31 October 2012 Last updated at 03:52

As it happened: Storm Sandy updates

Key Points

  • A huge storm, Sandy, pounded the north-eastern US, leaving at least 40 people dead and more than 8m homes without power
  • New York and New Jersey were declared "major disaster" zones, amid serious flooding fuelled by record tidal surges
  • President Obama travels to storm-hit New Jersey on Wednesday, as Republican rival Mitt Romney resumes campaigning. All times EDT

    Welcome to our continuing coverage of Sandy, a vast post-tropical storm set to make landfall at any moment in the north-eastern US. The storm, hundreds of miles across, is whipping a series of states with high winds, dumping heavy rain and threatening people and property in coastal areas with dangerous storm surges.


    Although US weather authorities have reclassified Sandy as a post-tropical cyclone, winds are continuing at about 85mph (140km/h). A series of major cities from Washington DC to Philadelphia, New York and Boston are all experiencing severe weather.


    Coastal areas of New Jersey are taking a battering, with much of Atlantic City facing flooding, and reports of water levels lapping at record highs in New York City. Power supplier Consolidated Edison has begun shutting off power to parts of lower Manhattan.


    The centre of post-tropical cyclone Sandy has made landfall along the New Jersey coast, US weather authorities say, with wind speeds of 85mph (140km/h).


    As of 20:00 EST (00:00 GMT) Sandy made landfall five miles (8km) south-west of Atlantic City, New Jersey, with sustained winds of 80mph (130 km/h).


    As Sandy continues its path across the US north-east, now over land, Reuters news agency reports that more than two million people are now without power along the eastern coastline.

    Lower Manhattan after power cut

    Some of those people are in Lower Manhattan - now in darkness after electricity was shut down south of Wall Street. (source: ABC video feed)


    Reports coming out of New York are beginning to hint at the scale of the uncertainty and flooding that the city is now enduring. Residents in the city are facing power cuts and rising floodwaters in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


    The US National Weather Service has reported a 73 mph (117 km/h) wind gust at New York City's JFK International Airport.


    On the ground in the city, the radio chatter of the Brooklyn Fire and Hatzolah EMS dispatch service offers a look at the minute-to-minute challenges fire and rescue teams are facing in the borough.


    CNN is now reporting that the water level at Battery Park in Manhattan has reached 13.5ft (4.1m), a level the network says is 3ft higher than ever before.


    Now the last tunnel out of Manhattan, the Queens Midtown Tunnel, has been closed, New York's transport authority, the MTA, says.


    In Washington DC, Foreign Policy magazine managing editor tweets: "Fair to say that storm impact worse than expected in New York and better than expected in DC?"


    Are you in Washington DC? Is that assessment of the situation in the nation's capital something you recognise? Let us know using the links below.

    Ronan Veale in Manhattan

    emails: Power gone on West 21st Street between 6th and 7th avenues. Whole place silent and in darkness. The complete opposite of the usual noise. Very eerie.

    Laura Trevelyan BBC News, New York

    tweets: #sandy mta says subway tunnels flooding, power is out in much of lower manhattan - much of what New Yorkers feared has come to pass.


    Reports of the problems facing New York are coming in thick and fast - power cuts, creeping floodwaters, fires and transport shutdown.


    New York state director of operations Howard Glaser, who appears to be driving around lower Manhattan with Governor Andrew Cuomo, tweets: "Seawater is rushing into the Battery Tunnel."


    Photo-sharing network Instagram is proving a popular way to chronicle Sandy's advance. Nicholas Carlson tweets from New York: "What an image. Half of manhattan goes dark. http://instagram.com/p/RYue5_koDz/"


    The New York Times and other news reports confirm the first fatality in New York: a tree falling on a man's house in Queens has now died.

    Paul in Washington, DC

    emails in response to our call for reports: So far, the DC area doesn't seem be hit too hard. I still have power and I don't see any downed trees in my neighborhood. Winds are strong and there are really harsh gusts.


