Historic Hurricane Sandy slammed the tri-state area Monday, leaving millions without power in the region, the lower Manhattan skyline darkened, sea water rushing into subway and car tunnels, and Hudson River water spilling deep into Manhattan streets.
It was unclear how much damage the subway and other transit infrastructure sustained, and the MTA said there is no official timetable for reopening.
"Well it's tough to put a timetable on service restoration, it really depends on the operating conditions that our subway personnel begin to assess when they go into the subway tunnels," said MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan.
Most major bridges, tunnels and airports remain closed. Meanwhile, much of Manhattan south of 39th Street was in the dark late Monday.
The storm, which made landfall around 8 p.m. near Atlantic City, has so far claimed at least two lives in New York City -- a Queens man killed when a tree fell on his house, and a woman who reportedly touched live wires in water. The storm surge has also submerged a bridge that connects the A train to Howard Beach. It has also unleashed terrifying flooding in low-lying areas that were under mandatory evacuation orders.
NYU Langone Medical Center, facing flooding from the East River, began evacuating about 215 patients from the Kips Bay hospital Monday night. The process is expected last through Tuesday morning.
The storm, moving faster than predicted, has left forecasters grasping for historical comparisons for the storm that has unleashed a wall of water and hurricane-force winds on the tri-state area.
The most intense storm surges in New York Harbor started around 6:30 p.m. and continued for hours before receding. Additional surges are possible Tuesday during high tides.
A crane partially collapsed from the top of the under-construction skyscraper One57 in midtown Manhattan. It is now dangling from atop the tower, and was buffeted by hurricane force winds. An evacuation was conducted in the immediate area. In Chelsea, the facade of a building collapsed at 92 Eighth Ave., exposing apartments within. There were no reports of injuries in the incident just north of 14th Street.
Flooding was extensive outside of New York, with much of Atlantic City under water. Closer to New York, Hoboken is experiencing serious flooding.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was "better prepared" than ever for a storm, the worst of which awaits this evening. A jogger was injured by a falling tree limb in Brooklyn, but otherwise no injuries have been reported, he said.
The storm has begun to merge with a cold front and is no longer considered a hurricane, but its punch was in no way diminished.
The storm could ultimately impact 60 million people and leave 10 million in the dark.
Officials scrambled to express how grave the risk was. In Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley said "there will be people who die" in the storm. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy called it "the most catastrophic event" of our lifetimes. And Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, urging evacuation of vulnerable barrier islands, was characteristically blunt: "This is not a time to be stupid."
Office of Emergency Management Joseph Bruno told PIX 11 that coastal surges and flooding are the biggest concern, and coping with the aftermath.
"Getting back from there is going to be tough."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times