Sandy’s Destruction: Live Updates on the Superstorm’s Aftermath

As Hurricane Sandy continues its path inland, leaving debris and flooding across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, TIME will continue to update this page as the storm develops. Please check back for the latest news.

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Stephen Flood / The Express-Times / AP

A police officer directs traffic as a line of motorists stretches down Frenchtown Road Thursday morning, Nov. 1, 2012 as customers wait to enter a gas station in Milford Borough, N.J.

Oct. 29, 11:45 p.m.: Power outages reached nearly 400,000 by 11 p.m. in the Washington-Baltimore area and are still expected to climb, the Washington Post reports.

Oct. 29, 11:15 p.m.: States of emergency have been declared in North Carolina and West Virginia as both states are bracing themselves for heavy snowstorms, USA Today reports.

Oct. 29, 11:00 p.m.: Patients are being evacuated from the New York University hospital after power outage, the Associated Press reports, citing Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Oct. 29, 10:50 p.m.: Video shows explosion at the Con Edison power plant on Manhattan Island. Con Edison denies reports of workers trapped in the power plant.

Oct. 29, 10:10 p.m.: Sandy is blamed for at least 10 deaths in the U.S., CNN reports.

Oct. 29, 10:10 p.m.: 3.6 million people are without power because of Sandy, according to the Department of Energy.

Oct. 29, 10:00 p.m.: One woman is killed by flying debris in Toronto, CBC News reports. The search for one missing H.M.S. Bounty crew member is still ongoing.

Oct. 29, 9:50 p.m.: Here is a video showing the collapsed building facade on Eighth Avenue, New York City.

Oct. 29, 9:30 p.m.: President Obama signed further emergency declarations for Rhode Island and Delaware, the White House said.

Oct. 29, 8:53 p.m.: According to the New York Times, a 30-year-old man was killed in Queens when a tree fell on his house at around 7 p.m. this evening. This is the first fatality in New York City that is attributed to Sandy.

Oct. 29, 8:35 p.m.: A four-story building collapsed in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, near the corner of 14th Street and Eighth Avenue. Here is a picture of the scene from Patti Sonntag of the New York Times:

And here’s a video.

Oct. 29, 8:05 p.m.: The center of Sandy has made landfall on the New Jersey coastline near Atlantic City, according to the Associated Press. The storm has sustained winds of 85 m.p.h. (137 km/h). More than 1.5 million people are already without power.

Oct. 29, 7:40 p.m.: The New York Times reports that Sandy was downgraded to a post-tropical storm because it is no longer powered by warm temperatures.

Oct. 29, 7:20 p.m.: The Associated Press reported that Sandy has been downgraded to a post-tropical storm from a hurricane. It was losing strength but still had sustained winds of 85 m.p.h. (137 km/h) as it made landfall at Atlantic City, N.J.

Oct. 29, 7:10 p.m.: Hurricane Sandy has made landfall at Atlantic City, N.J., NBC News reported, quoting the National Hurricane Center. The massive storm system came ashore at approximately 6:45 p.m. Already some 700,000 homes and businesses are without power.

Oct. 29, 6:50 p.m.: The New York City Fire Department reports that a four-story building has collapsed in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Initial reports say there are no injuries or trapped residents at the building, located at 92 Eighth Avenue and 14th Street.

Oct. 29, 6:40 p.m.: The Associated Press reports that the Coast Guard has found Claudene Christian, 42, one of the missing crew members from the H.M.S. Bounty, which sank off the coast of North Carolina earlier this morning. She is reportedly unresponsive.

Oct. 29, 6:35 p.m.: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in an evening news conference that more than 47,000 people in the city have lost power so far, with the vast majority in Queens and Staten Island. Additionally, Con Edison might be forced to shut down power in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn in order to protect its equipment from serious damage. If that happens, Bloomberg said power will be restored as soon as possible, depending on how much the storm impacts the utility company’s equipment. —by Erin Skarda

As for the partial crane collapse on 57th Street, Bloomberg said emergency officials are taking every precaution to make sure that no one is injured if the crane falls. The nearby high-end hotel Le Parker Meridien was evacuated earlier this evening, as were the top floors of the surrounding office buildings. Bloomberg said the crane was last inspected on Friday, and he doesn’t believe a malfunction caused the collapse.

Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m.: Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., helped his constituents brave the great blizzard of 2010 and even saved a woman from a burning building in April 2012. Now he is responding to residents’ concerns about Sandy and their reports about storm damage across the city. One example: 

Oct. 29, 6:15 p.m.: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie laid into Atlantic City, N.J., Mayor Lorenzo Langford in a Monday evening press conference. The city has already faced extensive damage and is predicted to be in the eye of the hurricane when it makes landfall in just a few hours. Christie tore into Langford’s call for people to take shelter in the city, as one of the city shelters is a block off the bay and is now flooded and without power.

