Oct 29, Washington D.C. – The U.S. Presidential Election Day is a week away. However, Hurricane Sandy has forced both candidates to halt their campaigns.
|President Obama, in particular, is now trying to balance his duties as a President dealing with a storm, and as a presidential candidate. After canceling the election events, Obama left Orlando for Washington D.C., where he will continue his storm response.To prepare for the storm people rushed to the supermarket for necessities.
At Giant Supermarket at Washington D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood on late Sunday afternoon shelves were emptied especially of bottled water, and long queues appeared at the check-out counters.
’I am going to buy some groceries and prepare for the storm,” said Katie Pashalide, one of the customers at the supermarket.
In D.C., the entire public transit system, including the metro, railway and bus services, ceased operations on Monday. Government offices, schools, universities and business were all closed, and some of them even announced that they would be closed until Wednesday. Many neighborhoods in nearby Maryland and Virginia lost power.
The storm also forced New York City to shut down its mass transit system, schools, businesses and the New York Stock Exchange.
At noon on Monday in the business districts surrounding the White House, streets were eerily empty and only McDonald’s, Starbucks and CVS Pharmacy were open.
The National Hurricane Center expects that Hurricane Sandy will hit D.C. in the evening today, after sweeping over New York City and North Carolina. It has strengthened overnight with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph now.
The Hurricane has also spread its impact across the continent to Hong Kong. All flights from Hong Kong to New York on October 29 and 30 are all canceled.
The last major hurricane that occurred in the U.S. was Hurricane Irene in 2011, causing at least 56 deaths and US $15.6 million of damage.