    As New York floods, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy has been speaking at a press conference: The worst has come to pass in terms of flooding as of 8pm, he said, and some people did not heed evacuation warnings.


    Governor Malloy of Connecticut added: "I suspect we are talking about thousands of individuals in harm's way."


    Meanwhile, public transportation officials in Boston, Massachusetts, are "cautiously optimistic" about reopening on Tuesday morning, according to reports.


    In New York, though, reports continue to come in thick and fast. Three feet of water are said to be sloshing through the floor of the New York Stock Exchange - which was closed earlier on Monday.


    CNN and local media have reported the NYSE flooding - the trading floor looks like it will face a struggle to open again on Tuesday.


    New York city councilman Jimmy Van Bramer tweets: "#LIC [Long Island City] is underwater. Flooding reaching 5th street and beyond. In touch with City Agencies. Stay safe"

    Long Island City 29 October 2012

    We are now waiting for a news conference by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He will have to update us on the huge challenges facing his city and city authorities tonight.


    Bloomberg is now speaking: The worst of the weather has come, he says.


    There are a few parts of very lower Manhattan that still have power, but much of the area will be without power until morning, Bloomberg says.


    Fires are burning because of downed power cables, the mayor says, stressing: "Do not touch them."


    Bloomberg: "Please do not call 911 if it is not a life-threatening emergency. Please do not drive - get off the roads immediately."


    Bloomberg repeats advice on how to avoid floodwaters, and adds: "The surge is slightly higher than what was forecasted by the highest estimate."


    Bloomberg: A "very big part" of the storm surge will be over in the next couple of hours. High tide has passed, and waters will begin to recede.


    As Mayor Bloomberg finishes his news conference, the New York Stock Exchange denies earlier reports that 3ft of water is on the trading floor.


    Sandy has exacted a human cost as well as causing what is clearly extensive damage. Five deaths have been confirmed in New York state this evening, the Associated Press and CBS News report.


    The Associated Press also reports that two people haved died from fallen trees in New Jersey, and others died in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut - making a total of 10 deaths so far.


    On the New York Stock Exchange report, spokesman Bob Pisani tells US business news network CNBC that suggestions the trading floor had flooded were not true.


    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been out on the streets tonight, here watching water flooding the Battery Tunnel in Manhattan.

    Cuomo near Battery Tunnel
    Silva in Washington DC

    writes: We are in the western suburbs of Washington DC. So far over 100,000 without power, some areas evacuated and the forecast is for another 24 hours of heavy rains.


    In no way are the effects of this storm limited to New York. Forecasters warn that residents along the Potomac River near Washington DC "should prepare for a flood not seen since the floods of 1996" on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Kev in Philadelphia

    sent us this a little earlier: Power out already in North East Philly and flooding affecting neighborhoods, strong winds and the storm is still nowhere near yet!


    Back in New York, this image shows that water has begun to flood the construction site at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

    New York Ground Zero floods with water from Hurricane Sandy 29 October 2012

    With the US presidential election candidates forced off the offensive as Sandy lashes millions, Republican Mitt Romney has announced a "a storm relief event" in Kettering, Ohio on Tuesday. High winds and rain are affecting many as far inland as Ohio, which will be a key battleground state in next week's election.


    New York's transport authority, the MTA, tweets confirmation of water in the subway network: "We can confirm that there has been water infiltration into the New York City Subway tunnels under the East River. We cannot confirm a depth."


    Above ground in Manhattan, reports are emerging of an explosion at a power plant on the east side of Manhattan. A video apparently showing a blast has been posted to YouTube, and Reuters reports that 19 workers could be trapped at the plant. We'll bring you more as we get it.


    And it's not just electrical power that has been on alert - high waters prompted concern at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plan in southern New Jersey at 20:45 EST, the US Nuclear Regulatory Committee said. However, there are no current plans to shut down the plant, which is located 40 miles south of Atlantic City. The oldest nuclear power plant in the US, Oyster Creek is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance, the NRC said.