Christie highlighted that the residents of Atlantic City won’t be able to get emergency help from authorities until 7 a.m., so the people will have to ride it out through the night. As of 5 p.m., the storm was trained on Atlantic City with an expected landfall just after 6 p.m. —by Steven James Snyder

Hoboken, N.J., on the Hudson River across from New York City, is also fearing a huge storm surge and has imposed a 6 p.m. curfew for its residents.

Oct. 29, 6:00 p.m.: According to CNN, Hurricane Sandy isn’t the biggest or fastest-moving storm ever, but it’s already clinched one record: it’s the lowest-pressure storm in history.

Oct. 29, 5:40 p.m.: At 7 p.m., all four bridges over the East River into Manhattan will shut down, according to the New York City Mayor’s Office. This includes the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Ed Koch Queensboro bridges. This means only the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey and the Goethals Bridge connecting Staten Island to New Jersey remain open.

Oct. 29, 5:20 p.m.: As the collapsed crane continues to hang precariously over midtown Manhattan, TIME’s Erin Skarda has a report on the overwhelming number of previous complaints against One57, the luxury high-rise apartment building that’s expected to become the tallest residential building in New York City. She writes: “During the course of two years of construction, the building has received a total of 11 partial or complete stop-work orders,” some of which have been because of improperly licensed cranes. See the full list of complaints. Mayor Michael Bloomberg reports that steam has been shut off in the vicinity of the building, and gas and water will be shut off soon, in order to mitigate any issues that may arise if the boom falls 70 stories down.

Oct. 29, 5:10 p.m.: Believe it or not (and the whipping winds and incessant fog certain would indicate otherwise) but Hurricane Sandy hasn’t even made landfall yet. The storm system is currently located 30 miles (48 km) off the coast of Cape May, N.J., and Delaware. In its 5 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center at the National Weather Service writes that Sandy still has the potential for “life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds.”

And storm damage is already being reported across the Northeast. New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir tweeted this photo of a house crushed by a fallen tree in East Hampton, N.Y., on the far eastern edge of Long Island.

Oct. 29, 4:50 p.m.: New York Times writer Brian Stelter posted this video of flooding in Lewes, Del.

Oct. 29, 4:33 p.m.: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the closure of several bridges in the New York City area. The Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River reportedly closed at 4:00 p.m.; the Throgs Neck, Whitestone and George Washington bridges are scheduled to shut to traffic at 7:00 p.m. The Triborough Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel will remain open.

(MORE: Send Us Your Updates on Hurricane Sandy: Click Here for More)

Oct. 29, 4:15 p.m.: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference that Hurricane Sandy’s speed is increasing; the heaviest weather, once expected to hit later this evening, is now expected as early as 6 p.m. “Sandy’s fury is still going to come this evening,” the governor said. “This is the last warning that we’re going to be able to give people to get to a safe place before that coastal surge really hits.”

Oct. 29, 3:39 p.m.: Bloomberg News has live video of the imperiled 57th Street crane in New York City.

Oct. 29, 2:55 p.m.: A crane has partially collapsed atop a construction site in midtown Manhattan, according to numerous sources. Initial reports say the building is the One57 skyscraper on West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues — which when finished will be the tallest, most expensive residential building in the city. CNN reports the crane is now dangling from the structure. It’s estimated that the crane is about 70 stories high — the building is expected to be 90 stories tall when it’s topped out. Over the weekend, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that all construction cranes throughout the city were inspected, saying, “We have visited every crane site and every construction site in the city, and with the winds that are expected we think they have appropriately tied down all of the equipment. But if there’s a gust that’s a lot more than anybody had counted on, things could start to blow.” —by Erin Skarda


Oct. 29, 2:20 p.m.:
In perhaps the greatest bit of hurricane humor to emerge so far, a “Shirtless Horseman” jogger was seen this morning on NBC Washington, providing a nice respite from the seriousness of the storm poised to batter northwest D.C.

The jogger, Jimmy Kruyne, told DCist that his 9:30 a.m. jog was just to lighten the mood among the dark storm clouds. “Little spontaneous jogging hopefully put a smile on people’s face before this awful storm,” he said.

Oct. 29, 2:00 p.m.: Though Sandy has yet to make landfall, its wrath has already submerged low-lying parts of New York and New Jersey. Take, for example, the Battery Park City Esplanade near the tip of lower Manhattan, where the Hudson River flows into New York Harbor:

And over on the east side of Manhattan, the FDR Drive is already submerged:

Flooding has also hit the Jamaica Bay area of Queens, a few hours before Sandy’s expected landfall:

So far, though, some of the worst flooding has occurred in Atlantic City, N.J., with parts of the beach town’s boardwalk coursing through the submerged streets:

by Samantha Grossman

Oct. 29, 1:50 p.m.: At 4 p.m., the New Jersey Turnpike will be closed to traffic. The Turnpike is the state’s primary highway that runs along the Atlantic coast, connecting to many points along the Jersey Shore. American Airlines has announced they’ve canceled all flights at nine airports in Sandy’s path, including the three major airports in New York and the three in Washington, D.C., until midday on Wednesday.

