Hurricane Sandy bore down on America's East Coast while we were sleeping last night, hitting New York and Manhattan, large parts of New Jersey and floods and damage as far as Buffalo City. Its one of the largest storms seen this decade since Hurricane Katrina, although the scale of the devastation and damage has yet to be determined. Generally, locals were forwarned and ready for the storm, boarding up houses, blocking off entrances to subways and evacuating people in areas that would be hardest hit. The presidentiual elections have been halted for a minimum of 48 hours and that postponement may even last a full week as several states are unable to get voting venues up on time. Several parts of New York are deserted and subways have to be given the all-clear before anything starts again, which might take longer than the rather optimistic estimate of two weeks. Lower Manhattan is experiencing water levels of two metres or more and many homes, cars, schools and buildings have been damaged, some irreparably.