President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the New York City area Tuesday as Superstorm Sandy pounded the Northeast, killing at least 15, sweeping homes into the ocean, flooding large swaths of coastal areas, crippling public transit, and leaving millions without power.
As the East Coast woke up, residents faced the prospect of up to a week without heat, light or refrigeration, while authorities tried to measure the full wrath of the once-in-a-generation hurricane.
The historic storm, which made landfall at 6:45 p.m. ET Monday, hurled a wall of water of up to 13 feet high at the Northeast coast.
Tuesday’s disaster declaration for New York City means that federal funds will be available to people affected by the storm in the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, and Queens, according to a White House statement.
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