    Jonathan Katz Associated Press, New York

    says on Twitter that the type of storm surge New York has faced tonight would overwhelm many less-prepared places: "Surge like that in a Haiti or DR [Dominican Republic] city, and you'd have thousands dead. NYC tonight is a testament to decent preparation, strong institutions."


    There are now 1.5 million people in New York state without power, Governor Andrew Cuomo has tweeted.


    With the storm playing out on Twitter in real-time, there have been rumours and half-truths flying around like broken tree branches all night long. The Fire Department of New York has weighed into the debate, telling followers: "There is much misinformation being spread about #Sandy's impact on #NYC. You can get reliable info from @NYCMayorsOffice, @NotifyNYC & us."


    One incident that does seem to have happened is an evacuation at New York University Hospital: According to reports, the hospital's back-up generator failed after the facility lost power, and patients were taken out on stretchers to a fleet of waiting ambulances.


    Back to the alert at Oyster Creek for a moment: A nuclear "alert" may sound scary, but Nuclear Regulatory Commision spokesman Neil Sheehan tells the BBC there's no reason to "freak out". The alert was issued because water in the pumps' intake structure passed(4.5ft), but they still operate in up to 7ft. Even if the water rises that high, the plant can turn to a backup method to cool spent fuel rods. Because the plant has been shut down for a week for scheduled maintenance, there's also much less to be cooled. And if things get really bad, they could shut off the reactor all together - though Sheehan says there's no reason to do so yet.


    The Guardian's Stuart Millar tweets: NYU hospital spokeswoman tells us 40-45 critical care patients have been evacuated to other hospitals #sandy


    Power company Consolidated Edison - which has had to cut power to parts of New York tonight - has tweeted a denial to another unconfirmed report: "No Con Edison employees are trapped in a building. The story spreading is a rumor."


    tweets: NYU hospital generator failed. Evacuating intensive care down nine flights of stairs. Keeping things in perspective.


    Here's a picture of the replica of the HMS Bounty that was hit by Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. The boat was made for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty - a three-mast, 180-ft (55-metre) copy of an 18th Century original. Of the 16 crew, 14 were rescued, one was found "unresponsive" and one is still missing.

    A replica of the HMS Bounty sinking in the Atlantic Ocean, 29 October 2012

    Much of the focus has been on flooding along the east coast, but the storm has brought extreme weather to other parts, too. Heavy snow has been falling - as much as 24in (70cm) in western Maryland, and 3ft in the mountains of West Virginia - with snow in the Appalachian mountains as far south as Tennessee. Roads are closed and at least one death has been reported. Meteorologist Reed Timmer tweeted this photo from Elkins, West Virginia.


    Latest estimates of the number of people without power now range between five and six million.


    With at least 10 deaths linked to Sandy in the US, the storm has also proved deadly north of the border in Canada. Police in Toronto say a woman there was killed by an airborne sign in a car park and pronounced dead at the scene.


    How do you calculate the cost of a storm like Sandy? The BBC's Kate Dailey has done a piece looking at what types of damage will be factored in, who will lose - and who might even stand to gain.


    The National Hurricane Center says post-tropical storm Sandy is now located just south of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


    The failure of a backup power system at New York University's Langone medical centre has prompted the evacuation of all 215 patients to other hospitals, the New York Times reports. "Where necessary, patients were connected to battery-operated monitors and pumps," the article says.


    The Chicago Tribune has a photo gallery of the Windy City bracing for Sandy - and some surfing on Lake Michigan.


    New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweets: "The NYC subway ... has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night."


    The latest statement from the MTA says Sandy has "wreaked havoc" with a subway system 108 years old. Seven subway tunnels under New York's East River have been flooded, it says.


    @USATODAY tweets: Number of people without power in #Sandy's wake is expected to at least triple in the coming days. http://usat.ly/Yhg4vt


    The BBC's Jonny Dymond has a fresh blog post on the Romney campaign and where it stood as Sandy arrived.


