Bay Area residents are watching in worry as water rises and darkness descends on New York, New Jersey and many other parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

As of Tuesday morning, 35 people had died, according to an Associated Press report, many of them hit by falling trees.

Power outages have affected 8.2 million people, many of them are stranded because of flooding and the suspension of trains and buses. “My father’s in the blackout zone in lower Manhattan — no power, phone, water, elevator — and he’s on the 21st floor,” KQED online editor Jon Brooks said. “Not really sure what I can do, can’t raise him on his cell phone. Trying to figure something out.”

Later he got a phone call from someone at a hospital saying his father went there because it was the only place with power.

The Red Cross is sheltering 11,000 people in 258 locations in 16 states, spokesperson Pooja Trivedi told us.

How to Reach Loved Ones

Trivedi suggested that anyone trying to check on a relative in the storm zone visit the organization’s Safe and Well website. People in the path of the storm can register and leave messages. Loved ones can search the site to find the messages.

The Red Cross has also created a  Hurricane App that  gives people affected by the storm key information, such as where to find shelter, and allows them to instantly broadcast an “I’m safe” message through social media.

Trivedi also suggested using text messages to communicate with loved ones because they use less bandwidth.

And social media apps on cell phones may use less power than accessing the social media sites through web browsers, the Associated Press reports.

PBS News Hour is posting updates about the storm:

Bay Area Residents Watch And Worry as Storm Swamps Eastern Cities 30 October,2012Laird Harrison

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