UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations headquarters suffered severe damage when Sandy, a massive storm that hit the US East Coast this week, caused heavy flooding at the world body's Manhattan complex along the East River, the UN security chief said on Thursday.
Sandy made landfall in New York City on Monday evening, flooding many parts of lower Manhattan and leaving nearly 2 million residents of New York state without electricity. The storm surge from the East River also affected the United Nations, which remained shut from Monday to Wednesday.
"Tuesday morning it became evident that we had suffered pretty major damage in the United Nations," UN Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security Gregory Starr told reporters.
"The storm surge, which was higher than anyone predicted, came over the FDR Drive, came into the service drive at the 3B (basement) level of the United Nations, rose above our loading dock levels of the 3B and then started plummeting down into the lower levels of the United Nations," he said.
Starr said this caused problems with the UN complex's chilled-air plant, electrical operations and communications.