Huffpost Travel

Flight Cancellations: Superstorm Sandy Cancels Thousands Of Flights, Closes Airports (UPDATES)

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UPDATE, 10:48am 11/3: has issued a report stating that from October 27th to November 1st in North America alone, 20,254 flights were canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. Roughly 9,978 flights were canceled at New York area airports alone.

United stands as the airline with the most cancellations by Sandy (2,149), followed by JetBlue (1,469), US Airways (1,454), Southwest (1,436), Delta (1,293) and American (759). In an examination of weather events over the past seven years, Sandy comes in second in terms of total number of cancelled flights, behind the North American Blizzard of February 2010 (22,441 flights).

UPDATE, 9:35am, November 2

Amtrak is getting back to its normal routine Friday, with more service into and out of New York City.

Silver Meteor (Trains 97 & 98) will operate normally New York-Miami on Nov 2.

Palmetto (Trains 89 & 90) will operate normally New York-Savannah, including connecting Amtrak Thruway Bus Service on Nov 2.

However, not all routes are totally back on track.

Maple Leaf (Trains 63 & 64) will operate only between Toronto and Albany-Rensselaer, rather than originating and terminating in New York.

For all service alerts, visit Amtrak's website.

UPDATE, 3:57pm, November 1

Now that LaGuardia airport has been reopened, flight service is beginning to return to normal after days of delayed and cancelled flights.

Amtrak, however, is still facing uncertainty. The rail line said Thursday that water has been pumped from one of the two Amtrak tunnels beneath the Hudson River and repairs are ongoing, the Associated Press reports. The company said it would update passengers once it has run test trains through the tunnels later Thursday.

Amtrak Northeast
We have cleared water from one of the Hudson River tunnels & will be running a test train w/o passengers from NYC to Newark this afternoon.

UPDATE, 6:27pm:

CNN Weather Center issued a Tweet reporting that LaGuardia would reopen at 7am Thursday.

CNN Weather Center
LaGuardia Airport will open tomorrow morning at 7 am EDT.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey quickly followed up and sent HuffPost Travel a Tweet confirming the news.

LGA will re-open tomorrow at 7am, please check with your airline on individual flight status

UPDATE, 11:02am: has updated the number of flight cancellations around North America. 2,820 flights have been canceled for Wednesday so far, 238 for Thursday, bringing the total number to 19,217 since Saturday.

For more detailed info, check out FlightStats' Global Cancellation Tracker here .

UPDATE, 7:28am 10/31: reported early Wednesday that some 2,664 flights have been canceled in North America on Wednesday; 22 are already canceled for Thursday. The total number of flights canceled since Saturday hovers around 18,445.

Meanwhile, reports a 14% spike in car rental rates in New York from last week. That number was even higher in Boston, Washington and Philadelphia, which saw a 50% spike in rates, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, hotel room rates rose some 55% in Newark and 9% in Washington (that number did, however, decrease in Boston and N.Y.C.).

UPDATE, 9:27pm:

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey updated fliers via Twitter that they anticipate JFK airport will reopen Wednesday afternoon. According to the FAA's website, Newark is expected to reopen at 7am on Wednesday. Likely both airports will have limited service.

JFK anticipates opening tomorrow afternoon however please confirm your flight prior to coming to the airport

(Stewart Airport) is open & anticipates operating a full schedule tomorrow, please call your airline before coming to the airport

Additionally, Stewart Airport, which sits west of Newburgh, N.Y., is currently open and is expected to have a fully operational schedule Wednesday.

LaGuardia still has no opening time, per the FAA's site.

UPDATE, 4:15pm:

According to information shared with Huffington Post Travel by, roughly 1,021 flights have been canceled for October 31, bringing the total number of flights canceled to around 17,062.