Oct. 29, 1:25 p.m.: All New York financial markets will remain closed for a second day on Tuesday as surge and waves from the storm has started to batter lower Manhattan. The U.N. and Broadway shows are shuttered on Monday, and a decision will be made later about Tuesday for those organizations. Wall Street Journal social-media editor Brian Aguilar tweeted this photo of a very-closed New York Stock Exchange:

The Goldman Sachs headquarters on West Street in the heart of the financial district is taking a few precautions, as evidenced by this tweet from New York magazine’s Daily Intel blog:

Oct. 29, 12:45 p.m.: In a press briefing on Monday afternoon, President Obama explained that he’d spoken to all of the governors of states that are predicted to be impacted by Sandy and has mobilized many departments in the federal government, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, and Health and Human Services. He reiterated the message of many of them, saying, “Don’t delay, don’t pause, don’t question the instructions” of authorities if they’re telling you to evacuate. He says he’s not worried about the storm’s impact on the election, but instead the impact on families and first responders. “The election will take care of itself next week,” he said.

Oct. 29, 12:35 p.m.: The oceanfront town of Atlantic City, N.J. is largely underwater, with the Press of Atlantic City reporting that the flooding from the Monday morning high tide has reached record-breaking levels, approaching 8.3 ft. (2.5 m) in Atlantic City and 8.9 ft. (2.7 m) in Cape May. The city’s Hurricane Sandy flooding has broken the previous record, set by Hurricane Gloria in 1985. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warns that “this is not a time to be a show-off; this is not a time to be stupid.” Parts of the city are under 5 ft. (1.5 m) of water, and a number of emergency operations are under way to rescue people who didn’t heed evacuation orders. The casinos in the city closed at noon, and the convention center is being used as an emergency shelter.

Oct. 29, 12:05 p.m.: Mitt Romney has canceled a planned campaign rally in Wisconsin on Monday and will remain grounded on Tuesday because of Hurricane Sandy, Politico reports. President Obama has also remained at the White House and will deliver a briefing at 12:45 p.m. He canceled a scheduled appearance in Wisconsin, as well, with press secretary Jay Carney noting: “It’s essential in his view that he be in Washington, one of the areas that will be affected, and where his team is to oversee that effort.”

Oct. 29, 11:20 a.m.: Verizon says all systems are normal as Sandy descends on the Northeast. The storm has had no major effect to their lines. AT&T says they’re adding portable generators to their cell towers to keep everything rolling. —by Madison Gray

Oct. 29, 11:15 a.m.: Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy has declared all highways in the state closed as of 1 p.m. At a Monday morning press conference, Malloy said: “This is the most catastrophic event that we have experienced or had to prepare for in Connecticut in our lifetime,” according to NBC Connecticut.

Oct. 29, 11:05 a.m.: Brooklyn resident Nick Cope posted this photo of the massive flooding that’s already descended on the waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook. Van Brunt Street, just one block from the Upper New York Bay, fed by the Hudson River, appears to be completely flooded.

Oct. 29, 10:40 a.m.: At a 10 a.m. news conference on Monday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that two main in-roads to New York City would be closed by midday on Monday. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and Holland Tunnel will both close to traffic at 2 p.m. because of their propensity for flooding. The Queens-Midtown Tunnel was built to withstand flooding and will remain open.

The bridge crossings to Manhattan, including the George Washington Bridge, will remain open, as they are passable at up to 60 m.p.h. (97 km/h) winds. Cuomo noted, though, that forecasters are calling for up to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) winds, so the decision to keep them open will be re-evaluated later today.

New York has been granted a disaster declaration from the federal government in advance of the storm’s landfall, allowing greater access to federal funds and recovery tools. New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., are among the other areas that have been granted pre-landfall disaster declarations. —by Nick Carbone

Oct. 29, 10:15 a.m.: While much of Sandy’s path prepares for battering winds and rain, at least one state is preparing for blizzard-like conditions. West Virginia is bracing for up to 3 ft. (1 m) of snow in some high-elevation areas, according to the National Weather Service. The majority of the state’s residents, though, who live in West Virginia’s most populated cities in the valleys, will see just a few inches of snow.

