'Stay where you are': Hurricane Sandy recedes, but the serious damage is done
Lights have gone out in Manhattan and Brooklyn and streets are covered by water, just part of the damage from Hurricane Sandy that will cost the city and state tens of millions of dollars to begin to fix.
In a late press conference just now at the Office of Emergency Management, Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed that power has gone out "river-to-river, 34th Street on south," and that according to Con Ed many of the outages will continue through the morning and later.
Part of the complication downtown, according to mayor, is that a backup power system for New York University hospital didn't work, despite the city having received reassurances that it had been tested.
There have been fires around the city from downed wires.
According to the mayor, the worst of the weather has come and gone—gale force winds will be slowing over the next couple of hours, there's no more rain and most crucially, the water surge, which exceeded the most severe estimates the city had beforehand, is beginning to recede.
Bloomberg again urged people not to call 911 for nonemergencies (the system has been receiving 10,000 calls per half hour, he said) and not to drive, since cars have been getting stuck on the roads and impeding emergency vehicles.
"You need to stay where you are," Bloomberg said.
So far one fatality has been reported: a 30-year-old resident of East Flushing was killed by a falling tree. He was in his home.
In the meantime, here's more of what Hurricane Sandy has done to New York City.
An explosion at the 14th Street Con Ed plant, via Trillian Media.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer sent along this photo and said the East River is "reaching 5th Street and beyond," flooding Long Island City.
via The Owl Report.
The East Village, totally dark, from John del Cecato's balcony.
14th Street and Avenue C, via Occupy Wall Street NYC.
The East River creeps onto Long Island City, via Justin Elliott.
First Avenue and 34th Street, soaking wet, according to Cuomo's top aide Howard Glaser.
A rather artsy image of downtown Brooklyn, before the sky turned dark and lights starting going out, via Dana Rubinstein's friend.
The only light Anthony de Rosa sees from his block is from 1 World Trade Center.
Looks like 20th Street and Avenue C is a dangerous river, according to @TheGunzShow.
Fifth Avenue in Greenwich village, nearly without any lights, via David Sigal.