The heart of Hurricane Sandy rolled through New York and New Jersey on Monday night, leaving tremendous damage in its wake. We'll keep updating this post with news and updates on recovery as the events unfold. All times given are Eastern.
11:52 p.m.: The death toll in New York City has risen from 18 to 22, as the storm continued to move inland towards Canada. In New York City, ferry service is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, as is Amtrak service along the East Coast.
11:28 p.m.: The flooded subway stations, now in video format:
10:34 p.m.: The images coming out of New Jersey seem to get worse and worse. A brief aerial video of the Jersey Shore shows house after house completely devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and as Governor Chris Christie made clear in a news conference on Tuesday night, a lot of the areas most iconic sights are no more. "We'll rebuild it," said Christie. "But for those of us who are my age, it will not be the same. Many of the iconic things are gone, washed into the ocean."
10:10: p.m.:Good news for air travelers: New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark International Airport will be open for business on Wednesday. Bad news for air travelers: LaGuardia and Teterboro will not.
10:02 p.m.: On Monday afternoon, a homeless woman wandering around New Haven Green in New Haven, Connecticut discovered a human skeleton underneath an uprooted tree. The tree is a "Lincoln Oak," planted on the 100-year anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and local authorities believe that the skeleton could be from colonial times.
9:43 p.m.: The MTA has released some photos of the stations that are fully submerged. If you're having a hard time wrapping your head around why the subway could be closed for weeks, this vista should provide a little bit of clarity. This is the South Ferry station:
9:21 p.m.: Power is slowly returning to the millions left in the dark. As of 9 p.m., 6.9 million people in 15 states and the District of Columbia were without power. That's about a million less than it was around 5 p.m., though.
9:04 p.m.: The New Jersey Governor's Office has posted some aerial photos of the flooding along the Jersey as well as a few Chris Christie action shots. (There's not much action, but there is a lot of Chris Christie.) Below is a residential street in Belmar, NJ:
And behold, the prime real estate in Seaside, NJ is mostly underwater:
8:35 p.m.: Suffolk County officials just confirmed two more deaths on Long Island, bringing to total death toll up to 48, 18 of whom were killed in New York City. The two Suffolk County deaths occurred after a woman hit a Suffolk County police cruiser while going through an intersection. The traffic lights had been knocked out.
8:11 p.m.: Chris Christie made the rounds of evening news shows and continued to shower Obama with praise. "I am not going to play politics with this issue, this is so much bigger than an election," Christie told CNN's Piers Morgan, stressing that this disaster is "much bigger than the election." Christie added, "When someone asks me an honest question, I give an honest answer: 'How's the president been to deal with?' He's been outstanding to deal with on this. And I look forward to seeing him tomorrow so he can see for himself, what this hurricane has done to my state."
5:55 p.m.: At his address this evening, Bloomberg gave it straight about the status of the city. "I don't think it's any secret Sandy hit us very hard," he said, noting 18 deaths in New York following Sandy. "But New Yorkers are resilient." He also noted that "restoring power and mass transit remain the two biggest challenges" before giving a rundown of the current options for city travelers. The busses are free, for now. He also signed an order to allow cabs to pick up multiple passengers.
Following Bloomberg's address, The CEO of ConEd also confirmed that it will take 3 to 4 days to fix damages to its substation. Bottom line: Service might come back in the next day or so. But don't expect it.
It doesn't sound like Obama will make it to New York, however, with Bloomberg saying his trip to New Jersey tomorrow will represent the whole region.
5:51 p.m.: Fort Lee, N.J has declared a state of emergency, instituting a 6 p.m. curfew for all residents, reports NorthNewJersey.com.
5:45 p.m.: Mayor Bloomberg has scheduled another update at 5:45 p.m., we've posted the live stream below.
5:44 p.m.: In case all the photo imagery wasn't enough, the MTA takes us inside a flooded subway station.
5:41 p.m.: The NYC transit system is in a slow rehabilitation.
Partial bus service has been restored. We'll have more details soon on which routes are back.
The real cause was more prosaic: Water surging up from the East River submerged some electrical equipment in metal sheds, causing it to shut off power to about 250,000 customers of Consolidated Edison, a company executive said Tuesday.
5:10 p.m.: All those huddled masses around those surge protectors now have a place to go. Goldman Sachs has charging and water stations for Battery Park City residents.
