Misery for UK travellers as 'Frankenstorm' Sandy grows to 1,000 miles wide, closing airports and turning New York into a ghost town
- BA and Virgin Atlantic cancel all flights from London to East Coast states today - affecting those on half-term holiday
- Up to 2,500 holidaymakers could be left stranded in New York City as state and many other areas come to standstill
- More than 7,000 flights cancelled globally as Philadelphia and Newark airports each have more than 1,200 cancellations
- Hurricane Sandy could be the largest storm to ever hit US and 65 people have been reported dead across Caribbean
Thousands of Britons were today stranded in America as the biggest storm in US history threatened to wipe out vast swathes of the country’s East Coast.
Hurricane Sandy is set to affect up to 50 million people, forcing the shutdown of transport networks, schools and financial markets in New York City and beyond, sending coastal residents fleeing for higher ground, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, heavy rain and a surging 11ft wall of water.
The hurricane has now grown to 1,000 miles wide and is increasing in speed as it hurtles towards New Jersey where it is expected to make landfall later today. New York is due to feel the effects from 2pm local time (6pm GMT). The storm will peak tonight and then subside in the early hours of the morning.
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No go area: A truck drives through water pushed over a road by Hurricane Sandy in Southampton on Long Island, New York, on Monday
Here it comes: Waves wash over the sea wall near high tide at Battery Park in Manhattan, New York, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast on Monday morning
Coming through: Waves wash over the sea wall near high tide at Battery Park in Manhattan, New York, on Monday, with New Jersey in the background
Watch out: A man looks at the rising tides in Battery Park as Hurricane Sandy makes its approach in Manhattan, New York, with the Statue of Liberty in the distance
Keep away: Rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the dunes on Monday morning in Cape May, New Jersey, as high tide and Hurricane Sandy begin to arrive
Wet wet wet: Rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the beach and across Beach Avenue on Monday morning in Cape May, New Jersey
Highway maintenance: Police and firefighters respond to a downed street light on the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive in Manhattan, New York
No movement: With only a security officer in the station, sandbags block the entry to the closed Staten Island Ferry in New York. All public transportation has been closed
Little activity: A New York police officer guards a closed subway entrance in downtown Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy makes its approach in New York
Elsewhere: The U.S. Capitol Building and Pennsylvania Avenue are seen on Monday morning, as heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy arrives in Washington D.C.
Up north: Spectators watch the surf hit the sea wall as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast in Lynn, Massachusetts, on Monday morning
Having fun: Lifelong Cape May residents Andy Becica (left) and Peter Wilson (right) stand in rough surf along the Atlantic Ocean on Monday morning in New Jersey
Eerie skies: Rain and wind pass over the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline as Hurricane Sandy advances on the city on Monday
Dozens of flights to and from East Coast states in the US have already been cancelled. Britons could be left in the U.S. for days as flights back to London and Manchester have been cancelled and those with trips booked during the half-term school holidays are being told they cannot fly to US destinations.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have cancelled all of their flights between London Heathrow and the East Coast including New York, Baltimore, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia. Vincent McAviney, 24, from London, was due to be travelling to Washington but his flight was cancelled.
‘I was meant to be flying to DC this morning at 11 for a holiday but last night I checked my flight status at 7.30 and it was listed as cancelled,’ he said. ‘I called them again this morning when the lines opened. I managed to get through after being on hold for 25 minutes.
'So I rearranged for the first available flight, which is Thursday. Looking at the pictures and the forecasts it seems like a fair enough decision. I'm obviously disappointed that my holiday has been shortened but it's nature, so there's not much we can do about it.’
Nobody to be seen: An empty Virgin Atlantic check in desk at London Gatwick Airport where flights normally go to the US
Nothing to do: Passengers whose flights to Los Angeles were cancelled are planning to spend more than 24 hours at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4
Holiday misery: Up to 2,500 Britons could be stranded in New York as flights are cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy
Stranded: Travellers surround a flight monitor showing cancelled flights at LaGuardia airport in New York last night
No flying: Airlines at London Heathrow Airport have had to cancel flights to the USA as Hurricane Sandy starts to hit the East Coast
Deserted streets: Sandbags protect the front of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning in Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy continued on its path
Deserted: MTA Police watch over as the last people are cleared out of Grand Central Station in New York ahead of Hurricane Sandy arriving
Alone: A lone pedestrian walks through an empty Times Square early on Monday morning in New York as Hurricane Sandy continued on its path
Closed for Business: Plywood covers the revolving doors in preparation for Hurricane Sandy at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York
Empty shelves: A woman and child walk through an aisle, emptied in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, in a Wal-Mart store in Riverhead, New York, on Sunday
On her own: A woman with her luggage and a dog make their way to Wall Street station, to get out of lower Manhattan in New York on Sunday night
Calm before the storm: A man jogs along Brooklyn Promenade as clouds move over Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Sunday morning
Final check: A subway worker, on the last northbound 4 train, looks down the track to safely close the doors at Grand Central station in New York on Sunday
FLIGHTS CANCELLED TODAY
Heathrow has had a total of 59 flights cancelled today - 47 flights to New York and 12 inbound flights from the U.S.. The airport is advising passengers who are due to fly to the US today to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling.
