Hurricane Sandy U.S. Death Toll Tops 50; Falling Tree Kills 2 Kids

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy has topped 50 in the United States, with falling trees proving to be her deadliest weapon.

As of Tuesday afternoon, fatalities blamed on the epic superstorm included 26 in New York (20 in New York City), 6 in New Jersey, 5 in Pennsylvania, 5 in West Virginia, 4 in Connecticut, 2 each in Maryland and Virginia, 1 in North Carolina and 1 in Puerto Rico.

The victims included two boys — 11-year-old Jack Baumler and 13-year-old Michael Robson — crushed by a tree that hit their home in Westchester County, New York; a woman electrocuted by fallen wires on 134th Street in Manhattan; a man crushed by a tree in Ulster County, New York; two people in a pickup truck crushed by a tree in New Jersey; a 30-year-old man killed by a tree that his his home in Flushing, Queens; and an 8-year-old boy struck by a tree in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

The storm also killed 68 in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, Millions of Americans are stranded without power and without proper transit. Close to seven million homes and business are with electrical power, over four million of those are in New York and New Jersey.

Throughout lower Manhattan flooding is widespread, power is out for most neighborhoods south of 30th street in Midtown Manhattan.

President Obama landed in New Jersey today to visit the most badly damaged areas of that state with Governor Chris Christie. Christie, despite being a booster for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has praised the current administration for their swift response to the crisis.

obama chris christie helicopter hurricane sandy

JFK and Newark Airports are both reopening today but officials are adamant that airlines will only be running limited services as they struggle with the back log of those stranded by the storm. La Guardia Airport remains closed as many runways are still under water. Train services remain hugely disrupted, as Amtrak has canceled all of Northeast Corridor rail service.

Runway at LaGuardia.

In New York City, the subways remain closed but Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that some limited service will begin tomorrow. Some stations in low-lying areas are completely underwater. Army Engineering Corps have been called in by the MTA to aid in the draining of some stations. The Path train that links Manhattan to New Jersey is likely to remain off for seven to ten days. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel has been flooded with 43 million gallons of water, so obviously, will be closed today.

Towns in North New Jersey have been submerged by around 6 feet of water after a levee broke. Nuclear power plants have been shut down as a precaution.

In New York, Mayor Bloomberg rang the bell to signal the start of trading as the New York Stock Exchange reopened. Despite this Twitter hoax that claimed the trading floor was under water.

There are reports that this storm is the most expensive in U.S. history.

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