Hurricane Sandy is a late-season tropical cyclone formed near Jamaica on October 24, 2012. After wreaking havoc and killing 67 people across the Caribbean and Cuba, the "superstorm" made landfall on the northeastern coast of the United States, becoming one of the biggest storms ever to hit the nation. It has affected some 50 million North Americans. As of November 6, it had killed at least 113 in the US, damaged thousands of homes, caused fires, power outages and oil spills.
Huge fire erupts in New York as Sandy rips through
A huge fire that erupted as Sandy ripped through New York City with near-hurricane force winds on Monday night destroyed dozens of homes in one of the city’s most remote neighbourhoods, officials said.
The neighbourhood, Breezy Point in the borough of Queens, had been extensively flooded by Sandy’s record storm surge, and firefighters 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 local time, the department said.
Local television showed firefighters 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.
According to a report from WATV in New York, dozens of residents chose not to obey the evacuation order and as many as 40 had to be rescued by firefighters from homes in the neighbourhood as the fire approached, driven by 112km/h winds. The NYFD spokesman could not verify the television station’s report of rescues.