Superstorm Sandy made landfall at 8 p.m. just south of Atlantic City, about 120 miles southwest of Manhattan which was already mostly under water while its world-famous Boardwalk was washed away earlier in the day.
It slammed into the New Jersey coastline with 80 mph winds Monday night and hurled an unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater at New York City.
At least 10 U.S. deaths and one death in Canada were blamed on the storm.
It was a very big storm that an AccuWeather meteorologist said Sandy “is unfolding as the Northeast’s Katrina”.
Authorities reported a record surge more than 13 feet high at the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan, from the storm and high tide combined.
The center the storm, a combination of Sandy, a wintry system from the West and cold air streaming from the Arctic, threatened to knock out the underground network of power, phone and high-speed Internet lines that are the lifeblood of America’s financial capital.
The New York Daily News reported that water was six feet deep outside its offices in lower Manhattan.
City officials evacuated neighbors of a 90-story super luxury apartment building under construction after its crane partially collapsed in high winds, prompting fears the entire rig could crash to the ground.
Serious flooding was also reported miles north in Greenwich Village and Chelsea.
The facade of a four-story Manhattan building in the Chelsea neighborhood crumbled and collapsed suddenly, leaving the lights, couches, cabinets and desks inside visible from the street.
No one was hurt, although some of the falling debris hit a car.