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JJ BS: Storm warnings-east coast US ['Sandy'] (189* d) RE: BS: Storm warnings-east coast US ['Sandy'] 30 Oct 12


On Morningside Heights, just south of Columbia University in Manhattan, we didn't even lose power. But in some places in this area, it's about as bad as it gets.

Hope it's not that way for any of you, who may be getting much more rain than hit us. The sister of a friend in Charleston, WV, has two feet of snow.

The New Jersey shore has been wiped out as surely as if it had been carpet bombed. Storm surge obliterated Atlantic City and drove rail cars onto the NJ Turnpike near Newark.

Lower Manhattan was flooded by three feet of water at the Battery -- that's where the Staten Island and Statue of Liberty Ferries are -- extending northward at least through the uptown border of Battery Park and sending 11.5 feet of salt water into the entrance of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which looked like a waterslide.

Manhattan lost almost all power below 42nd St., river to river. Our friends who live a block from the Hudson could see it coming up 41st St. and expected to lose power imminently, but did not.

The Lincoln Tunnel remained open through it all, but the bridges were shut down, as were the Queens-Midtown and Holland Tunnels, after they began to flood. The bridges reopened at noon.

Buses will start running soon, free on limited routes, but no one knows when the subways will reopen. Five days, maybe? On a normal day, they pump out around 15 million gallons of water from the subway tunnels. But the pumps were never made for this. The subway tunnels under the East River have four feet of salt water in them, and that's corrosive.

For the City of New York, this is an unprecedented disaster. Deaths, thank heaven, are currently very low. But five million people use subways, buses and trains to come to work here every day, and almost none of these are running.


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