A Heathrow spokesman said: ‘59 flights have been cancelled today - 12 arrivals and 47 departures to and from east coast destinations. The number of cancelled flights could still go up but many of the cancellations are for flights scheduled throughout the day.
'Yesterday there were 4 arriving flights cancelled and 11 departures cancelled. Heathrow advises that all passengers due to fly to the US on Monday 29 October should check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport.’
A Virgin spokesman said: ‘Details of arrangements for affected passengers, including rebooking and extended hotel-stay compensation can be found on our website.
'Our flights to America had been very busy at the beginning of this week due to the half-term school holiday. It's very unfortunate that this major storm has come when it has.’
In addition a BA spokesman said: ‘Our other US flights are operating normally and we are also able to fly as usual to Toronto and Montreal in Canada.
'We'll be in contact later with our people in America before deciding on tomorrow's US East Coast flights.’
On alert: Gray skies hover over the skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan as millions of residents prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which could become the largest storm to hit the United States
A sign announcing the closure of the Trump Casino stands in the lobby as Hurricane Sandy approaches Atlantic City, New Jersey
Prepared: Joseph Klein of Sayville, New York is assisted by Lowe's employee Ormani Rivera after his purchase of a generator as Hurricane Sandy approaches Hicksville, New York
A woman shops for groceries amid an empty shelf of bread as people prepare for Hurricane Sandy at a Walmart store in Virginia Beach, Virginia
The skies above New York begin to blacken as the first signs of the approaching megastorm form
Waves break against a bulkhead in the Brigands Bay area of Frisco, North Carolina, as Hurricane Sandy hits
Storm approaches: Crashing waves created by Hurricane Sandy pictured in New Jersey hours before the full brunt of the storm hits today
People take a walk along the beach as high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Waves pound Carolina Beach pier in Carolina Beach, North Carolina as Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the Atlantic coast of the U.S.
A number of US states have declared a state of emergency as it is feared the storm could be the largest ever to hit the country.
Briton Pete McManus, who lives in New York, said people were stockpiling food and water. 'It's almost like everybody is thinking "just in case",' he told Sky News. He said at around 7pm last night everything shut down in preparation, including the subway network, gyms, Broadway shows, shops.
'I did the classic Englishman's thing of going to the store and coming back with two packs of tea and a lot of milk because that's how I'm going to prepare for the storm'
Briton Pete McManus, who lives in Brooklyn, New York
'Everything was closing down in preparation, people were stockpiling water and bread and different types of food like that, I think it's very organised. Luckily I'm in Brooklyn, I'm quite well placed just near the Brooklyn Museum, it's not actually going to hit me too hard.
'Obviously I did the classic Englishman's thing of going to the store and coming back with two packs of tea and a lot of milk because that's how I'm going to prepare for the storm.'
New York City has been shutting down with mass evacuations taking place as weather forecasters warn that the hurricane is expected to bring a 'life-threatening' surge flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast. It is possible flights may be affected tomorrow and disrupted until the middle of the week.
Manchester Airport confirmed two of their flights which were travelling from New York City last night to arrive in the UK this morning were cancelled.
Jayne Ward, 47, from Preston, was supposed to be flying from Manchester Airport to New York with her husband Tony, 50 and her son William ,16, tomorrow - but their flight has been cancelled.
She told MailOnline last night: ‘We are very disappointed. It was a long awaited trip of a lifetime for my husband’s 50th birthday and we had booked to stay at the Marriott Marquis hotel on Broadway.
People stand on the Ocean City Music Pier watching heavy surf caused by Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey
High winds blow sea foam onto Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina today as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area
Rising tides: A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the east coast today in Ocean City, Maryland
Extreme conditions: A wind from Hurricane Sandy blows through on Hatteras Island, North Carolina, early on Monday
'Be Kind To Us': A prepares to touch done on the East Coast, residents and business owners prepare on the Jersey Shore in New Jersey on Sunday
'We only found out at 17.30 that it was cancelled and we are awaiting to hear from Expedia if they will give us a refund or if we can rebook. We have theatre tickets booked for Jersey Boys and other attractions which we are not sure if we will get refunded. We are absolutely gutted.'
