as the storm surge. 

Much of Manhattan is out of power and underwater, including the World Trade Center construction site.

Two hospitals were evacuated Monday night after backup generators failed, causing first responder crews to relocate more than 200 patients.

Several babies were among the patients evacuated. All patients were safely moved to nearby hospitals.

In New Jersey, the counties of Bergen and Moonachie are under 4-5 ft. of water after a possible levee break, accoridng to CNN.

The Cliffview Pilot, a local news site, reports that the breach occured at around 1:30 a.m. The National Guard and New Jersey State Police are among the groups who are assisting in the rescue effort.

Water was reported rushing into Battery Tunnel, the Holland Tunnel and into the World Trade Center site. The building where the New York Daily News is located has three feet of water in the first floor.

Water also is covering the runways at LaGuardia Airport. All New York-area airports have been closed.

The New York Stock Exchange refuted rumors that the world famous trading floor had flooded, tweeting "There is no water in the building or in surrounding streets." 

During a briefing shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged citizens to refrain from calling the city's 911 system for non-emergency calls.

He added that the dispatchers have been receiving 10,000 calls every half hour. They usually see 1,000.

The lights of Broadway also remained dark for a second straight day on Monday.

"The safety and security of theatergoers and employees is everyone's primary concern," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League. 

Parts of lower Manhattan are closed due to the possibility of an 11-foot storm surge at midnight Tuesday. 

A crane in Manhattan partially collapsed ahead of Sandy's arrival. No one was injured, but the area was evacuated. Tourists staying at a local hotel were placed at other area hotels.  

According to CNN, about 5.3 million people in 10 states are without power as of 12:45 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, including more than 1 million in New York state.

After the harshest parts of the storm dissipated, about 200 patients had to be moved from New York University's Langone Medical Center after backup generators failed.

During a press conference late Monday, Bloomberg claimed the city had been told the hospital's reserve generators were tested before the storm.

The patients were admitted to two other New York-area hospitals.

Flights up and down the East Coast were canceled Monday and into Tuesday. Amtrak suspended Monday services along its Northeast Corridor, including its popular Acela Express service, spanning from Washington to Boston.

Travelers who are caught stranded are either staying put or trying to find a different way home.

Ashley Redmond and her friend Teresa Hessler took a girls weekend to New York City when they had to evacuate. The women took the last train out of Penn Station to Albany, NY, but were met with more canceled flights.

So, the women, who are nurses in the trauma center at the Aurora Daycare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI, rented a car and are driving back home - through Canada.

"We can't do anything but laugh about it because the one time we decide to take a vacation - of course a hurricane comes, and of course our flights are canceled, and of course the trains are canceled," she Redmond said.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed Monday – the first time since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The markets will remain closed on Tuesday, as well as New York City schools.

Approximately 248,500 were without power in New Jersey Monday afternoon, according to Gov. Chris Christie.

Off the coast of North Carolina, 14 were rescued by the Coast Guard from the HMS Bounty, a three-mast ship that was used in the movies Mutiny on the Bounty and Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

The ship has sunk, according to CNN.

Two crew members were missing. However, Claudene Christian, 42, has since been recovered and is "unresponsive," according to the U.S. Coast Guard. She was choppered to a hospital in Elizabeth City, NC.

Vice Admiral Robert Parker, of the Coast Guard, said on CNN that the ship's crew was wearing immersion suits which "keep people afloat face up and offer thermal protection."

The ship began taking on water when the crew abandoned ship for life boats. However, three crew members were washed overboard and only one made it to the life boats. The Coast Guard continues to search for the final missing crew member, Robin Walbridge, 63.

Sandy is colliding with two winter storm systems that will bring snow to states as far west as Ohio. The movement of the storms may result in ice and snow on power lines, which could cut power to millions of customers.

Snow is falling in West Virginia where 2 to 3 feet are expected and in the mountains in western North Carolina and Virginia.

States of emergency have been declared in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., in anticipation of Sandy's impact, affecting an estimated 50 to 60 million people.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York initiated a system-wide shutdown of the city's subway system at 7 p.m. ET Sunday until further notice. Bus service halted soon after. Subway and bus services in Washington and Philadelphia were also canceled for Monday.

Federal offices in Washington will also be closed Monday.

Sandy has diverted attention from the looming presidential election, which is only eight days away.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley canceled early voting in the state on Monday due to Sandy.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney canceled two events in Virginia on Sunday and President Barack Obama canceled events in Northern Virginia and Orlando scheduled for Monday. Obama also canceled an event in Colorado Springs, CO, in order to monitor Hurricane Sandy.

"My main message to everybody involved is that we have to take this seriously," said Obama during an address Sunday evening. "It's going to be very important that populations in all the impacted states take this seriously. Listen to your state and local elected officials."

New York City opened more than 70 shelters for residents living in low-lying and coastal areas, but Bloomberg said Monday night that residents should now shelter in place.

Sandy has also been blamed for at least 60 deaths in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Panama and Dominican Republic.

Sandy comes towards the close of one of the busiest tropical storm seasons on record. It is the 18th named tropical storm or hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Newly-formed Tropical Storm Tony, spinning harmlessly in the Atlantic, makes 19.

An average season sees about 12 named storms and hurricanes.

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