The airports with the highest volume of canceled flights for Tuesday and Wednesday are:

(PHL) Philadelphia International Airport: 1,066 cancelations (182 Wednesday)

(EWR) Newark Liberty International Airport: 996 cancelations (322 Wednesday)

(LGA) La Guardia Airport: 893 cancelations (250 Wednesday)

(JFK) John F. Kennedy International Airport: 812 cancelations (177 Wednesday)

(DCA) Ronald Reagan National Airport: 705 cancelations (105 Wednesday)

(BOS) Logan International Airport: 605 cancelations (60 Wednesday)

(IAD) Dulles International Airport: 602 cancelations (32 Wednesday)

(BWI) Baltimore/ Washington International Airport: 601 cancelations (31 Wednesday)

Check out this heat map by the site for where the most flights have been canceled. For a complete tracker of all canceled flights head here.

PREVIOUSLY: Hurricane turned Superstorm Sandy has already caused the cancellation of some 16,127 flights in North America through Wednesday, according to

For Wednesday alone, about 547 flights have already been canceled. The most affected airports as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday are Philadelphia International and Newark Liberty International.

A photo taken from inside New York's LaGuardia airport show taxiways flooded by at least several inches of water Tuesday morning in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

laguardia flooding sandy


Currently, the following airports are closed: (ACY) Atlantic City International Airport, (EWR) Newark Liberty International Airport, (GON) Groton-New London Airport, (HVN) New Haven Airport, (JFK) John F. Kennedy International Airport, (LGA) La Guardia Airport, (MMU) Morristown Municipal Airport and (TEB) Teterboro Airport. Click here for a global cancellation and delay tracker.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Tweeted an update around 12 p.m. regarding New York area airports:

Andrew Cuomo
Port Authority's Pat Foye: flooding at , , assessment at all 3 airports of all electronic navigational aids

Here's the daily of canceled flights thus far:

Wednesday, Oct. 31 - Canceled: 547
Tuesday, Oct. 30 - Canceled: 6,127
Monday, Oct. 29 - Canceled: 7,944
Sunday, Oct. 28 - Canceled: 1,501
Saturday, Oct. 27 - Canceled: 152

Before flights can take off, the airlines have a number of factors to consider , according to the AP. Among them, whether the runways are open, whether public transportation is available to get workers to the airport and whether all the staff needed to run an airport (TSA, customs officials, fuel trucks, caterers, etc) are available.

Here's a response from some of the major airlines thus far:

American Airlines & American Eagle
American Airlines and American Eagle have canceled 1,687 flights from Sunday through Wednesday, October 31, airline spokesman Matt Miller told Huffington Post Travel. The airline won't be operating until at least midday Wednesday at eight airports in the mid-Atlantic and northeast, including Norfolk, Baltimore, Dulles, Reagan, Newark, JFK, LaGuardia and Philadelphia. The airline anticipates "late starts" on Tuesday at seven airports, including Bradley International, Boston Logan, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Columbus and Dayton, with Chicago O'Hare also impacted. Customers who were issued tickets no later than October 26, with travel scheduled between October 28 and 31 to, from and through the 22 total airports affected can change their flights without penalty, have the ticket-reissue charge waived for one ticket change, and begin travel as late as November 7.

A Frontier spokeswoman informed us that approximately 60 flights have been canceled to the airline's East Coast destinations. Because Denver-based Frontier only services a select number of airports in the East, it was not as affected as the larger U.S. carriers. Customers with reservations through November 1 will be allowed to modify their itinerary so long as it is done by that date, and travel is completed by November 14.

JetBlue spokeswoman Allison Steinberg told Huffington Post Travel via email that the airline has "proactively" cancelled 1,200 flights from Sunday through Wednesday morning, but it anticipates that Boston and Washington ops will resume Tuesday. Steinberg said that both cities report "good airport conditions and good/fair public transit options." When asked about the possible financial impact Sandy would have on the airline, she said it was "too early" to predict.

"It will probably take until the weekend for things to return to normal," said Rob Maruster, the chief operating officer of JetBlue Airways, told the Associated Press.

Southwest Airlines & AirTran
According to Southwest's website, the airline has canceled 1,300 flights from Sunday evening through midday Wednesday. AirTran, which Southwest purchased in 2010, has canceled some 400 flights.

The airline anticipates returning to normal operations by midday Wednesday except at LaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia and Long Island MacArthur airports. Click here for more information from Southwest and here for more on AirTran.

