By evening, a record 13-foot storm surge was threatening Manhattan’s southern tip, howling winds had left a crane hanging from a high-rise, and utilities deliberately darkened part of downtown Manhattan to avoid storm damage.
“It’s really a complete ghost town now,” said Stephen Weisbrot, from a powerless 10th-floor apartment in lower Manhattan.
Water lapped over the seawall in Battery Park City, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads. Rescue workers floated bright orange rafts down flooded downtown streets, while police officers rolled slowly down the street with loudspeakers telling people to go home.
“Now it’s really turning into something,” said Brian Damianakes, taking shelter in an ATM vestibule and watching a trash can blow down the street in Battery Park before the storm surge.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday night that the surge was expected to recede by midnight, after exceeding an original expectation of 11 feet.
We knew that this was going to be a very dangerous storm and the storm has met our expectations,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-long-time storm.”
Image: Consolidated Edision trucks are submerged on 14th Street near the ConEd power plant, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy knocked out power to at least 3.1 million people, and New York's main utility said large sections of Manhattan had been plunged into darkness by the storm, with 250,000 customers without power as water pressed into the island from three sides, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads.