A record-breaking storm surge in New York drenched Lower Manhattan and poured into the subway system. More than 700,000 homes and business are without electricity, NBC 6 s Diana Gonzalez reports. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said getting mass transit back online and the power grid restored would take time and a lot of patience.
Sandbags lined businesses Tuesday as Fort Lauderdale Beach continued to deal with flooding days after Hurricane Sandy left the area.
Officials said State Road A1A from Sunrise Blvd. north to NE 20th Street and beach access at East Sunrise Blvd. remains closed.
“I am a native Floridian here, I have been here all my life, I have been through a lot of hurricanes and I have never experienced this,” Dianne Lynn told NBC 6 South Florida as she stood on the sand near AIA and Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, weakening and moving west across southern Pennsylvania Tuesday, caused numerous flight cancellations at Miami International Airport. A total of 62 arrivals and 48 departures were canceled by 4 p.m., the Miami-Dade Aviation Department said.
Officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said 88 arrivals and 86 departures were cancelled Tuesday.
Johnny Eugene and his wife were supposed to fly home to New York from MIA Tuesday morning, but their flight was cancelled until further notice.
"We’re supposed to leave today, to go to LaGuardia — but LaGuardia is under water," Eugene said.
Indeed, flooding has inundated runways and brought travel to a halt at both LaGuardia and JFK airports in New York.
Eugene and his wife were relieved to learn, via a text message, that a huge tree just missed falling on their car and home.
"If it was on the other side, it'd be the car and the house," he said.
Some passengers were essentially trading one city hit by Sandy for another — such as Jonathan Burton, who was trying to get home to Philadelphia.
He previously arrived to bad flooding in the Dominican Republic on the day after the hurricane left there. On Tuesday, his flight home was cancelled, but at least he was able to call home from the U.S.
"It was tough to connect with them while you're away," Burton said.
Also in South Florida, Biscayne National Park temporarily closed in Elliot Key due to damage to the docks and ocean-side boardwalk.
"Our initial review indicates that there are significant safety concerns on Elliott Key – especially given the severity of the damage to the dock. There are additional concerns due to the high amount of debris that washed up on the island," Superintendent Mark Lewis said in a press release. "We know people will be disappointed, but our primary concern is the safety of the visiting public and our employees. As we make a more complete assessment of the damages, we will keep the public informed of when the island is safe for public use."
Other Florida Keys appeared to have less damage.
As of 11 p.m., the storm was moving west-northwest at 8 mph about 50 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, said the National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
High wind warnings were in effect along the central to southern Appalachians and across portions of the Great Lakes. Flood and coastal flood watches were were in effect for portions of the mid-Atlantic states and northeastern states, according to the NHC.
Members of the City of Miami Fire Rescue were prepared for deployment to the Northeast Tuesday. Lt. Iggy Carroll told NBC 6 South Florida that the crew was no stranger to dealing with hurricanes.
“[Northern states] deal with a lot of snow and cold weather up there, whereas down here, we’ve dealt with hurricanes, so we’re going to bring a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience up there as well,” Carroll said.
Four volunteers from the South Florida region of the American Red Cross were also deployed and will be driving two emergency response vehicles to New Jersey.
Meteorologists said the cyclone is expected to reduce in speed and turn north into western New York Tuesday night. Canada will feel the storm's effects Wednesday as it moves out of the United States.
Hurricane Sandy's remnants have already caused almost 12 inches of rain in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey and 14 inches of snow in Bowden, West Virginia. 90 mph wind gusts reached New York and New Jersey, the NHC reported.
The storm claimed the life of 62-year-old Gerald Witman in Pennsylvania after a tree fell on his mobile home porch Monday night, Pennsylvania police said. As many as 10 other deaths were reported.