United Airlines has canceled 4,700 flights Sunday through Wednesday, or roughly 20% of all total scheduled flights for that time period. The airline is hopeful that it will be able to resume inbound flights to Newark by early Wednesday afternoon, airline spokesman Charles Hobart told Huffington Post Travel via email. Hobart added that customers whose flights are canceled or delayed more than two hours are eligible for a refund. They may also rebook with fees waived.

United flights into Dulles will likely resume Tuesday evening, and will return to a normal schedule on Wednesday. All regional operations to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are suspended through Tuesday afternoon, according to United's website, and many flights into and out of Chicago O'Hare are delayed due to high winds.

US Airways
Airline spokeswoman Liz Landau tells Huffington Post Travel via email that the airline expects roughly 1,650 flights to be canceled on Wednesday (it has canceled 1,870 flights combined on Sunday and Monday). The airline is planning to restart operations Wednesday morning at Philadelphia, Washington Reagan, Boston and "all other US Airways cities "save LaGuardia, JFK and Newark." LaGuardia, Landau says, has a lot of standing water on both the land and air sides. The airline will begin repositioning aircraft later Tuesday into Philadelphia, Reagan and Boston to resume service tomorrow, but is are not certain what that service will be at this time. For more information, head to US Air's site.

Virgin America
So far the airline has canceled 132 flights to Washington Dulles, Washington Reagan, Philadelphia, JFK and Boston Logan, airline spokeswoman Patricia Condon told Huffington Post Travel via email. For details, head to Virgin America's website.

Condon also noted that the airline is waiving change fees for all guests with confirmed flights to and from Dulles, Reagan, Philadelphia, JFK and Boston from October 28 through 31 through November 10. Guests can also cancel their flights without penalty and receive credit for travel for up to one year.

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HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:

Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.

"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.

marriage proposal cancelled nyc marathon

Photo by Damon Scheleur

Read the full story here.

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Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.

-Catharine Smith, HuffPost

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HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.

Read the full story here.

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Huntington Patch reports:

At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.

LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.

"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."

"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."

Read the full story on Huntington Patch.

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Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.

Read the full story here.

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HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:

On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.

Read the full story here.

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@ USACE_HQ : Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system...

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@ MikeBloomberg : If you would like to donate: visit So far million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.

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@ usNWSgov : Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC

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@ NYCMayorsOffice : Volunteers Descend on Staten Island Neighborhood

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@ usNWSgov : Temps near the freezing mark expected tonight in areas affected by #Sandy. Those without power should prepare for a cold night. #NWS #nywx

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HuffPost's Ben Hallman reports:

For hours, giant waves crashed against Rockaway Beach, making a tremendous roar that could be heard up and down the 11-mile peninsula. "We kept constant watch on the boardwalk," said Diane Hudson, who lives on a high floor in a building about a half block from the Atlantic Ocean. "There was no water on it, so we thought we were OK."

Then she got a call from her boss, and close friend, David Gotthelf, who had just moved into a ground-floor apartment about a mile and a half away, on Beach 115th Street.

"The water is coming in," Hudson said Gotthelf told her. "What do I do? What do I do?"

Hudson looked out the window. In a matter of just a few minutes, the dark ocean had filled the parking lot. The boardwalk was gone. "Just get up on a high place," she said she told her friend. "Get on your bed."

That was the last time anyone talked to Gotthelf, who died Monday night or Tuesday morning, as far as Hudson knows.

Read the full story here.

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From The New York Times:

The L line from Manhattan to Brooklyn, however, remained flooded Saturday, from what Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, described as “wall to wall” inundation. The G train tunnel was flooded as well and is not expected to be back in service until later this week.'

Read the full story here.

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New Jersey voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be able to vote either electronically or by fax under an order issued by state officials on Saturday. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who is also New Jersey's secretary of state, said that voters can request a ballot be sent to them by their local county clerk via email or fax and then return it to the county the same way.

“This has been an extraordinary storm that has created unthinkable destruction across our state and we know many people have questions about how and where to cast their vote in Tuesday’s election," Guadagno said in a statement. "To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote."

