Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Business

October 30, 2012

Sandy moves west, leaving devastation, deaths in its wake

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Sandy forced three nuclear power plants to shut and put another on alert as federal regulators dispatched inspectors to monitor 11 facilities in the path of the storm.

The nation's oldest nuclear power plant, Exelon Corp.'s Oyster Creek facility in New Jersey, declared an alert last night due to elevated levels of water in its water-intake structure, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement.

Insured losses may exceed $6 billion, led by costs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and New York, according to estimates from Kinetic Analysis Corp. compiled by Bloomberg. As many as 10 million people may lose power, according to Seth Guikema, a Johns Hopkins University engineer.

Airlines grounded 6,047 of U.S. flights, or 20 percent of those scheduled for today. About 12,500 trips were canceled from Oct. 28 until today, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based tracking company.

Washington's transit authority said limited Metro rail and bus service would start at 2 p.m. today, with full service resuming Wednesday. Downed trees and power outages might cause delays or detours on some bus routes, it warned.

All U.S. equity markets, which were closed yesterday, were shut again today, the first shutdown for consecutive days due to weather since 1888. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said bond trading would be suspended today.

The floor and building of the New York Stock Exchange "are fine" and the company is working toward restoring normal trading, according to Robert Rendine, a spokesman. NYSE Euronext's building on Wall Street is close to the section of Manhattan that was flooded when the storm propelled a 13-foot sea surge as it came ashore Monday night.

Phillips 66, NuStar Energy and Hess Corp. shut or reduced output at three New Jersey refineries ahead of the storm's landfall. At least three other plants were running at reduced rates.

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