A man walks past destroyed homes on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Officials say New York City's free repair program for storm-damaged homes has fixed up about 50 homes so far, while still just gearing up.
The storm is over, but the recovery from Sandy will go on for months to come. This week the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said they'd seek more than $80 billion in federal aid to rebuild and protect against another devastating storm. Meanwhile, some residents displaced by the storm are struggling with whether rebuilding is worth the cost. We check in for an on-the-ground update.
Flood waters buried E. Main Street and Brown Park in Gaston, Oregon Monday. Photo by Randy Hoodenpyl
In SW Washington's Pacific County, a state trooper's car was struck by a tree at the scene of a mudslide on SR 101 on Monday. An adjacent vehicle was also hit and both caught fire. Trooper and motorist okay. Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Heavy rains and high winds are making it hard to get around parts of western Washington and northwest Oregon this afternoon. Flood watches and warnings are in effect across a wide area of the Northwest. At least half a dozen mudslides have blocked highways and rail lines since this morning .
The freight train of storms pummeling the Northwest has saturated soils. Some places are not getting enough time between downpours for the water to drain off. Oregon's Department of Geology put all of western Oregon on notice for increased potential of landslides.
This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.
National Weather Service is reporting a record-breaking 2.16 inches of rainfall in the last 24 hours, and has issued winter storm advisories and flood warnings for parts of the Puget Sound region. Heavy rains in the area are posing a number of potential hazards, from mudslides to highway closures.
Commuters are being urged to check their routes as rain continues to fall. Sound Transit's northbound Sounder service from Seattle to Everett has been canceled for Monday evening. North Cascades Highway is temporarily closed due to heavy snow and avalanche danger.
Deborah Wang spoke Sarah Miller with Seattle Public Utilities on Monday afternoon about the emerging problem of standing drainage water.
"With 80,000 drains in the city of Seattle, we can't be everywhere. We do clean the drains regularly," Miller explained. "However, when the trees drop their leaves, that happens in a relatively compressed period of time. Much as we get out there to clean the drains throughout the year this problem is exacerbated because the leaves drop at the beginning of November and then plug those drainage outlets."
Miller has been urging Seattle residents to adopt their local drains, to clear them of leaves and debris.
UPDATE at 5:00 p.m. on November 19:
Amtrak's Cascades passenger train service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, has been temporarily canceled. A 48-hour moratorium due to mudslide danger was issued Monday afternoon and may be lifted by Wednesday. Amtrak Cascades announces cancelations and disruptions through their Twitter feed.
A series of Pacific storms will pass over Western Washington throughout this holiday week. The storms will bring heavy rain to the Seattle area and inches of snow and avalanche warnings to the mountains. David Hyde checks in with state and local officials about what we can anticipate over the next few days, and how to best plan your holiday travel.
People watch wave activity at Rockaway beach Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph and the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday night.
In Hollywood, Bobby "Boris" Pickett topped the charts with “Monster Mash.” In New York, James Brown recorded his incredible "Live at the Apollo" album. And in Cuba, offensive missile sites were being built, marking the start of the Cuban missile crisis.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the Pacific Northwest was about to face one of the most destructive natural disasters in American history.