Guadagno also said that first responders in the state who are stationed away from their home can use the same method to vote.

Guadagno's decision follows previous orders to extend early voting hours at county elections offices statewide over the weekend. Gov. Chris Christie (R) indicated that the state was printing additional provisional ballots to allow those displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote in another location due to the storm.

-- John Celock, HuffPost

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Francis Ng was ready to run a marathon in New York City on Sunday but now the Toronto marathoner is instead looking to pitch in as the region recovers from this week's massive storm.

He's just one of the many Canadian runners who found out too late that the New York City Marathon was canceled, a race that draws more than 47,000 entrants.

Other athletes from Canada and many from around the world were already on the way to the Big Apple when the mayor's office cancelled one of the world's largest marathons. The 2011 edition of the marathon drew 1,200 Canadians and more than half of the race's participants are from outside of the United States.

Ng found out at at the airport departure lounge in Toronto that the race was canceled, so instead of running through the five boroughs on Sunday morning, he's now looking to make a trip up to the Bronx to volunteer at Pelham Bay Nature Center.

Read the full story here

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HuffPost’s Betsy Isaacson Reports:

Even with bicycle generators to charge phones, people in downtown Manhattan did not have working internet through Friday, Nov. 2, when power finally started to return to the grids there. The massive New York City power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy left thousands of New Yorkers without connection to the outside world, unable to check on relatives or secure information unless they walked or took a cab uptown, where the city had power.

With power now back on in Lower Manhattan, age-old ways of trading information will likely give way to texting and wireless connections. A copy of The New York Times will no longer be worth more than . Will New Yorkers miss it?

Read the full story here.

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HuffPost's Gerry Smith reports:

Heavy flooding this week at Verizon’s headquarters in lower Manhattan -- a critical node of its network infrastructure -- has begun to subside, but the company's effort to repair damaged network equipment and restore service to customers after Hurricane Sandy continues.

Read the full story here.

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HuffPost's Lynne Peeples reports:

Among the wreckage removed in Joplin, Mo., after the 2011 tornado was 2,600 tons of asbestos debris.

"That was a small community," said Linda Reinstein, president of the nonprofit Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. "Do the math, and we can recognize that we have a significant public health risk with Hurricane Sandy."

With wind and water damage caused by Sandy compromising the integrity of homes, schools and other buildings along much of the East Coast, health experts warn of increased risks of exposure to a variety of environmental toxins. One of the most worrisome, they say, is asbestos. Much of the compromised construction materials, including roofing, piping and insulation, could contain the microscopic mineral fibers. And while a person generally can't see it, smell it or taste it, they can breathe it and ingest it -- and the consequences can be severe.

Read the full story here.

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@ AP : BREAKING: New York City mayor says gas station shortages could take a few days to fully be resolved -RJJ

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New York Magazine has released a sneak peek of its latest cover, and wow is it stunning.

The editors explain the photo choice here:

A photograph taken by Iwan Baan on Wednesday night, showing the Island of Manhattan, half aglow and half in dark, was the clear choice, for the way it fit with the bigger story we have tried to tell here about a powerful city rendered powerless. We crammed back into the conference room, raced to finish our pages, and hoped, like other New Yorkers, that everyone would find the lights on when they got home.

See the pic here.

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Photos have begun to emerge comparing regions of the East Coast before and after the storm. Click here to view an interactive set of photos documenting the disturbing contrast.

before after photos

-Jake Bialer, HuffPost

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If you're out volunteering, share your stories with us. Use Twitter or Instagram and tag your photos #volunteersandy. Or you can submit your photos here.

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From The Associated Press:

The government says the public should stay away from free New York fuel stations until emergency responders get their gas.

Long lines of vehicles and pedestrians formed Saturday after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the U.S. Department of Defense was opening the mobile fuel stations in New York City and on suburban Long Island.

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Under orders from President Obama through FEMA, the Defense Logistics Agency and National Guard, there are new shipments of fuel available at five locations in New York area and at four locations in New Jersey.

