GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 30, 2012

Scenes of devastation in New York City

NEW YORK (AP) -- The massive storm that pummeled the East killed 10 people in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday, but he offered no firm timeline on when power would be restored to hundreds of thousands of people or when the city's flooded subway system would be running again.

"This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced," he said.

Scenes of the damage from the overnight havoc were everywhere after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. Between 80 and 100 flooded homes in Queens caught fire and were destroyed. A hospital removed patients on stretchers and 20 babies from neonatal intensive care, some on respirators operating on battery power.

Sidewalks, streets and subways usually bustling with crowds and traffic jams were largely empty. And high above midtown, the broken boom of a crane continued to dangle precariously over a neighborhood.

"Oh, no," said Faye Schwartz, 65, Tuesday morning as she surveyed the damage in her Brooklyn neighborhood, where cars were strewn like leaves, planters were deposited in intersections and green Dumpsters were tossed on their sides.

The storm was once Hurricane Sandy but combined with two wintry systems to become a huge hybrid storm whose center smashed ashore late Monday in New Jersey. New York City was perfectly positioned to absorb the worst of its storm surge - a record 13 feet.

The dead included two who drowned in a home and one who was in bed when a tree fell on an apartment, the mayor said. Another person died by stepping into a puddle near a live electrical wire, Bloomberg said. He didn't give immediate details on all the dead, where they were located, and when they died.

At a darkened luxury high-rise building called the William Beaver House in Lower Manhattan, resident manager John Sarich was sending up porters with flashlights up and down the 47 flights of stairs to check on residents.

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