PHOTO: Reminder for BPC residents, we have charging stations and water at Vesey and North End Ave until it gets dark. twitter.com/GoldmanSachs/s…
4:57 p.m.: ConEd says that lower Manhattan can expect up to four days without power, reports Reuters. More than 250,000 are without power, as of now. "This is the largest storm-related outage in our history," said Sara Banda, a spokeswoman for Con Edison. "We try to restore lines that will get power to the most customers possible, but it will depend on the equipment."
4:43 p.m.: So, this is what happened to all of New York City's rats.
3:51 p.m.: In addition to the Park Slope Parade, The Village Halloween parade has been canceled, for the first time in 39 years. "We hope that everyone who would have come to the Parade is safe and that those who can volunteer to help out at one of the Emergency Outreach Centers near you," reads the event site.
3:35 p.m.: Maybe somewhere to take the kids after you explain that Halloween might not happen this year.
Good news! National Zoo will re-open to the public on Wednesday.
3:19 p.m.: Still without power, New Yorkers huddle around the 21st century fire. (Via @GilGul)
3:07 p.m.: The President's first trip outside of D.C. will be to visit New Jersey tomorrow afternoon, according to a White House statement. There he will meet with Governor Chris Christie in "viewing the storm damage, talking with citizens who are recovering from the storm and thanking first responders who put their lives at risk to protect their communities."
2:50 p.m.: Obama's afternoon excursion was to visit the Red Cross, where he said there was "no excuse for inaction." "No bureaucracy. No red tape," he continued.
2:25 p.m.: While it's a little hard to think of Halloween at a time like this, the cancellation of Park Slope's Halloween parade is still a bummer. Though, AllThingsD's Peter Kafka says trick or treating is still on.
2:18 p.m.: POTUS has left his White House to an "unspecified location," according to a pool report. Possibly to react to Sandy "too quickly" somewhere.
2:14 p.m.: Hit a lot less hard than NY, the Washington Metro is reporting trains moving on all lines.
2:10 p.m.: As we sift through the damage, the official death toll climbs to 38, reports The AP.
1:58 p.m.: Looting reports have started coming in, though it's not clear if they are true. An unconfirmed @NYScanner tweet says NYPD officers are on their way down to Brooklyn. And The Gothamist has a report from South Street Seaport with a security guard claiming to have seen looters at the South Street Seaport. However, ABC News's Jeffrey Schneider denies that.
Brooklyn: Multiple NYPD Officers enroute to the 60 Precinct to help out with Mobs who are looting storefronts in several neighborhoods.
12:42 p.m.: U.S. markets will re-open tomorrow. Trading floors will apparently be operational, though we imagine the work actually done there will be light, and most trading will be done electronically. (As it already is.)
12:38 a.m.: Here's an amazing picture of the devastation of at New York's LaGuardia Airport, via Jalopnik. (It does appears to be legit, given this similar photo from another angle.)
11:44 a.m.: Gov. Cuomo makes a not-very veiled reference to climate change, saying that "anyone who says there hasn't been a dramatic change in weather patterns is in denial."
11:40 a.m.: One of the obstacles to recovery? This boat, which ended up on railroad tracks in Ossining, NY
11:29 a.m.: Governor Cuomo is speaking now. He says that NYPD, state police, and National Guard members "saved hundreds of lives" yesterday. Cuomo confirms that all bridges (except those to the Rockaways) are open and some bus service will return today. JFK airport may open tomorrow, but LaGuardia will definitely not, because of damage. Nearly 90% of the Long Island residents are without power. Says: "We're going to have to think about it as a long-term recovery effort."
11:27 a.m.: President Obama has canceled all of his campaign events for Wednesday and will remain in Washington to deal with storm recovery.
Breezy Point, NY. AP Photo.
11:06 a.m.: Bloomberg: 10 people dead in the city. 80 houses lost in Breezy Point. 750,000 people without power. Public transportation remains closed until further notice. No timeline on return of bus service and subway. Limited bus service may be available later today. 911 services still working, but needs to be reserved for life-threatening emergencies only. Schools will be closed on Wednesday. Stay away from parks, beaches, damaged trees, and downed power lines. He guess it will take 3-4 days to restore power to all customers, and longer to restore full subways service. Drinking water is safe.
11:05 a.m.: Mayor Bloomberg is speaking at a press conference now. You can watch below:
10:56 a.m.: The New York Post reports that the East River Crossings (the Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn, and 59th Street Bridges) have all re-opened between Manhattan and Brooklyn/Queens.
