Superstorm Sandy damages UN complex

The United Nations headquarters overlooking the East River here suffered “major damage” as the megastorm Sandy caused heavy flooding in the world body’s complex, the UN security chief has said.

The expansive UN building in the heart of Manhattan reopened on Thursday after remaining closed since Monday in the wake of the storm, which crippled life along the US East Coast and resulted in deaths of over 80 people as well as significant economic damage.
UN officials assessed the damage to the property after the storm had passed and said the “most serious damage” has been due to flooding and high wind, which affected communications and other infrastructure. “Tuesday morning it became evident that we had suffered pretty major damage in the United Nations due to the unprecedented weather event,” UN Under-Secretary General for Safety and Security Gregory Starr told reporters on Thursday.
“The storm surge, which was higher than anyone predicted, came over the FDR Drive, came into the service drive at the basement level of the United Nations, rose above our loading dock levels of the basement and then started plummeting down into the lower levels of the United Nations,” he said.
Starr said the storm and the subsequent flooding damaged the UN’s chilled-air plant system and other electrical operations. “We are not back to full operations,” he said.“We clearly have some damage to our communications systems.”

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