Oct. 29, 10:00 a.m.: Consolidated Edison, New York City’s primary electricity supplier, is noting that more than 1,500 people in the borough of Brooklyn are without power already. The power utility is updating its outages in real time using Google Maps on their website. According to ABC7, more than 12,000 people in New Jersey have also lost power.

Oct. 29, 9:00 a.m.: A rescue operation is under way off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks this morning for the 17 crew members aboard the H.M.S. Bounty after it was caught in the storm on Sunday night and started taking on water, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. All 17 crew members were reported safely aboard two lifeboats with life jackets. The 180-ft. (55 m), three-mast ship, which was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie Mutiny on the Bounty and also used in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Oct. 29, 8:20 a.m.: The likes of American Airlines, United and Delta have canceled their flights in and out of the three area airports in New York. According to flight-tracking service FlightAware, the best part of 7,500 flights won’t be taking place over the next couple of days. And global hubs such as Hong Kong, London, Paris and Tokyo have also been affected.

Oct. 29, 7:25 a.m.: President Obama will not be appearing with former President Clinton at a campaign event in Orlando on Monday. He’ll remain at the White House and keep track on the latest developments with Hurricane Sandy.

Oct. 29, 7:15 a.m.: Reports quote the U.S. Coast Guard stating that more than a dozen people from the replica H.M.S. Bounty have abandoned ship off the coast of North Carolina. The vessel was built in 1962 for the movie Mutiny on the Bounty, which starred Marlon Brando.

Oct. 29, 6:30 a.m.: Domestic transportation is pretty much in lockdown. Megabus canceled many services throughout the Northeast through noon on Tuesday and Amtrak has suspended nearly its entire service on the Eastern Seaboard on Monday.

Oct. 29, 5:20 a.m.: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic canceled all flights to and from New York, Washington and Boston. Baltimore and Philadelphia flights are also disrupted. It means that there are thousands of stranded transatlantic passengers, which happens to coincide with school holidays in the U.K. British Airways is “offering the option to rebook or receive a refund to those customers whose flights are canceled.”

Oct. 29, 3:03 a.m.: Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall on Monday with winds strengthening early on Monday to 85 m.p.h. (137 km/h), according to the National Hurricane Center. Track the storm with this infographic map via the Huffington Post.

A computer program predicts that as many as 8 million to 10 million people may lose power in the coming week, says an engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University.

Oct. 29, 3:00 a.m.: President Obama signs emergency declarations for New YorkNew JerseyConnecticutMassachusettsMaryland and Washington, D.C. Federal offices will be closed to the public on Monday, and public transport has been suspended in the capital. Mandatory evacuations are ongoing in New Jersey, WABC-TV reports, and 1.2 million college students will stay home on Monday, according to CNN.

Oct. 29, 12:30 a.m.: 5,559 flights are expected to be canceled on Monday because of Hurricane Sandy, according to FlightAware. Philadelphia will be most affected, with 1,084 cancellations. On Sunday, 1,251 flights were canceled.

Oct. 29, 12 a.m.: The view from the top of the New York Times building, from its Twitter feed: @nytimes.

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13 comments
Topoly_Mapping
Topoly_Mapping

Time to face the aftermath of this fateful event. Those deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy should be able to sit down and study their environment. By looking deeper at their geographical location they can be able to learn how they can cope up easily, how they can protect their properties when another calamity strikes, and what alternative measures should be considered. 

GreatManReallyGreat
GreatManReallyGreat

This is the best source of up-to-date Sandy News I've seen online so far! Keep it up, Time.

Fareed
Fareed

The President visiting stricken areas, FEMA in place, National Guard in support mode, State Police backing up Emergency Crews, Shelters running smoothly, Delays expected, Some Inconveniences, Search and Rescue going well, neighboring help and donations coming in. Americans doing what Americans do, nothing else to see here, move along. Obama - Biden 2012.

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

Looks like President Obama and FEMA offcials and national guards are doing their best to provide emergency help to the millions of people swiftly and orderly, but if Romney and Ryan team will win, per their plans; FEMA would not be in power and private firms and many charity organizations will provide the relief operations converting America in to a third world nation. Remember the days of Bush and KATRINA????

RonaldKirchem
RonaldKirchem

I hope that every voter in the Northeast remembers that Romney and Ryan want to defund FEMA. Romney even said that disaster relief should be privatized, that it would be "immoral" to do otherwise.

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VanessaTang like.author.displayName 1 Like

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hlong69
hlong69

I work at Denver International Airport and can inform folks that United was planning to cancel flights until 1600 Tuesday for Virginia and all the states north of it on the eastern seaboard.  Some western cities in those states may still be open (example: Pittsburgh), but for the most part don't expect a return to normal flight schedules until Tuesday evening.  I'm not familiar with other airlines plans.

Of course, that may have changed since I left work last night @11.  And I'm off for the next few days so can't add more current "insider" updates.