Millions of people in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic states are picking up the pieces from one of the largest hurricanes ever to hit the East Coast. Hurricane Sandy, which stretched nearly 1,000 miles wide, brought pounding winds, rain and flooding to some of the nation's most densely populated areas.
Sandy began as a Category 1 hurricane in the Caribbean before moving north. The storm's center came ashore on October 29 near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Coastal areas, including parts of New York City and New Jersey, were flooded by huge surges of seawater, made worse by high tides and a full moon. The storm caused at least 130 deaths in the U.S. and Carribean, and billions of dollars in damage. President Barack Obama declared New York and New Jersey disaster areas, which made federal aid available to the states for rebuilding. "All of us have been shocked by the force of Mother Nature," Obama said.
On Halloween, 6.5 million homes and businesses remained without power, including 4 million in New York and New Jersey— forcing many areas to postpone trick-or-treating. Power will take days to restore. Recovery and rebuilding will take much longer.
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