10:40 a.m.: NJ Governor Chris Christie is giving a press conference update and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo are expected to give their own shortly. Christie says he may have to cancel all Halloween activities and "doesn't give a damn about election day." He says the full recovery could take months. Here's another tweet from Governor Cuomo's account:
9:20 a.m.: NY1 reporter Dean Meminger reporting from Rockaway Beach in New York had this shot of the boardwalk, which came lose from the beach and slammed into the street. He says the entire boardwalk is gone in the section of the beach.
9:07 a.m.: NY Governor Andrew Cuome says the Tappan Zee Bridge, across the upper Hudson River has reopened, but there's really no reason to commute anywhere, unless you're an emergency worker. The Lincoln Tunnel is the only route connecting directly to New York City.
9:01 a.m.: Here's a recap about that false report about the floor of the NY Stock Exchange flooding last night. (It's not even wet.) CNN repeated a false message board claim as the truth.
9:00 a.m.: A ton of photos are coming in as people venture outside for the first time. Most of the water has receded, the winds have died down considerably, and the sun is out. However, most are still without power and transortation, not just in New York City, but across New Jersey and Connecticut as well. This photo comes from a road tunnel that runs under Battery Park, connecting the East and West of Manhattan at its very tip.
8:25 a.m.: Another photo that gives you a sense of the damage. This restaurant is just a block from the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge. You can see how high the water got, though thankfully, it seems to be fully receded.
7:50 a.m.: A reminder that further inland, Sandy meant a blizzard. Several inches of snow were dumped on areas of West Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
7:41 a.m.: A flooded subway station at 145th St. in Upper Manhattan. For those unfamiliar with the NYC subway, the yellow lines are where the platform drops 4-to-5 feet down to the tracks. Photo credit: unknown, via Twitter.
7:12 a.m.: Another dramatic photo from last night: "Firemen search for people trapped in their cars at 14th street and Avenue C in Manhattan." That building in front of them is the substation that exploded in lower Manhattan last night.
7:09 a.m.: High tide is once again on the way for the New York area, between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. in most areas.
7:06 a.m.: President Obama has declared a major disaster in New York and New Jersey, opening up federal funds for reconstruction and recovery.
7:01 a.m.: An update on the fire in Breezy Point, a coastal community in Queens. More than 50 homes are reportedly destroyed, as many as 20 more still be burning, and more than 200 firefighters are on the scene. Sitting at the tip of the Rockaway Pennisula, the neighborhood is one of the most isolated in the city, making it difficult for firefighters to reach. Fortunately, it was in the evacuation zone, so few, if any, people were there when the fire broke out.
7:00 a.m.: Atlantic City saw some of the worst flooding of any community, but it's famously bright skyline is still glowing.
6:58 a.m.: New York blogger and reliable eyewitness Newyorkist says that cars are being allowed over the Williamsburg Bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn, which would means that winds have finally died down to a reasonable level.
6:54 a.m.: Remarkably, that broken crane is still dangling over 57th Street in Manhattan and has not fallen to the street. If you want to keep an eye on it (like we are), CBS News has a camera trained on it.
6:53 a.m.: A fallen tree sprung a gas leak in Montgomery County, Maryland, but it was quickly contained and residents were evacuated without incident.
6:40 a.m.: A quick summary of the state of things this morning: There have been 15 deaths blamed on the storm in the United States, with causes including flying debris, downed trees, and car accidents. There was a death as far north as Canada, plus 67 last week during the storm's early beginnings in the Caribbean. More than 7.5 million people are without power. All U.S. financial markets remains closed on Tuesday, the first time that has happened two days in a row since the 1800s. The Lincoln Tunnel has reportedly reopened in one direction (from NY to NJ), but all bridges and tunnels remain closed. All highways in New Jersey and Delaware remain closed, except for emergency personnel. All three airports in the New York metro area remain closed, and all Amtrak service in the Northeast Region is suspended again on Tuesday.
2:12 p.m. OK, a few things to go through here. It's going to be a long night for emergency workers, so I'd like to take a minute to say thank you to each and every one of them.The FDNY twitter feed is really stressful, I suggest avoiding it. They're currently responding to numerous fires around the city. The worst of all, though, seems to be a 4-alarm fire happening right now in the Rockaways:
QNS 4-ALARM BREEZY POINT FIRE, 15 BUILDINGS FULLY INVOLVED,
The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal.