Town businessman watches as US superstorm hits

Superstorm Sandy from Dan Robinson's window in Manhattan. Below, Dan Robinson

Superstorm Sandy from Dan Robinson's window in Manhattan. Below, Dan Robinson

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A HARTLEPOOL businessman living in Manhattan watched from his window as a violent superstorm battered the area and “shut the city down”.

Dan Robinson, 35, who lives on the 29th floor of an apartment block revealed his building shook as New York was smashed with Superstorm Sandy – a storm the size of Europe.

Pictured(left to right) are Dan Robinson, Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates, Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Michael Bretherick and Hartlepool businessman Ray Wells.

Pictured(left to right) are Dan Robinson, Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates, Hartlepool College of Further Education principal Michael Bretherick and Hartlepool businessman Ray Wells.

The city felt the full force of the storm at around 11pm local time on Monday as 13ft of seawater surged into Manhattan, leaving the area without power and starting a series of electrical fires.

The death toll across the USA and Canada is at least 50, many killed by falling trees.

Dan, who is the son of late town businessman Gus Robinson and chairman of Gus Robinson Development splits his time between the town and Manhattan.

He spoke to the Mail as he gazed from his window in the city yesterday at the aftermath of the killer storm.

“It has just completely shut the city down,” he said.

“It’s like looking down at a scene from a film, it’s deserted.

“My friend emailed me and said he car had floated out of the garage and I can see cars now floating down the street as I look down.”

The superstorm had passed Manhattan yesterday and was heading north. But Dan said Manhattan remained “wet, grey and deserted”.

He added: “We got the worst of it at around 11pm on Monday.

“It was violent, I think the winds got up to about 100mph.

“My windows were locked but one of them blew wide open.

“The building I live in was designed to be hurricane proof but when I was laid in bed I could actually feel it creaking which was kind of concerning.”

Dan’s mum Judith was visiting him in the city and was due to fly back at the weekend but her flight was cancelled. A rescheduled flight yesterday was also one of the hundreds which didn’t leave the ground.

Judith spent the day on the phone yesterday trying to arrange her next flight back home.

Six million homes and businesses were said to be without power after the storm which was declared a “major incident” by US president Barack Obama.

It’s predicted in some areas power could be out for more than eight days.

“We could feel the storm gradually building through the day on Monday,” said Dan.

“We went out to get some groceries but most of the places had shut-up already, we ended up finding a hotel that was still serving food and then came back.

“It’s passed through now.

“Obviously I haven’t been out yet but it just looks really grey and very wet.”