In New York, fuel is available at the Queens Armory, 93-05 160th St., Jamaica, NY 11433; Bronx Armory, 10 West 195th St.,Bronx, NY 10468, Brooklyn Armory, 1579 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225, the Staten Island/Elizabeth Armory, 321 Manor Rd., Staten Island, NY 10314, and the Freeport Armory, 63 Babylon Turnpike, Freeport NY 11520

In New Jersey, fuel is available at the Teaneck Armory,1799 Teaneck Road, Teaneck NJ 07666, the West Orange armory at1315 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange NJ 07052, the Freehold armory at 635 Park Ave., Freehold NJ 07728, and at the former Plainfield armory at Plainfield,NJ.

The New Jersey National Guard continues to deliver fuel to first responders, using nine tanker trucks provided by the Pennsylvania National Guard.

-- HuffPost's David Wood

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The owners of New Jersey's NJ Skateshop are desperately trying to collect winter clothes for neighbors without heat and members of their community who were left homeless by Hurricane Sandy, as a Nor'easter is forecast to hit the stricken area next week.

Co-owner Chris Nieratko reports two of the shop's four stores have electricity and have been stocked with power strips to allow residents to charge their phones and "pretend things were normal if only for a while." But many are ill-equipped to handle the incoming storm, he writes, and are already struggling: "Seeing your children cold and hungry is a feeling I never want any of you to experience."

Nieratko is asking for shipments of any winter clothing to the store's New Brunswick location, from which they will distribute to people in need:

I have no TV so I don't know what you're hearing on the news, but let me tell you, it's bad. Very bad..we've opened to the door to anyone with children. For days we ran generators sparingly because there was no gas...

There's another storm coming. Temperatures are dropping. Things are getting colder and even scarier. I am writing to you to ask for your help in clothing the displaced, homeless, under-dressed skaters in our community and their families...If you have anything warm (socks, sweatshirts, jackets, beanies, gloves, shoes, tees, ANYTHING) doesn't matter if it's 5 seasons ago...there are many in need from very young to very big XXL. Anything you can spare to help people stay warm will be appreciated.

Please send whatever you're able to (and there's no box too small) to our New Brunswick shop:

NJ TWO 29-B Easton Ave

New Brunswick, NJ 08901


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Photo of National Guard in South Beach, Staten Island, today.


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Deer Park-North Babylon Park Patch reports:
Harold Jamison will make it to the Tanger Outlet center this afternoon to see Ben Affleck's "Argo."

"That movie is so good, I have to see it. I'm not missing it. It's about the 1979 Iran conflict and there is old TV video clips and everything," Jamison said.

But first, he was living his own 1970s-style flashback, a nearly three-hour wait to get gas in Deer Park in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Jamison was in line to get gas at the Deer Park Express station on the corner of Deer Park and Long Island avenues. He was still idling around the corner on Lake Avenue and E. 4th Street. In 90 minutes, he had moved two blocks.

Read the full story, and check out Mark's excellent "Sweet Daddy" jacket on Deer Park-North Babylon Park Patch.

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HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

WASHINGTON -- Before hitting the campaign trail for his final swing before the election, President Barack Obama on Saturday stopped by the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington for a briefing on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

"We still have a long way to go to make sure that the people of New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and some of the surrounding areas get their basic needs taken care of and we get back to normalcy," Obama said, adding that the situation continues to be his "number one priority."

The president emphasized five components of recovery: getting power back on as quickly as possible, pumping water out of flooded areas, making sure people's basic needs are taken care of, debris removal and getting transportation systems up and running again.

"Our hearts continue to go out to those families who have been affected, who have actually lost loved ones," Obama said. "That's obviously heartbreaking. But I'm confident that we will continue to make progress as long as state and local and federal officials stay focused."/blockquote>

Read more here.

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OurAmazingPlanet reports:

With coastal communities in New York and New Jersey still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the last thing the area needs is another storm. But that's exactly what it might get.

A nor'easter is predicted to potentially hit the East Coast next Wednesday (Nov. 7), and beach erosion experts are concerned about further damage to shorelines devastated by Sandy.

Read the full story here.

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