'It was a long awaited trip of a lifetime for my husband’s 50th birthday and we had booked to stay at the Marriott Marquis hotel on Broadway. We have theatre tickets booked for Jersey Boys and other attractions which we are not sure if we will get refunded. We are absolutely gutted'
Jayne Ward, 47, from Preston, who was supposed to be flying from Manchester Airport to New York with her family
Other Britons took to Twitter to vent their frustration with schoolchildren left disappointed after their holiday to the US during half-term has been cancelled.
Livi from Hampshire posted on Twitter: 'People at my school were meant to go to New York this half term, but their flight has been canceled. I feel so sorry for them :(.'
Charley Sandford, one user, said: 'Our flight to New York is cancelled I actually think I'm going to cry.'
Lauren Malvon Davies, who is on holiday in New York, said on Twitter: ‘Great, hurricane coming near New York, flights cancelled, stuck here for more days&gunna miss Nicki Minaj concert and Halloween...#perfect.'
Sophie Peelo, from Dublin, another user, said: 'Been looking forward to going to New York for most of the year and to find out my flight is cancelled is just so depressing :(.'
Eye of the storm: Hurricane Sandy after it made landfall over Cuba and Jamaica, capturing this highly detailed infrared satellite image, showing areas of deep convection around the central eye
State of emergency: New Yorkers living in the Red Zone A face the highest risk of flooding from storm surges and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered their mandatory evacuation
Moving in: In this handout image provided by NASA, Hurricane Sandy churns off the east coast on Sunday out in the Atlantic Ocean
It comes as nearly 7,500 flights have been canceled globally according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware as tens of thousands of stranded passengers wait out the storm.
The massive storm threatens to bring a near halt to air travel for at least two days in a key region for both domestic and international flights.
Both Philadelphia International Airport and Newark International Airport, a hub for United Airlines, each had more than 1,200 cancellations over the course of yesterday and today.
Delays rippled across the U.S., affecting travelers in cities such as San Francisco to Chicago, and disruptions spread to Europe and Asia, where airlines canceled or delayed flights to New York and Washington from cities that are major travel hubs including Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Travelers such as businessman Alan Shrem, who was trying to return home to Boca Raton, Florida after attending trade fairs in Hong Kong and China's Guangzhou, were facing long waits for a new flight.
He learned he could be stuck in Hong Kong for nearly a week after his Cathay Pacific flight to JFK was cancelled this morning with the next available seat on November 4.
Take care: Richard Serino, deputy administrator of FEMA, President Obama and Craig Fugate, administrator of FEMA give a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C. on Sunday
Edison trucks stage in Union Square prepare for any city-wide power outages because of the advent of Hurricane Sandy
Clouds move over the Manhattan skyline in New York as the superstorm begins to form overhead
NYC Subway Closed: A warning sign about potential service changes due to Hurricane Sandy is seen at the Seventh Avenue subway station in New York
Travel Chaos in New York
Crowds filled the American Airlines terminal at New York's LaGuardia on Sunday with families sitting on the floor waiting for a flight out — any flight out.
A spokesman for United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings Inc. said the carrier has suspended an unspecified number of flights to New York and Washington-area airports from Sunday with plans to resume service on Tuesday.
JetBlue Airways Corp., which flies out of JFK, said it has canceled more than 1,000 flights from Sunday through to Wednesday morning.
American Airlines and American Eagle canceled 140 flights Sunday and canceled another 1,431 flights Monday through Wednesday due to Hurricane Sandy, the company said.
US Airways said it had suspended all operations at the three New York airports Sunday evening and Monday and at Philadelphia and Washington on Monday.
Disruptions on the East Coast of the U.S. also impacted international carriers. Air France has canceled four flights today into JFK and two departures. Lufthansa canceled three flights to the Northeast and one flight out of Newark.
A total of eight flights out of Tokyo's Narita International Airport to New York, Newark and Washington were canceled today.
Hong Kong's Cathay cancelled its two daily flights to New York today and tomorrow while Air India said its daily flights to Newark and JFK have been halted since Sunday.
STORM SURGE: HOW TO PREPARE FOR A NATURAL DISASTER
South Korean flag carrier Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have delayed their JFK flights by more than 20 hours.
Weather forecasters warned that the approaching megastorm could cause life-threatening havoc to tens of millions of people across 800 miles of the East Coast and has the potential to be the largest storm ever to hit the United States.
And with several state of emergencies already in existence across the country, New York City's MTA started to close down subway and bus operations from 7pm Sunday night as Mayor Bloomberg ordered the mandatory evacuations of 375,000 people from low-lying coastal areas.
The closure of New York City's mass transport network for the second time in two years and only the second time in history will mean that almost 12 million people in the wealthiest city in the U.S. will be prevented from taking their usual route to work by the oncoming storm system.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he ordered an evacuation of the low-lying areas along the edges of the city including parts of lower Manhattan, sections of Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Rockaways in Queens.
