Sympathy for colleagues as US deals with Sandy aftermath

UK publishers have spoken of their concern for US colleagues as the east coast struggles with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.

Helen Bray, director of communication and branding at Wiley, said US colleagues at the offices at Hoboken, New Jersey (pictured) were having a "tough time".

"We're all feeling enormous sympathy for them," she said. "The impact and aftermath [of hurricane Sandy] are shocking, with damage greater than previously estimated. Many colleagues – in Hoboken and elsewhere – have been seriously affected with homes flooded, storm damage and many people without power." Bray said a full picture of the effects of the storms on colleagues was yet to emerge. "The power outages make communication difficult and clearly those most affected are busy dealing with the practicalities, with flood waters still across much of Hoboken," she said.  

Alyx Price, consumer, marketing and communications director at Scholastic Childrens Books, said the company's Broadway office was one of those closed due to flooding. "There is no electricity because of the floods," she said. "But they have been extremely well organised and set it up for people to access email from home, so we are receiving emails and it's business as usual. We're worried and concerned, though pleased to know that everyone is well. There's a lot of sympathy going back and forth but we're trying not to bombard them with emails."

Overlook Press is also understood to be suffering a blackout, with m.d. Peter Mayer's own house without power as well. Publishers Weekly also reports that the New York offices of Harlequin and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have been affected by blackouts.

However Simon and Schuster's New York offices have remained open, with systems now back on line. Spokesperson Adam Rothbert said it was hoped that its distribution centre would be "fully operational by the end of the day."