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The superstorm named Sandy brought flooding and power outages to the city with surges higher than the estimated 10 to 12 feet, but few deaths were reported.
The MTA is calling this the worst disaster in its history and an extended shutdown looms. Officials said it could take between 14 hours to four days to clear water from the tunnels.
At least 660,000 customers in New York had lost power as of late Monday night, and Con Ed says it could be a week before everyone gets power back. A customer is an individual meter, so the actual number of people affected is higher. Some 5.2 million people were left without electricity across the region. At least 10 deaths were blamed on the storm.
The city's storm shelters didn't reach 4 percent of their total capacity, even though Mayor Bloomberg urged 375,000 people in evacuation zones to leave, including 45,000 public housing residents. Cops with bullhorns drove building to building in the projects and Housing Authority workers knocked on doors.
Flooding overwhelmed Red Hook and Lower Manhattan. One of the units at Indian Point nuclear power plant was shut down. The boom of a construction crane for one of Manhattan's tallest residential towers was broken in the storm and dangles high above the city. 911 received 10 times more calls than usual.
The worst of Sandy is expected to hit the city Monday afternoon at the earliest. Officials warned the storm could wreak destruction in the Northeast for days. The New York area is expected to see some of the largest surges â€” and surges of 6 to 11 feet at Lower Manhattan have been predicted. Con Edison hasn't said how long New Yorkers might be without power if the storm damaged its network, but New Jersey utilities warned repairs could take up to 10 days after the storm. The MTA expressed optimism about restoring service by Wednesday, a return to normal is likely to come in fits and starts. Restoration of mass-transit service wasn't likely until at least 12 hours after the storm had passed. Bridges will close if sustained winds reach 60 miles per hour. By last night, 1,300 people had gone to 76 city shelters, with a capacity of 70,000. Some people experienced glitches with the evacuation app on NYC.gov website Sunday, creating confusion over whether to evacuate or not. Cuomo said that 1,100 National Guard troops had been deployed, including 200 in New York City.
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