And let's get another glimpse, as we are all morning, of New York City in the aftermath of what was Hurricane Sandy. We saw, overnight, dramatic video of around 50 homes burning in Queens. There was massive flooding in lower Manhattan.
NPR's Robert Smith is there. Robert, we saw a video of water that was going up to the door handles of cars. I trust that the waters receded somewhat at this point.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 7:16 am
Sandy, the hurricane-turned-superstorm, has left dozens dead, millions without power and thousands in need of rescue from rising waters as it slowly moves north and west from the Mid-Atlantic to pass over the Great Lakes and into Canada.
According to The Associated Press, storm damage was projected at $20 billion, "meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history."
Sandy has also taken a huge human toll: More than 30 deaths since the weekend and millions more coping with damaged homes, crippled transportation systems and no power.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In the midst of a monster storm, let's take a moment to contemplate a monster pumpkin. Out in California, John Sach grew a pumpkin weighing just under 1,000 pounds. He calls it Sally, and it won Orange County's annual Pumpkinmania contest. Sach's pumpkin outgrew the runner-up, named Gourdita, which was downright slim at 795 pounds. According to the O.C. Register, Sally's secret is simple - a lot of food and water. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep speak with NPR reporters Jon Hamilton in Washington, Larry Abramson in Ocean City, Md., and Joel Rose in Point Pleasant, N.J., for an update on Hurricane Sandy's impact on the Eastern Coast of the U.S.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steven Inskeep. So we heard the number earlier this hour. Our correspondent Elizabeth Shogren checked in with major utilities, found at least seven million customers without power. A couple million of them are New Jersey, and the state's Governor Chris Christie says many people without power might be waiting a while.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Dawn will tell us more about the damage to the East Coast. But there's little doubt that it's massive. Water from Hurricane Sandy washed over parts of Manhattan last night like heavy seas coming over the deck of a ship.
BOB MCGEE: Essentially, Manhattan south of 39th Street is without power.
Cue the cancellations. Our last word in business today is: live audience.
With most of the East Coast shut down and all public transit halted in New York City, many of the major TV talk shows based in the Big Apple have gone dark this week.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
"The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," scrapped their live shows Monday and have yet to decide about tonight. Katie Couric's show and "Live with Kelly and Michael," were also suspended and Jimmy Kimmel canceled a planned show from his hometown, Brooklyn.
All this morning we'll be bringing you the latest on the massive storm Sandy that made landfall last night on the East Coast and is now making its way to the Midwest. President Obama and Mitt Romney both cancelled their campaign rallies scheduled for today. President Obama's role is clear as he monitors events from the White House and oversees the federal response.
It's a trickier balancing act for Mitt Romney, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.
President Obama canceled his campaign events that were scheduled for today in Colorado and Wisconsin. He's staying in Washington to oversee the federal response to what is now described as a post-tropical storm, Sandy. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has also scaled back his events.
Now, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, this gigantic storm has introduced a new and unpredictable element into the presidential race just one week before Election Day.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
As Hurricane Sandy, or whether - at this point in time, it's Superstorm Sandy, when it did thunder ashore as a hurricane, Tamara Brownstein(ph) was assessing the damage. She was working for the Red Cross in Sea Bright, New Jersey.
Now, both campaigns are slicing and dicing the electorate, trying to find the exact combination of voters that results in a win, find just a few more of your people, identify them, get them to the polls. Ronald Brownstein of National Journal has been examining this. When we spoke several weeks ago, Brownstein said the following: President Obama's strategy is to capture 80 percent of the minority vote and at least compete for some of the white vote, as he did when he won in 2008.