Wednesday, October 31 08:50:32
New Yorkers will wake up to some grim sights this morning as Sandy heads for Canada leaving a trail of destruction in it's wake. At the very tip of Manhattan, pedestrians gazed aghast at the sloping entrance to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which descended beneath an underpass sign that read "Clearance 12'-7"." The tunnel was filled to the brim with standing water left by the surge, a sullen brown pond that lapped at the sign. Something shimmered just under the surface. It was a truck, the yellow cab barely visible.
Chris Wildt, a 35-year-old bartender, walked his boxer, Ferguson, along Water Street, past newspaper kiosks tumbled on their sides, an overturned shopping cart, and the decapitated head of a streetlight, showing its wires. He had descended 21 flights of stairs from his blacked-out apartment on John Street to give the dog some air. The previous night he had listened to his windows vibrate while he followed the hurricane on television. Just as a newscaster described a transformer explosion, his building lost power.
"I could hear the pops on TV, and then it went dead," he said. About midnight, Wildt decided to explore. He walked down the stairs into his lobby - and waded into two feet of standing water. The power outages created a weird boundary between the lit, still-switched-on Manhattan and switched-off Manhattan. At 42nd Street, Times Square was ablaze with digital displays and news crawls. Just a few blocks south and east, the palladian windows of City Hall were dark as dusk though it was midday, not even the most important municipal offices spared by the flood-induced outages that left 750,000 people and much of the lower part of the borough without light or other basic services. No street lamps, no news, no transportation, no hot food, no running water, no open businesses, no hotels with concierges.