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Hurricane Sandy. Obama declares 'Major Disaster' in New York

U.S. President Barack Obama has declared a "major disaster" in the state of New York, just hours after the massive storm named Sandy raked over Manhattan, flooding low-lying streets and wiping out power across much of New York City.

Tuesday's declaration frees up federal disaster funds to help with disaster relief efforts.

The storm, which hit late Monday south of New York with hurricane-strength winds, has now weakened and moved inland.  Sandy still has winds of about 100 kilometers per hour. The National Weather Service says the storm is expected to move into Canada by Wednesday.

The storm brought torrential rain, high winds and dangerous tidal surges from the Atlantic to one of the nation's most densely populated regions. At least 14 people in east coast states died in the storm, mostly from traffic accidents and downed trees.

Manhattan was hit was hit by a storm surge of four meters, bringing the usually bustling section of New York to a halt.  More than 1 million people in the area of the nation's most populous city lost power.  More than 6 million homes and businesses along the U.S. east coast and farther inland lost power.

© VOA -


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