ELMIRA, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of upstate New York residents were without power Tuesday after superstorm Sandy's high winds knocked down trees and utility lines, forced schools and local government offices to shut down and killed a motorist who was a struck by a flying
section of a trailer home's roof.
The massive storm continued its march through the region, prompting schools, government offices and many businesses to close for fear of widespread damage from high winds. About 2.2 million utility statewide were without power, most of them in New York City and on Long Island. About 420,000 of the outages were in upstate New York.
Joel Robinson of the Sullivan Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross said the rainfall in the Elmira area is expected to cause localized stream flooding, but no major river flooding. High winds are the big fear, especially in an area struck by a tornado in July.
"After the tornado went through, there are a lot of weakened trees," he said. "Some of them were taken down. But some of them maybe didn't show the damage they received from the tornado. The big concern is that if we get high, sustained winds, a lot more than normal trees might come down."
Municipal offices, colleges and dozens of school districts across the state shut down Monday, hours before the storm — a hybrid behemoth formed as Sandy merged with a winter storm from the west and an arctic blast from the north — was expected to arrive with heavy rain and high winds.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state was working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard as the brunt of the storm started leaving New York City on Monday night.
"We're worried about search and rescue" on Tuesday, Cuomo said.