Hurricane Sandy Path: Deadly hurricane to converge with winter storm
Near the city of Guantanamo, the Communist Party daily Granma reported, two men were killed by falling trees. Official news media reported Friday that the storm caused 5,000 houses to at least partially collapse while ripping the roofs off 30,000 others.
Banana, coffee, bean and sugar crops were damaged. On Friday afternoon, the hurricane's center was about 30 miles north-northeast of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and 430 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Sandy was moving north at 7 mph with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph.
Government officials in the Bahamas said the storm seems to have inflicted the greatest damage on Cat Island, which took a direct hit, and Exuma, where there were reports of downed trees, power lines and damage to homes.
"I hope that's it for the year," said Veronica Marshall, a 73-year-old hotel owner in Great Exuma. "I thought we would be going into the night, but around 3 o'clock it all died down. I was very happy about that."
In Long Island, farmers lost most of their crops and several roofs were torn off, said legislator Loretta Butler-Turner.
The island is without power and many residents do not have access to fresh water, she said. With the storm projected to hit the Atlantic coast early Tuesday, there was a 90 percent chance that most of the U.S. East Coast would get steady gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Wednesday, U.S. forecaster Jim Cisco said.
A new tropical storm watch was issued early Friday for a section of the U.S. East Coast extending from Savannah, Ga., northward to North Carolina's Outer Banks. In the Bahamas, power was out on Acklins Island and most roads there were flooded, while in Ragged Island in the southern Bahamas, the lone school was flooded.
Russell, the emergency management official in Nassau, said docks on the western side of Great Inagua island had been destroyed and the roof of a government building was partially ripped off. Jennifer Savoie, a New Orleans native who lives in Eleuthera, said that her fiance's resort, The Cove Eleuthera, was spared major damage but that power is out across most of the island.
"We know the protocol and how to prepare," she said. "It's in our blood. We were hit pretty hard though." There were no reports of injuries at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, but there were downed trees and power lines, said Kelly Wirfel, a base spokeswoman.
Officials canceled a military tribunal session scheduled for Thursday for the prisoner charged in the 2000 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole. Officials reported flooding across Haiti, where many of the 370,000 people still displaced by the devastating 2010 earthquake scrambled for shelter.
More than 1,000 people were evacuated from 11 quake settlements, according to the International Organization for Migration.
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