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Sandy leaves death, damp and darkness in wake

Oct 30th, 2012 - National News

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster for New York City and Long Island.

Superstorm Sandy is marching slowly inland after leaving at least 17 dead in its march up the East Coast.

Millions of people are without power or mass transit and many areas are flooded.

Hundreds of people are being evacuated after a levee broke in a northern New Jersey town today.

Bergen County executive chief of staff Jeanne Baratta tells The Record newspaper the entire town of Moonachie is under water and as many as 1,000 people could need to be evacuated.

Baratta says people in a trailer park have had to climb on the roofs of their trailers to await rescue.

There are no reports of injuries or deaths.

— A blizzard warning covers a large part of West Virginia as snow and high winds blow over Appalachia on the edges of superstorm Sandy.

The National Weather Service says a foot and more of snow was reported in lower elevations of West Virginia, where most towns and roads are. High elevations in the mountains were getting more than two feet.

More than 128,000 customers in West Virginia were without power.

Authorities closed more than 45 miles of Interstate 68 on either side of the West Virginia-Maryland state line because of blizzard conditions and stuck cars.

The State Highway Administration in Maryland says the higher elevations in the western state have gotten more than a foot of snow since Monday afternoon, and it was still snowing at 5 a.m. today.

Lower Manhattan is still largely blacked out, and U.S. stock exchanges say they will be testing contingency plans to ensure trading resumes as soon as possible this week after Hurricane Sandy smashed into the East Coast.

U.S. markets will remain closed today but the New York Stock Exchange said that despite reports that its historic trading floor suffered irreparable damage, no such damage has occurred and that contingency plans are being tested only as a safety measure.

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