    AP reports the crew member from the replica of the HMS Bounty who was taken to hospital in North Carolina has now died. The captain of the ship, which capsized after being caught by Sandy, is still missing.

    Mark in New York

    emails: West street by Battery tunnel and the street I live on are completely submerged under water. Parked cars are half covered in water and the car alarms heard earlier are no longer audible. Power went about an hour ago and most of the neighbouring Financial District is now in complete darkness. This has a post-apocalyptic feel to it. Very eerie.


    BBC reporter Matt Wells sends this from New York: "TV reporters are saying Coney Island is 'completely flooded' and one of them had to use the famous boardwalk to drive to safety just now. The water is rising on all sides across the five boroughs."

    Lee in Perth, Australia

    writes: Watching the storm unfold from the other side of the world. Our thoughts are with all those in the storm's path. Keep safe


    We have more of that MTA statement about the damage wrought on the New York subway system: "Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots," says MTA Chairman Joseph J Lhota.


    Mr Lhota adds: "As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water."


    Mr Lhota ends by saying: "We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal."

    Aidan Bradley in Mendham, New Jersey

    emails: I'm lying in bed in complete darkness as Sandy passes overhead. The power went out hours ago but at least the iPad still has some life in it. We live in a densely wooded area, branches have been falling, hitting the roof all evening. As an Englishman that lives in New Jersey all I can say is don't complain about the English weather, it's never this bad!

    New York skyline during Storm Sandy

    A blacked-out skyline in New York City

    Luke in New York

    emails: Keep the updates coming, please! We're Britons holidaying in NYC. Picked the wrong time. Up in our rented accomodation glued to the news. Heard some glass shattering a while ago, think it may have been a window in the building blowing out. Swaying slightly, walls creaking. Be nice to know when the winds are going to die down...local news seem to indicate around 3am??


    Officials at Consolidated Edison say it could be up to a week before power is fully restored in NYC, the Associated Press reports. The company said 670,000 customers were without power in New York City and Westchester, with 230,000 of those in Manhattan alone.


    The New York Stock Exchange will be closed for a second day on Tuesday - the first time the exchange will be closed for two consecutive days due to weather since 1888, when a blizzard struck the city, AP says.


    Peter Franklin, a New York taxi driver, has been sheltering from the storm at home: "There's a lot of water in the streets, and also it's the debris that's the most dangerous thing. I and my wife live in a modern apartment building, it has a terrace, it's on the 16th floor, and, boy, everything is just flying around all over the place."


    Michelle Bash of Washington area radio station WTOP tweets that nearly 100 traffic signals are out statewide in Maryland, with nearly 50 roads closed in the DC metro area


    Air travel on the East Coast has been badly hit, with some 12,000 flights cancelled so far. In the UK, 11 BA flights from Heathrow to the US have been cancelled; Delta has cancelled three flights from New York; and United Airlines all of its 14 flights from the UK. Cancellations run until 18:30 GMT at the moment.


    Business Insider collects various photos of apparent flooding in downtown New York. Battery Park, the Lower East Side, as well areas near the Gowanus canal in Brooklyn, appear to be the hardest hit.

    Cars amid water on the FDR Drive

    Cars in water on the Franklin D Roosevelt East River Drive (FDR Drive) in Manhattan


    To read about how events unfolded on Monday, visit our as-it-happened page.


    The Huffington Post tweets this wind map - "equal parts hypnotising and frightening".


    Robert Townley lives in New York City's Battery Park and says his apartment block is one of the very few with electricity: "Our apartment building is one of few that still has power in all of lower Manhattan, but our community centre [where Robert works] nearby took in an incredible amount of water."


    Robert adds: "I just walked over to see the damage - the lower level of the building (our teen lounge, recording studio, art studios, kitchen and children's playroom) are all flooded beyond repair. Even now that the storm water has receded, the lower level is unreachable and submerged under at least 15 feet of water."


