Hurricane Sandy battered the mid-Atlantic region with powerful gusts and storm surges that cause epic flooding in the coastal communities of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving more than eight million people – including large parts of Manhattan – in the rain-soaked dark. The mammoth storm packed maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Those powerful winds, driving rain and storm surge are blamed for 98 deaths in the United States (although numbers still vary), including two small boys who were swept out of their mother’s arms. The toll of the storm is staggering, including a rampaging fire that reduced more than 100 houses to ash in Breezy Point, Queens. New Jersey took the brunt, officials estimating that the state suffered many billions of dollars in property damage. Residents began the long, slow process of recovery.
An American flag is raised among the wreckage homes devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York, Oct. 31, 2012. The U.S. Northeast began an arduous journey back to normal after historic storm Sandy crippled transportation, knocked out power for millions and killed at least 64 people with a massive storm surge that caused epic flooding. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Homes are surrounded by sand that washed into neighborhoods with Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 31, 2012, Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The death toll continues to rise in the U.S. with New Jersey suffering massive damage and power outages. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Jim Margiotta climbs under his garage door, which was flooded with ocean water and sand by Hurricane Sandy, October 31, 2012, Long Beach, New York.The storm has claimed many lives in the United States and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. U.S. President Barack Obama declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the U.S. east coast, including New York City, with widespread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Burned houses are seen next to those that remain in Breezy Point, a neighborhood located in the New York City borough of Queens, after they were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 31, 2012. Sandy, the massive storm that tore through the U.S. East Coast is being blamed, so far, for the deaths of 98 people, many of whom were killed by falling trees or branches. The storm, at one point extending 1,000 miles in diameter, knocked out power for millions and crippled transportation systems along the densely populated coastal region. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)