An Update On Conditions In New York After Sandy

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Steve Inskeep speaks with NPR's Robert Smith in New York about conditions in the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


And let's get another glimpse, as we are all morning, of New York City in the aftermath of what was Hurricane Sandy. We saw, overnight, dramatic video of around 50 homes burning in Queens. There was massive flooding in lower Manhattan.

NPR's Robert Smith is there. Robert, we saw a video of water that was going up to the door handles of cars. I trust that the waters receded somewhat at this point.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Yes, very much so. In fact, I've tried to make my way over here to the Hudson River so that I could see that's where a lot of the flooding was particularly bad. And now, the Westside Highway is mostly clear. It's pretty easy to get through. I know on the other side of Manhattan, the estuary of the East River there's still some standing water.

But, I'll tell you, Steve, the amazing thing is here on the Hudson River, I am looking across the river at Jersey City, brightly lit skyline and behind me, Manhattan, dark.


SMITH: It's something you never see his Jersey City outshining Manhattan. But that's happening this morning.

INSKEEP: And then, let's remind people. Some of that power outage was deliberate but some of it was not. It might take some time to restore, I'd imagine.

SMITH: Yeah, I think everyone is trying to figure that out right now, whether it was successful to shut down some of the grid, which is what they did for the very lower tip of Manhattan. But we do know that there was a substation fire or explosion, some people say at least bright flashes. That was up on 14th Street and that that took out a whole part of the grid in lower Manhattan.

And talking to the Con Ed guys over there, they said it was like throwing a stereo into a bathtub. That's what happens, sparks and everything goes out.

INSKEEP: OK. Thanks very much. That's NPR's Robert Smith in Manhattan. We'll continue hearing from him throughout the morning, as we learn more of the damage of Hurricane Sandy which is responsible for at least 16 deaths so far.

This is NPR news.

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