    Robert also says: "The adjacent underground parking garage is filled with water with dozens of cars inside of it. It's incredibly dark outside and there's only a couple of buildings with emergency power. All the cars on the street are missing their windows, but we couldn't see any glass. There's debris and plant matter and pools of brown water - it just doesn't seem like New York."


    We have more on the flight cancellations at London's Heathrow Airport, which has confirmed its figures are 84 flights cancelled (47 arrivals, 37 departures). These figures run until 23:00 BST (19:00 EDT) on Tuesday night.

    Sheila Watson in New York

    emails: We are 41 floors up in our hotel in Times Square. We still have power, as do most of the surrounding buildings - and Times Square is its usual colourful self - but the winds are still howling, 8 hours on, and the building is making some strange noises! It is easy to see where there are massive skyscrapers in complete darkness just nearby. My kids have slept through it all!


    Many fake pictures of the storm or its aftermath have been circulating on social networks, with a selection here.


    In the New York district of Queens, some 200 firefighters have been battling a huge blaze that tore through more than 50 homes, the New York Times reports.


    The Fire Department of New York tweets: "50 homes completely destroyed by fire" in the Breezy Point area of Queens.

    Oli Collins in Manhattan

    emails: Situated in my New York hotel. They've so far done a fantastic job keeping power on with a generator. Internet still going and Tick Tock Diner downstairs still sticking to its 24/7 opening hours. A massive thanks to those involved in keeping this place running for all inside.


    According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory, post-tropical cyclone Sandy is now moving westward across southern Pennsylvania at 15mph (24km/h).

    Kate McGeown BBC News, Philippines

    reports: "Many Filipinos have been glued to the TV and the internet all day watching what's going on in the US. Many have friends in the areas affected, and Filipinos certainly know how bad a storm can be. There was one just over the weekend, which killed 24 people here - and this country has an average of 20 typhoons a year."

    fire in queens

    Here is a picture of the fire in the New York City borough of Queens


    Ross Cocheo moved to Summit, New Jersey, from Reading in the UK, and works in the local hospital - where he spent last night trying to keep its IT services going: "We're all hunkered down and it has been pretty crazy. The town we are in has been declared a state of emergency. There are many trees and electrical wires down creating power outages throughout the city. The town has been closed to anything but emergency traffic so we won't be going anywhere fast."


    Ross adds: "We had a walk outside last night and the road signs were down and whole branches were blowing down the road. Now the wind has died down and the worst is over. People have been sleeping where they can in the hospital as it survives on back-up generators. We will be at the hospital working throughout Tuesday, not sure when we will get home. Our ambulances have been out through the night and our emergency teams have been busy, but the larger hospital further away has been much busier with injuries."


    A levee break in the borough of Moonachie, New Jersey, has prompted a rescue operation for residents, Reuters news agency reports, quoting the New Jersey state police.


    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) offers advice on how to survive a hurricane, like storing at least three days' worth of non-perishable food, or not using the phone, except in case of serious emergencies.


    US President Barack Obama has declared that a "major disaster" exists in New York state following Sandy, freeing up federal aid for victims, the AFP news agency reports.

    Andrea in York, UK

    emails: I attend York Uni. Most of my immediate family is in this storm. My mother and sister live in Washington DC and my father in NYC. I'm from Chicago, which I can see is going to be hit by the tail end of this storm. This is unimaginable. Sandy must be huge. The distance from Chicago to Washington DC is a 12-14 hour drive! Unbelievable! They're now waiting for the snow to fall on top of the flooded streets. Which means the temps are dropping and they're in the dark. Praying for my family and everyone else.


    More on the levee breaking in New Jersey, with Reuters reporting that the towns of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt in northern New Jersey have been flooded with 4-5ft (1.2m to 1.5m) of water.


    Geanne Baratta, chief of the Bergen County Executive, says the three towns had been "devastated" by the flood of water.


    The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers could see claims running as high as $10bn (£6bn) following Hurricane Sandy, which could exceed the losses caused by last year's Hurricane Irene.

