Tropical Storm Sandy has devastated the east coast of the United States, claiming lives, destroying infrastructure and wreaking havoc on one of the world’s most visited cities, New York.
With thousands of vacationers and business travelers still stranded in the city – thanks to a storm that has claimed over 50 lives, caused over US$20 billion worth of damage and triggered widespread flooding, fires and blackouts – the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has estimated the catastrophe would end up costing the city millions of dollars in corporate travel spending.
“New York is a critical economic centre and global travel hub, and we are extremely concerned about the ramifications of the city being essentially shut down for business travel,” GBTA spokesperson Meghan Henning said.
In an update on the city’s response to Sandy, New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg said that even though Hurricane Sandy had officially left the New York area, the path of destruction she has left in her wake will be felt for quite some time.
“MTA CEO Joe Lhota has described this as the worst disaster the agency has seen in the 108 years the subways have been running and Con Ed has described the damage done to its power systems as unprecedented in scope,” he said.
JFK and Newark airports have reopened with delays while LaGuardia airport remains closed.
The New York Stock Exchange resumed business on Wednesday, while no firm timeline for the reactivation of train services has been announced.
The majority of hospitals and schools have been closed and will remain so until further notice.
“New York City’s resiliency in difficult times has been proven again and again, and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our emergency services personnel we are diligently working to resolve all issues and expect to be fully operational again in the coming days,” NYC & Company chief executive George Fertitta said.
Although Sandy has passed through New York, US President Barack Obama has warned that the Superstorm is far from over, as the cyclone moves northwards towards Canada.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T