Tuesday October 30, 2012
Broken levee in Sandy's wake floods New Jersey towns
NEW YORK (Reuters): A levee broke in northern New Jersey on Tuesday, flooding the towns of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt with 1.2m to 1.5m) of water in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, officials said.
"We are in rescue mode," said Jeanne Baratta, chief of the Bergen County Executive.
There were no reports of fatalities as of yet, she said.
Baratta said the three towns had been "devastated" by the flood of water. The break comes after Sandy, which dropped below hurricane status just before it hit the US east coast on Monday, flooded parts of New Jersey and New York City.
Meanwhile, a huge fire that erupted as Sandy ripped through New York City with near-hurricane force winds destroyed dozens of homes in one of the city's most remote neighbourhoods.
The neighbourhood Breezy Point, in the borough of Queens, had been extensively flooded by Sandy's record storm surge, and fire-fighters were hampered in their efforts to bring the blaze under control, a spokesman for the New York Fire Department said.
No casualties were immediately reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation.
A tweet from the FDNY's official Twitter feed said 50 or more homes were destroyed in the fire. The fire still was not under control by 5am (5pm Malaysian time)), the department said.
Local television showed fire-fighters wading through waist-deep water to get to the massive fire. Some used inflatable boats to reach it.
Breezy Point is a private beach community in the Rockaway area, a narrow spit of land barely above sea level that thrusts into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.
It was one of a number of New York City neighbourhoods that had been under a mandatory evacuation order as Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, approached from the southeast.