Sandy disrupts voting; U.S. Northeast braces for new storm

Tue Nov 6, 2012 11:37pm GMT

By Daniel Trotta and Sharon Reich

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy created chaos and long lines at voting stations in the U.S. Northeast on Tuesday while officials braced for a new storm due to batter the region on Wednesday.

The former hurricane that walloped New York and New Jersey eight days ago continued to create misery for the thousands who lost their homes and 900,000 households and businesses that remained without power.

Voters casting ballots for the U.S. president endured confusion at makeshift polling stations. In New York City's Rockaways, a badly damaged barrier island community facing the Atlantic, people whose homes were damaged or destroyed or lacked power went to vote in a tent.

"This is OK," said voter Alex Valger, comparing the polling place to near-freezing temperatures at home. "You ever try to sleep in a house where there is no heating control and the temperature outside is 34 (Fahrenheit)?"

In Brooklyn's Coney Island neighbourhood, still far from recovered from Sandy's onslaught, voting had to be relocated from one school to another that lacked handicap access.

At least two voters had to be carried up the 17 steps, said Sally Stein, the polling place coordinator. Election board officials also made them relocate to another room halfway through the day because they considered the first room a fire hazard.

"I'm very disgusted today, very disgusted," Stein said.

Still crawling out the devastation of Sandy, the region braced for a smaller but powerful storm, a nor'easter due to bring 60-mph (95-kph) winds and a mix of rain and snow on Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures could dip toward freezing or below.   Continued...

A gas company employee pauses while he surveys damage incurred by hurricane Sandy in the Queens borough region of Breezy Point in New York, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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