Update: 10:31:12: 18 reported deaths in New York City and 44 in total as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy.
New York and New Jersey suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane Sandy. The NYC storm surge reached heights of 13 feet when the storm hit during high tide.
NYU hospital was evacuated in the middle of the night when all their generators failed. Downtown Manhattan is flooded. Homes and businesses are flooded and vehicles are submerged under water. NYC’s financial district is submerged but they will reopen Wednesday.
All bridges and tunnels are closed except for the Lincoln Tunnel. The West Side Highway and FDR Drive are flooded. Four or Five bus yards were flooded which will keep many buses from running. Some bridges will open later today but no buses will roll today or tomorrow.
Water was seen coming out of the Battery Tunnel on the Brooklyn side from New York City.
All subways under the East River are flooded with salt water.
Seawater is cascading in the gaping pit of the World Trade Center.
Seventy percent of Long Island LIPA customers are without power, which is approximately 900,000 homes and businesses. Long Island has downed trees that will take a good week or more to clear.
There was a massive fire in Breezy Point, a Rockaway, Queens community of beach homes. Firefighters couldn’t get to the homes at first to put the fires out. Daring rescues saved many lives and inured at least three people. More than 195 firefighters fought the blaze.
It is sadly ironic that with all that water, fires consumed 80-100 homes. Streets are still flooded waist high on the Rockaway penninsula.
…Firefighters told WABC-TV that the water was chest high on the street, and they had to use a boat to make rescues. They said in one apartment home, about 25 people were trapped in an upstairs unit, and the two-story home next door was ablaze and setting fire to the apartment’s roof. Firefighters climbed an awning to get to the trapped people and took them downstairs to a boat in the street.
Video footage of the scene showed a hellish swath of tightly packed homes fully engulfed in orange flames as firefighters hauled hoses while sloshing in ankle-high water. Many homes appeared completely flattened by the wind-whipped flames…
Breezy Point fires:
At least 16 people have been reported dead in seven states due to falling trees and electrocution. Insurers are estimating the damage at $20 billion.
The storm cut power to more than 7.4 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio and caused scares at two nuclear power plants.
NE power companies are bringing in crews from as far away as Texas.
The Sentinel is reporting from New York so posting will be sporadic today.