He said 72 evacuation centres had been created around the city and he also ordered the closure of schools.
Lower Manhattan, the Rockaways and a low-lying area of Queens were the first areas to be evacuated.
'If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you,' he said at a news conference Sunday.'... This is a serious and dangerous storm.’
But, he said, those who didn’t leave wouldn’t be arrested.
If forecasts hold, and especially if the storm surge coincides with high tide, the effects should be much more severe for the city said Klaus Jacob, a Columbia University researcher who has advised the city on coastal risks.
Alert: Pedestrians walk past a news ticker in Times Square in New York October 27, 2012
A police officer sets up a road block on South Oregon Inlet Road as water from Hurricane Sandy covers the road in Nags Head, North Carolina this morning
While the storm may not be the worst-case scenario, Jacob said he expected the subway system, as well as underground electrical systems and neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, to be at least partially flooded.
The subway service is expected to resume operations about 12 hours after the storm ends, officials said at the news conference - which would put services on track to resume for Tuesday afternoon.
With a daily ridership of more than 5 million, New York City’s subway system is by far the largest in the U.S., and many New Yorkers do not have cars and depend on subways and buses to get to work, school and around town.
Forecasters said on its current projected track, Sandy is most likely to hit anywhere between Delaware and the New York/New Jersey area but said it was too early to pinpoint where the storm, which has the potential to be the biggest to hit the mainland, would make landfall.
'We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,' said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
As Hurricane Sandy trekked north from the Caribbean — where it left nearly five dozen dead — to meet two other powerful winter storms, experts said it didn't matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.
'This storm that is going to be impacting the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast...is going to be destructive, historic, and unfortunately life threatening,' AccuWeather's Bernie Rayno said to ABC News
Sandy could be the largest storm to hit the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website.
'The size of this alone, affecting a heavily populated area, is going to be history making,' said Jeff Masters, a hurricane specialist who writes a blog posted on the Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com).
Sandy could hit Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, one of the most densely populated regions of the country and home to tens of millions of people.
Forecasters said Sandy was a rare, hybrid 'super storm' created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm, possibly causing up to 12 inches of rain in some areas, as well as heavy snowfall inland.
Sandy killed at least 66 people as it made its way through the Caribbean islands, including 51 in Haiti, mostly from flash flooding and mudslides, according to authorities.
The approaching storm forced a change of plans for both presidential candidates ahead of the November 6 election.
The White House said President Obama cancelled a campaign appearance in Virginia on Monday and another stop in Colorado on Tuesday, and will instead monitor the storm from Washington.
A maintenance worker attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York on Sunday in anticipation of the arrival of the megastorm
Cody Billotte walks through the high water as he loads his car to go to work as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Maryland
All hands on deck: Members of the Joint Base prepare for the impact of Hurricane Sandy by sandbagging low lying areas at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey
Hurricane humor: Store workers Fletcher Birch, right, and Jay Kleman finish boarding up the windows on a surf store in Ocean City, Maryland
Republican challenger Mitt Romney rescheduled campaign events planned for Virginia on Sunday and was flying to Ohio instead.
Utility officials warned rains could saturate the ground, causing trees to topple into power lines, and told residents to prepare for several days at home without power.
All along the U.S. coast worried residents packed stores, buying generators, candles, food and other supplies in anticipation of the power outages.
A state of emergency has been declared in both New York and New Jersey as officials warned the already-killer Hurricane Sandy that is barreling toward the East coast will be the worst case scenario affecting a third of the U.S. and endangering as many as 66 million Americans.
Ominous future: Newlyweds Kyle Legman and Michelle Sheivachman pose for their wedding pictures under storm clouds, across from New York's Lower Manhattan
Sandy's Path of Destruction: People walk on a street littered with debris after Hurricane Sandy hit Santiago de Cuba last week
'We should not underestimate the impact of this storm and not assume the predictions will be wrong,' New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said as he ordered the evacuation of much of the coast - including Atlantic City casinos. 'We have to be prepared for the worst.'
Some residents of the state were warned to get ready for power outages that could last from seven to 10 days, and portable generators are selling out all up and down the Atlantic Seaboard.
The tempest, which has been dubbed 'Frankenstorm' because of its proximity to Halloween is expected to dump over a foot of rain onto the Atlantic coast, arriving during a full moon when tides are near their highest increasing the likelihood of coastal flooding potential along the Eastern Seaboard
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2224411/Hurricane-Sandy-2012-Misery-UK-travellers-Frankenstorm-closes-airports-turns-New-York-ghost-town.html#ixzz2AhR79sqm
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