    Martin Williams, Manhattan

    emails: The power is out on Fifth Avenue from 31st St where I am down to The Flatiron. Swathes of apartment blocks are in the dark. The World Trade Center is shrouded in darkness. Luckily we still have power. Last night was scary. On the 30 floor the building was shaking and the windows were rattling. The sound of the wind through the high rises was eerie. What a mess.


    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweets: "#NYS POWER #OUTAGE report 6am: 1,943,572 NYers wout power from #Sandy"


    Google's crisis map gives information on power outages and the amount of rain in the affected region.


    For advice on coping with prolonged power outages, Governor Cuomo points New Yorkers to this page from the Red Cross.


    The NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office tweets: "If you have water coming out of your faucet, it is safe to drink. #Sandy"


    President Obama declaring a major disaster in New York and New Jersey means increased funds, the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. More on what that means on the Fema website.


    Dozens of US flights in and out of Heathrow airport have been cancelled. Sean Tipton from the Association of British Travel Agents outlines what people affected would be entitled to: "If you're on a package holiday and you're out in either New York or one of the other cities that's been affected, you will be looked after if you're flight has been cancelled."


    Sean Tipton adds: "If you have travelled independently, that doesn't mean that you won't be looked after. Because if you've flown out with a European-based airline such as for example British Airways and Virgin Atlantic... there is an obligation on all European-based airlines, when something like this happens, to do the same thing - to make sure that you have a hotel to stay in, and are looked after in terms of day-to-day refreshments, food etc until they can get you back to the UK."


    He ends by saying: "However, if you have flown out to America with a non European-based airline, then they don't have similar obligations so I think... people will be out of pocket."


    Hundreds of people are being evacuated after a levee broke in the northern New Jersey town of Moonachie, the Associated Press reports. Bergen County Executive chief of staff Jeanne Baratta has told a local newspaper the entire town is under water and as many as 1,000 people could need to be evacuated.


    Ms Baratta told CNN she did not have confirmation that a levee caused the sudden flooding, but she said: "Something happened because within 30 minutes, those towns were under 4 to 5ft of water, so we're not sure if it was a levee... something was compromised there, we don't know what it is."

    Laura Trevelyan BBC News, New York

    tweets: "#sandy my street in Brooklyn the morning after pic.twitter.com/fNfm77AL"

    Latrice Davis, Brooklyn, New York

    writes: There was a lot of high wind and heavy rain throughout the night, but I think the worst is over and the water has receded. Although I live in Brooklyn, I don't live in Zone A, which has been the worst affected. I haven't been out at all, but even if I go out, I won't get very far - everything is shut down.


    A fire which has engulfed more than 50 houses in the New York district of Queens is still raging, the New York Times reports. "The wind is pushing it from house to house. That's a big factor. Another big factor is the difficulty of gaining access to viable water sources," fire service spokesman Danny Glover told the paper.

    Mikey Kay, New York

    tweets: ‏Light breaking in Manhattan. NYPD presence strong. Wind still up but the worst has past. No power below 25th st.


    The Boston Globe has compiled this map of power cuts in Massachusetts, showing the locations of more than a million people estimated to be without electricity in that state alone.


    The centre of Storm Sandy was over southern Pennsylvania as of 05:00 EDT (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday morning, according to the US National Hurricane Center. It says gale-force winds will continue on Tuesday and that the storm is expected to move west across Pennsylvania before turning north into the western part of New York state on Tuesday night. "Even though water levels along the coast have been subsiding, the combination of storm surge and the tide could still cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters," the Center warns.

    Alan Miller, Colombus, Ohio

    tweets: Sleet, snow, rain, wind, we have it all in Ohio - except that 16-foot wall of water.

    A night time shot of a road completely flooded. Lights in buildings and street lights are on. The water flows under a sign saying hospital for special surgery.

    This image of flooding on New York's East 72nd Street is one of several sent in by readers to our colleagues at BBC Weather.

