Weather Updates

Businesses go into action for megastorm Sandy

Two people watch waves Sunday afternoEven Chicago arecould see some impact from Hurricane Sandy. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Two people watch the waves Sunday afternoon Even the Chicago area could see some impact from Hurricane Sandy. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 1, 2012 4:27PM

Chicago area companies are on high alert with emergency command centers and crisis teams operating 24/7 to respond to Hurricane Sandy’s havoc.

Motorola Solutions, the Schaumburg-based provider of walkie-talkies and communications gear to police and fire departments, has deployed technicians to major East Coast cities to help keep the emergency operations working, said spokesman Steve Gorecki.

The company’s customers include some of the forecasted hardest-hit areas. Motorola Solutions sells and maintains statewide communications systems in South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and municipal systems in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C.

A furious Hurricane Sandy made the westward lurch that forecasters feared and took dead aim at New Jersey and Delaware on Monday, washing away part of the Atlantic City boardwalk, putting the presidential campaign on hold and threatening to cripple Wall Street and the New York subway system with an epic surge of seawater.

Gaining speed and power through the day, the storm knocked out electricity to more than 1 million people and figured to upend life for tens of millions more. It clobbered the boarded-up big cities of the Northeast corridor, from Washington and Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York and Boston, with stinging rain and gusts of more than 85 mph.

As it drew near, Sandy moved closer to converging with two cold-weather systems to form a hellish superstorm of snow, rain and wind. Forecasters warned of 20-foot waves bashing into the Chicago lakefront and up to 3 feet of snow in West Virginia.

The New York Stock Exchange canceled trading Monday and again today, Oct. 30.

Airlines canceled more than 12,000 flights, disrupting the plans of travelers all over the world, and storm damage was projected at $10 billion to $20 billion, meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Motorola Solutions also has deployed fuel trucks for emergency generators and sent hundreds of portable radios and radio batteries to police agencies for backup.

Sears was keeping an eye on the storm from its command center in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, which along with a 45-member crisis team, keep tabs of store closings and emergency needs.

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