UK & World News
Sandy: New Jersey In No Mood For Politics
It was an eerie feeling driving out to New Jersey, no power, no lights - save those flashing on emergency vehicles.
A large area of the state is without electricity and will probably remain so for days. Three neighbouring towns are under water.
The drive into this flood-ravaged part of the state was equally strange. Empty roads, still being battered by winds and rain, black smoke drifting across the highway, the skyline of lower Manhattan on the horizon, without power.
The only lights we saw were on warning signs, declaring tunnels closed, one spelling out the situation here: "State of emergency."
Outside a New Jersey school we found scenes you do not expect to witness in America.
Military trucks were bringing in storm refugees in a steady stream, young and old clutching precious belongings and pets.
Like the Leo family from Little Ferry down the road. Grandma Adele Leo told me she had lost everything. She lives in the basement - and her 10-year old granddaughter Amanda had raised the alarm as the flood waters rose.
Her father, Mike, said the situation had been nerve-wracking then ran out of words, the strain clearly showing. He had brought his family to safety but they now face days of uncertainty, unclear when they will be allowed to return.
In a converted basketball court, hundreds were preparing to spend the night - their conduct a credit to that famous New Jersey spirit. They looked tense and worried but not a voice was raised.
Police lieutenant Dwane Razzetti said most of his officers had worked almost 48 hours but were still going.
The storm, he said, had exceeded even the worst case scenarios dreamed up by hydrological experts before Sandy struck.
The disaster here was caused by a levee being overwhelmed and that has not happened for almost a century.
The National Guard and emergency services used high-axle trucks and boats to ferry victims to safety. The evacuation has seen a total of 3,000 people leave their homes.
Many of the worst-affected live in trailer parks. Most have heeded the warnings and headed for better shelter.
Not Raymond Neilsen. Crime was a bigger worry than the weather, he told me, but he conceded the last 24 hours had been the worst conditions he had seen in all his 69 years.
President Barack Obama is visiting New Jersey. He says he will not be campaigning, which is just as well. No one we met was in the mood for politics.