After a long night filled with screeching winds, fire alarms and the sound of breaking tree limbs, Sandy exited New York City on Tuesday morning, leaving a trail of lost lives, power failures, flooding and structural damages throughout the metro area.
President Obama officially declared the city a disaster.
There were at least 17 deaths in New York City, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stated in an address, noting that some were killed by stepping in a puddle where a power line had fallen. Another died when a tree fell on a house, according to The New York Times.
More than 600,000 people were left without power, Bloomberg added. It could be days before energy was restored, he said.
For those whose cable and power were left intact, images of a darkened lower Manhattan had populated the Internet Monday night, as did eerie scenes of floating cars, exploding transformers and the Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park surrounded by a moat, due to the high tide.
The severity of flooding in subway tunnels left the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Joseph J. Lhota calling the storm “the most destructive in the 108-year history of New York’s subway system.” The MTA was still assessing damages by midday and could not confirm a timeline for restored tunnel service. In the meantime, however, bus lines would begin operating on a Sunday schedule as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Additionally, cab drivers, black cabs and livery drivers were all permitted to pick up multiple fares, even if a passenger was already inside the car, announced Mayor Bloomberg in an early morning address. The notice will remain in place until MTA service is restored.
When it made landfall at 8 p.m. on Monday, its violent winds and lashing rains began to transform city landscapes into tableaus of destruction in the region, stated The New York Times.
In Brooklyn, similar scenes of destruction were quickly revealed, including a Columbia Waterfront District dwelling that had the exterior peeled off during the storm, burned RVs from a late-night fire in Gowanus, continued flooding in the neighborhood of Red Hook and downed trees across multiple other neighborhoods. In Ditmas Park, two deaths were reported from a falling trunk that crushed one couple walking their dog Monday night.
In Breezy Point on the Rockaways in Queens, nearly 200 firefighters were still battling a blaze on Tuesday morning that destroyed about 80 tightly packed homes in the seaside community, according to the Times. A Fire Department spokesman told the newspaper that the area was “probably the most flooded part of the city, so there are all sorts of complications.”