March 05, 2015 08:02 UTC

In the News

Eastern United States Struggles to Recover from Huge Storm

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President Barack Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)President Barack Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)
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President Barack Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)

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  • Eastern United States Struggles to Recover from Huge Storm

From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
 
This week, a huge storm named Sandy brought death and destruction to Caribbean countries and the eastern United States. Sandy started as a tropical storm in the Caribbean, where it left at least sixty five people dead.
 
Sandy’s next target was the eastern United States. The storm caused damage up and down the coast, from North Carolina to Maine. There were damage estimates of up to fifty billion dollars.
 
American officials have blamed Sandy for at least ninety deaths. Police say at least fifty-nine of the victims were in New Jersey and New York. The number will most likely increase as rescue workers find more bodies.
 
Recovery efforts are continuing in the affected areas. On Thursday, more than five million people were without electricity, mostly in New Jersey and New York. On Friday, New York’s main power company said it hopes to return power throughout Manhattan island by Saturday.
 
The storm also affected telephone service. As a result, many New Yorkers witnessed a rare event -- people standing in line to use pay phones on the street.
 
Those with phone or Internet service used websites like Twitter and Facebook to share how they were dealing with the storm, both good and bad. Some government agencies used Twitter to keep people informed on the storm and recovery efforts.
 
New Jersey appeared to suffer the most damage. Workers in Hoboken are pumping millions of liters of polluted water from the city’s streets. Tens of thousands of people lost their homes and belongings in coastal areas of the state.
 
Widespread fuel shortages are reported in both New Jersey and New York. Some people waited for hours in hopes of being able to buy gasoline. The long lines increased tensions and led to fights. Some gas stations refused to open without police protection. One driver, Betty Bethea, explains.
 
"It's terrible. You can't even get there. The police have blocked everything off. You cannot get no gas. Everywhere I went the police said 'no gas.'"
 
The storm forced New York City to close its popular subway system. Many underground areas were flooded and have not been cleared of water. On Thursday, the subway re-opened with limited service. But it could be weeks before all the trains are running again.
 
The storm also closed the New York Stock Exchange for two days.
 
President Obama ordered the military to assist with the recovery efforts. He approved disaster declarations for New York and New Jersey, freeing up federal aid to help with property damage.
 
"My instructions to the federal agencies has been: do not figure out why we can't do something, I want you to figure out how we do something. I want you to cut through red tape, I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There's no excuse for inaction at this point."
 
The president suspended his election campaign for part of this week so that he could deal with Sandy. He has been urging federal agencies to do everything possible to help the storm victims.  
 
This week, Mr. Obama went to New Jersey to witness the damage. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a supporter of candidate Mitt Romney, praised Mr. Obama for his efforts.
 
On Tuesday, Mr. Romney changed one of his campaign events to raise money for victims of Sandy. He also suspended campaign events and has urged Americans to help with the recovery effort.
 
"I appreciate your generosity, it is part of the American spirit, the American way to give to people who are in need."
 
The presidential race continues to be close. It is not clear if or how Sandy will influence the vote.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yang from: Canada
11/07/2012 3:10 PM
I'm sorry for people suffering from the storm Sandy.Facing the natrual disaster,we are so fragile.I hope one day our human beings can use our advanced technology to 'defeat' them.Therefore,no one would become a victim.


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
11/05/2012 4:22 PM
Alas! As Mr.Lyndon Johnson has once commented:'now we experience a grief that cannot be weighed at all', America is passing through such a stormy affair. As angles from Heaven, both Mr.Obama and Mr. Romney consoled then fallen people reassuring them that 'man's glory is not in never falling but in rising every time he falls'. Now the American people experience such an intense pain that is neither to bear on nor to throw off. But time heals all wounds. I join with you in your time of ordeal. I wish America a fast recovery to normalcy. Thank you.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
11/05/2012 3:32 PM
I'm sad to hear that tremendous dameges were brought to Cribbean countries and estern United States by Sandy. I hope all the sufferers keep courageous enogh to restore the damages and their daily lives as quickly as possible. I also hope two presidential candidates not to exploit this disaster as their tools of campains for election.

Anyway, we have recognized again the enourmous power of nature. In spite of weather forcast and preperation for Sandy beforehand, major damages to electricity and pubric transports were not avoided. It would be too late to change the cource of hurricane when it has grown up. But isn' it possible to detect the birth of tropical depressions and extinguish them in early stage?


by: Shige from: Japan
11/05/2012 2:32 AM
Those death and destruction with disaster happened in Japan. I mean the disaster Japan was affected is 3.11 earthquakes. At that time, so many troubles happened. And a huge amount of people needed help and recovery. But the government treatment was so late. Due to it, Fukushima problem happened.

So, I want to say, the behaviors of Mr.Obama and Mr.Romney impress American people.

In Response

by: M from: Vietnam
11/05/2012 6:22 AM
Sandy left heavy damage at Cuba, Haiti, and US. However, only US - a healthy country - is completely concerned. Those undeveloped nations - Cuba and Haiti - are forgotten.
So, I hope the world also help them with recovery effort, especially, medical service.

In Response

by: kika from: spain
11/07/2012 9:09 PM
haiti wasn´t forgotten. from Spain we did lots of things to help them. We sended them a huge cuntity of money. Companies, like the one I work in, created specials collections to get some money to give them.And we sended to Haiti that money.
But where is it? anybody knows it...

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