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Hurricane Sandy: Storm surge floods NYC tunnels, cuts power to city (+video)

Nearly a million New Yorkers were without power as hurricane Sandy made landfall Monday night. Subway tunnels, the waterfront, and the financial district flooded.

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Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people.

The city had shut its mass transit system, schools, the stock exchange and Broadway and ordered hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to leave home to get out of the way of the superstorm Sandy as it zeroed in on the nation's largest city.

Residents spent much of the day trying to salvage normal routines, jogging and snapping pictures of the water while officials warned the worst of the storm had not hit.

By evening, a record 13-foot storm surge was threatening Manhattan's southern tip, howling winds had sent a crane hanging from a high-rise, and utilities deliberately darkened part of downtown Manhattan to avoid storm damage.

Water lapped over the seawall in Battery Park City, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads. Rescue workers floated bright orange rafts down flooded downtown streets, while police officers rolled slowly down the street with loudspeakers telling people to go home.

"Now it's really turning into something," said Brian Damianakes, taking shelter in an ATM vestibule and watching a trash can blow down the street in Battery Park.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday night that the surge was expected to recede by midnight, after exceeding an original expectation of 11 feet.

"The worst of the weather has come," he said. He said New Yorkers were inundating the 911 system and getting stranded in cars, and urged people to stay put until the storm passed.

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