    Sean Gorelik, Staten Island, New York

    emails: Speaking to my friends and co-workers, there are reports of extensive flooding across Staten Island. My friend's parents are stranded due to flooding in their home. A major intersection is flooded, with people believed to be trapped in their cars. It seems the flooding is much worse than we were expecting.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

    tweets: "The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we've ever seen #Sandy," but adds: "New Jersey is a tough place. We will dig out from under and we will be back. #Sandy"

    Catherine Barde, Red Cross worker in Atlantic City, New Jersey

    emails: Last night was quite something. Most people were evacuated and roads were completely clear of any traffic, except for emergency vehicles. We experienced a fair amount of flooding. The city is still without power. More than 11,000 people stayed in 258 shelters across the region, during a very long night.


    Several of the US's most prominent media websites have been taken down by Sandy after internet servers in New York were flooded, Reuters news agency reports. The flooding at the Datagram Inc company brought down sites including Huffington Post and Gawker, it said.

    Large tanker washed up on the shores of Staten Island in New York

    This image of a tanker washed up on Staten Island is one of those emerging from the aftermath of storm Sandy


    Firefighters battling a large blaze in the Queens district of New York have been telling USA Today of how they had to rescue 25 people by boat in this video.


    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has told the MSNBC TV station that there had been three people killed in the state, that 2.4m households were without power and that 200 state roads were closed.


    Governor Christie added that the wind had been so strong that freight train carriages were lifted off the tracks and on to the New Jersey Turnpike toll road. He said that three urban search and rescue teams were trying to find people stranded in Atlantic City. Gov Christie also praised the assistance received from other states - 25 ambulances came all the way from Indiana.


    For more information on the progress of storm Sandy, including state-by-state updates, check our updated list of useful web links.

    Claire McKinlay, Hoboken, New Jersey

    emails: ‏No power right now and our lobby, up to the first floor, is flooded. Our fire alarm went off all night, with the fire crew coming in by boat to investigate. It has subsided now though.

     Sea water floods the Ground Zero construction site

    This image shows sea water cascading into the Ground Zero construction site in Lower Manhattan on Monday evening.


    If you're just joining us, the US East Coast has awoken to the devastation of super-storm Sandy. At least 16 people are reported dead, and six million homes are without power. Major disasters have been declared in New York and New Jersey. Campaigning is suspended for the US election, which is just one week away.

    Julienne Schaer, in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York

    told the BBC: There's a lot of standing water in the area now. We lost power across the neighbourhood last night. We weren't as prepared as we could have been. We could have done with more sandbags in our building. The lobby of our apartment building is a mess. The water just poured in last night.


    Sandy, now a post-tropical cyclone, made landfall near Atlantic City on Monday evening, bringing record flooding to coastal New Jersey state and the heart of New York City. Lower Manhattan was swamped by 13ft (4m) of seawater, and Wall Street is shut for a second day.


    Sandy is currently churning across the state of Pennsylvania, about 90 miles (145km) west of Philadelphia, said the National Hurricane Center in its latest advisory. Wind speeds have dipped to about 65mph (105km/h), but flood and high-wind warnings remain in effect.

    Rob Munoz in Moonachie, New Jersey

    writes: I am helping out at the local high school. Emergency teams are bringing lots of people here. We have about 200 to 300 people here already. The whole of Moonachie is flooded. Some places are six feet under water. I have friends who have lost their homes, yet everyone is helping each other out. Moonachie and Little Ferry fire and emergency teams have been working non-stop since midnight to evacuate people. High tide is right around now.


    Further inland, blizzard warnings are in effect for swathes of West Virginia. Forecasters are predicting another 8-16in (20-40cm) of snow. Here's what road conditions looked like in the town of Elkins this morning:

    Truck on the snowy roads of Elkins, West Virginia

    Julienne Schaer took this photo in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York.

