Sandy slams U.S. Northeast

Atlantic City, NJ, USA as Hurricane Sandy approaches, 29 Oct 2012 (AP)

Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline last night and hurled a record-breaking four metre surge of seawater at New York City. 

So far, more than 50 deaths are blamed on the storm with many victims killed by falling trees. 

Sandy knocked out power to more than eight million homes with large sections of Manhattan plunged into darkness as water pressed into the island from three sides, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads. 

The U.S. National Hurricane Center announced at 8 p.m. that Sandy had come ashore near Atlantic City and although technically it was no longer a hurricane, it still brought stinging rain and wind gusts of more than 135 kph.

Winds also gusted to more than 90 kph across Southern Ontario where a woman in Toronto was killed by a falling sign.

As the storm made its way toward land, Sandy converged with a cold weather system that turned into a monstrous hybrid consisting not only of rain and high wind but of snow. 

Parts of the Appalachian Mountains received up to 90 cm of snow. 

Storm damage was projected at $10 to $20 billion, meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

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