“Merciless” Post-tropical storm Sandy (updated 20:30) | Bangkok Post: learning

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“Merciless” Post-tropical storm Sandy (updated 20:30)

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Sandy has been just as bad as forecasters has feared, causing massive flooding destruction along the east coast of the United States. Morning has finally come and people are just starting to see how bad things are. We will update the situation tomorrow. 

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Floodwater from a record-breaking (4.3 metre) 14-foot storm surge pours into lower Manhattan island in New York City. Screen shot from CBS news in New York City.

We will update this story throughout the day. Meanwhile, you can follow the storm live through the internet. Check here for suggestions: http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/318699/following-hurricane-sandy

Waves crash against a previously damaged pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey AFP

Morning has just arrived on the east coast of the United States and we are just beginning to see how bad things are.

20:30

As the sun rose this morning on the US East coast, whole sections of major cities seem like ghost towns as few people are able to venture outside. Transport was largely paralysed. The majority of roads in storm area were closed – all roads in the state of Connecticut for example (They have just been reopened). As the morning goes on, people are starting to get around but it is going to be difficult for many days.

The New York subway system, officials say, experienced its worst disaster ever as many tunnels were flooded with sea water. They say it is still much too early to determine when service can resume. Ordinary people want to know when there power will be restored. That, too, is uncertain.

On the back side of the storm, cold air combined with Sandy's moisture have caused huge snowfalls.

On the back of the storm, major snowfalls are occurring. Winter is coming and the weather is quite cool – like cold season temperatures in Thailand.

section – any of the parts into which something is divided ส่วน, ส่วนที่ตัดออก, ส่วนย่อย
ghost town – a town where all the people have left
venture outside – to go out, especially where it is difficult or dangerous
paralysed – unable to move เป็นอัมพาต
majority – most; more than half ส่วนมาก
disaster – an unexpected event, such as a very bad accident, a flood or a fire, that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage ภัยพิบัติ ความหายนะ
tunnel – an underground passage through which vehicles travel อุโมงค์
determine – to decide what will be done or happen กำหนด
resume – to begin again after stopping for a period of time  เริ่มอีกครั้ง, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
restore – to bring back to good condition ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

17:15 

Sunrise should come in about an hour on the east coast of the United States and it is then when the full extent of the damage can begun to be assessed. It is certain to be huge.

Meanwhile, rescue work continues in three towns in New Jersey which were inundated by flooding from a levee break. Local officials report some areas are under almost two metres of water and residents are standing on rooftops awaiting help.

At least 50 homes burned to the ground in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens in New York City, fire officials said, though the cause of the blaze was not immediately released. More than 200 firefighters have been battling the leaping flames. At least 24 more homes are in danger.

extent – size; the degree to which something happens or is likely to happen ขนาด ขอบเขต
assess – to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment ประเมิณสถานการณ์
rescue – saving a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation การช่วยชีวิต
inundate – to flood; to submerge ท่วม, ทำให้จมลงใต้น้ำ
levee – a low wall built at the side of a river to prevent it from flooding   เขื่อนป้องกันน้ำท่วม
neighbourhood – a particular area of a city or town ละแวก, ย่าน
blaze – a large fire that cause a lot of damage เพลิง
release – to make known to the public เปิดเผย, ให้ข่าว, ปล่อยข่าว
leaping – going (jumping) high in the air

12:00


Click button to listen to Sandy2 and rightclick to download

Deadly Sandy floods cities, leaves 12 dead

AFP

Monster storm Sandy left at least 12 people dead in the United States and Canada as it swept a wall of churning sea water and driving rain onto the eastern seaboard, flooding major cities and leaving chaos in its wake.

Seawater coursed between the iconic skyscrapers of New York's financial district in lower Manhattan, flooding subways and road tunnels and shorting out the power grid, plunging hundreds of thousands into darkness.

Further south vast swathes of the eastern seaboard found themselves under water and on inland mountains Sandy's rain-heavy clouds had merged with a cold weather front to dump tons of snow on higher ground.

Authorities warned the threat to life and property was "unprecedented" and ordered hundreds of thousands of residents in areas from New England to North Carolina to evacuate their homes and seek shelter.

The National Hurricane Center said wind speeds inside Sandy dropped as the storm became a post-tropical cyclone, but remained hurricane-force at 80 miles per hour (130 kilometers per hour) as it made landfall near casino resort Atlantic City.

Falling trees dragged down power cables, plunging millions of homes into darkness as night fell, while storm warnings cut rail links and marooned tens of thousands of travelers at airports across the region.

sweep (past form: swept) –to move something or someone with powerful force  พัดพาเอาไป
churn – to move water, mud, etc. around violently หมุนวนอย่างแรง
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess ความยุ่งเหยิง, ความสับสน
wake – coming after or following somebody/something
course – to move or flow quickly เคลื่อน, ไหลอย่างรวดเร็ว
iconic – well known and acting as a sign or symbol of something มีชื่อเสียงและเป็นสัญลักษณ์แทนบาง
skyscraper – a very tall building containing offices or flats ตึกสูงมาก
tunnel – an underground passage through which vehicles travel อุโมงค์
grid – a system of electric wires for sending power over a large area, or pipes carrying gas สายไฟฟ้
plunge into darkness – to cause to be suddenly dark, usually because of a loss of power
vast – extremely large in area, size, amount, etc.  กว้างใหญ่, มหาศาล
swath – (or swathe) – a long strip or area of land  แนวหรือแถบกว้าง
seaboard – the part of a country that is along its coast ชายฝั่งทะเล
merge – to join together รวมกัน
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
threat – a danger อันตราย
property – things, especially valuable things, that are owned by someone ทรัพย์สมบัติ, ทรัพย์สิน, อสังหาริมทรัพย์
unprecedented – never having happened before ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน
evacuate – to leave a place because it is not safe อพยพออกจากพื้นที่
shelter – a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว
cyclone – a violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle พายุหมุนไซโคลน
landfall – the land that you see or arrive at first after a journey by sea or by air or the place where a storm coming from the sea first hits land การเข้าหาแผ่นดิน, การเห็นแผ่นดิน
maroon – to leave somebody in a place that they cannot escape from, for example an island  ปล่อยทิ้งไว้

10: 15 Flooding in New York City

From a Washington Post live blog

A photo posted on twitter shows the flooding in low Manhattan island of New York City.

Water poured into parts of lower Manhattan Monday evening, as the New York MTA shut down all bridges and tunnels into Manhattan.

By late evening, Con Edison shut off electricity to residents in parts of downtown Manhattan as the rising surge flooded low lying neighborhoods around Battery Park City and the East Village.

New York University Hospital had lost power and was being evacuated, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference Monday night.

Ambulance wait for patients to be evacuated after New York University hospital lost a major power generator.


Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that there are reports of heavy volumes of water on West Street, so much so that cars are floating down the street. There are also reports that water is cascading into the south tube of the Holland Tunnel, the East River is running down 1st Avenue, and there is flooding in the Battery Tunnel.

MTA reported that up to four feet of seawater is entering subway tunnels under the East River. The MTA Twitter account also advised its followers that it would not be able to assess damage until Tuesday. “It is way too early for a subway reopening timetable,” @MTAInsider posted.

The storm hit New York at the same time as high tide came in, according to Wall Street Journal weather reporter Eric Holthaus. He reported the water level was at 13.8 feet, 2.3 feet above previous record, at 9 p.m.

tunnel – an underground passage through which vehicles travel อุโมงค์
(storm) surge – a sudden increase in the height of waves in the sea during a storm น้ำทะเลหนุน
evacuate – to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
volume – an amount of something ปริมาณ
float – to cause to move slowly in the air or on water  ลอย
cascade – to flow in large amounts ตกลงมาเหมือนน้ำตก,ต่อเนื่องกัน
assess – to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment ประเมิณสถานการณ์
timetable – a plan of when you expect or hope particular events to happen  ตารางเวลา
tide – the regular rise and fall of the level of the sea (the tides) ปรากฏการณ์น้ำขึ้นน้ำลง, กระแสน้ำขึ้นน้ำลง


Click button to listen to Sandy and rightclick to download

“Merciless” Post-tropical storm Sandy

The New York Times describes Sandy as a mammoth storm, enormous and merciless. Verbs like lash, batter, slam and paralyse are getting a lot of use.

AFP calls it "a titanic weather event with humongous size, unusual staying power and plenty of high-tide sea water to wreak havoc, perhaps repeatedly, as the full moon and thus high tide roll in with exquisitely bad timing."

Here is the situation as of about 8am Bangkok time this morning from the New York Times.

"A mammoth storm plowed into the coast of New Jersey on Monday evening, its powerful gusts and storm surges causing once-in-a-generation flooding in coastal communities, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving more than 100,000 people in the rain-soaked dark across a large swath of the Eastern Seaboard.
 
The storm made landfall close to Atlantic City, N. J. at about 8 p.m. with maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles (129 kilometres) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. It was headed north-northwest at 23 miles per hour. A short time earlier, the National Hurricane Center reclassified the storm: Hurricane Sandy became a post-tropical cyclone, a scientific renaming that had no bearing on the powerful winds, driving rains and life-threatening storm surges expected to accompany its push onto land."

storm surge – a sudden increase in the height of waves in the sea during a storm น้ำทะเลหนุน
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
merciless – showing no kindness or pity  ไร้ความปราณี, ปราศจากความเมตตา
mammoth – extremely large; huge  มหึมา,ใหญ่โตมาก
enormous – extremely large มหาศาล
lash – to hit with a lot of force กระทบอย่างแรง
batter – to hit something hard many times ตีติดต่อกัน, โจมตีติดต่อกัน
slam – to hit with great force ชนเข้าอย่างแรง
paralyse – to cause to be unable to move or function ทำให้เป็นอัมพาต
titanic – very large, important, strong or difficult ใหญ่โต
humongous – very big ใหญ่มาก
staying power – having the ability to remain powerful for a long time; not easily defeated
tide – the regular rise and fall of the level of the sea (the tides) ปรากฏการณ์น้ำขึ้นน้ำลง, กระแสน้ำขึ้นน้ำลง
wreak havoc – to cause something bad to happen in a violent and often uncontrolled way ทำให้เกิด ความเสียหายอย่างรุนแรง, ทำให้เกิดความหายนะ
equisitely bad timing – happening at the worst possible time
plow into – to crash into something with great force ชนเข้าอย่างแรง
coast – an area of land beside the sea ชายฝั่ง
gust – a sudden strong increase in the amount and speed of wind that is blowing ลมแรงที่พัดขึ้นอย่างกะทันหัน
generation – a group of people in society who are born and live around the same time รุ่น (คนรุ่นต่างๆ)
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
soaked – very wet  เปียกโชก
swath – (or swathe) – a long strip or area of land  แนวหรือแถบกว้าง
landfall – the land that you see or arrive at first after a journey by sea or by air or the place where a storm coming from the sea first hits land การเข้าหาแผ่นดิน, การเห็นแผ่นดิน
maximum – the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
sustained – continuing at the same level ต่อเนื่อง
classify – to divide things into groups according to their type จัดประเภท
cyclone – a violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle พายุหมุนไซโคลน
no bearing on – having no relevance to ไม่เกี่ยวข้องกับ
life-threatening – serious enough to possibly cause death

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