    Photo: Julienne Schaer Photo: Julienne Schaer

    Washington DC's transport authorities have announced that metro and bus services will resume from 14:00 on Tuesday afternoon with Sunday-level schedules on most lines, and normal service expected to be back for Wednesday morning's commute.


    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says 2.4 million households have been affected by Sandy - twice the number from Hurricane Irene in 2011.


    Governor Christie says there are 5,500 residents in local shelters and federal emergency officials will provide meals for the displaced.


    Gov Christie says full restoration of power could take more than eight days.


    Governor Christie also says there are 174 incidents of closure on state highways - mostly because of fallen trees blocking the roads. He asks residents to stay off the roads as much as possible. New Jersey transit systems will be shut today.


    New Jersey Gov Christie says 91 healthcare facilities, including 29 hospitals, lost power and many are using back-up generators.


    "The level of devastation on the Jersey Shore is unthinkable," says Gov Christie. He adds: "It's beyond anything I thought I'd ever see. Terrible." He says the authorities are "nowhere near" allowing homeowners to return to the barrier islands to assess the damage. This could take days, he adds.


    New Jersey Gov Christie: "The devastation is unprecedented - like nothing we've ever seen reported before."


    New Jersey Governor Christie says three deaths have been reported in the state. Two of the victims were a couple killed by a falling tree after they got out of their pick-up truck for an unknown reason. Their two children, aged 11 and 14, remained in the vehicle and were injured.


    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has said "we are mostly out of the worst of the storm", adding that no injuries have been reported in the Bay State, the Boston Globe tweeted.


    In New York, figures from the governor's office show nearly two million people are without power across the state as of 09:00 EDT (13:00 GMT).


    Chris Christie says he got two hours' sleep last night. "The president woke me up one time, which is OK - he gets to," the governor tells journalists. Then he says he was awoken by another call, this time from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


    New Jersey Gov Christie says Fema, the federal emergency agency, will be a major force in helping the state recover, and the process is likely to take months.


    No reports of looting or other storm-related criminality so far, says New Jersey Gov Christie.


    New Jersey Gov Christie says: "I don't give a damn about election day. It doesn't matter a lick to me. I've got much bigger fish to fry."


    Gov Christie also says the nuclear power plant at Oyster Creek is fine. The plant was forced to close because of downed power lines, but there are no problems with the facility, he says.


    Three airports - JFK, LaGuardia and Newark - serving the New York City area remain shut. According to a flight-tracking service, nearly 16,000 flights have been cancelled because of Sandy. Some airlines are grounding flights for Wednesday. Airports in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC are open.

    1050: Leong Ying took this image from his apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey
    Leong Ying took this image from his apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey

    New Jersey Gov Christie didn't mince his words there. No safe place on the state's barrier islands for him to land. Parts of the coast still under water. We're expecting to hear soon from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.


    The Associated Press reports that the US death toll has risen to 18 in seven states. The number of homes without power stands at 7.4 million.


    New Jersey police are working with the National Guard to rescue flooded homeowners and their pets:

    Man up to his waist in water goes to a National Guard vehicle with help of New Jersey state police
    Matt Tart in Manhattan, New York

    writes: It's very bizarre here at the Empire Hotel, near Lincoln Centre. We have all amenities and it just looks like a normal wet day outside now. It's unbelievable the amount of destruction that's just a few miles away in all directions.


    Sandy is about 120miles (190km) east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, according to the 11:00 EDT (15:00 GMT) update from the National Hurricane Center.


    New York Mayor Bloomberg tells a news conference: "This was a devastating storm - maybe the worst we have ever experienced."


    NY Mayor Bloomberg says there were 23 fires during the storm, and at least 80 homes were razed, but there has been no known loss of life from those blazes. He also says there are 6,100 people in city shelters.


    There were, however, at least 10 deaths elsewhere in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg says. "Tragically we expect that number to go up," he adds.


    The mayor also warns that restoring the public transport system will take some time. Some bridges have reopened, but Mayor Bloomberg asks citizens to be patient. He says the challenges are "enormous".


    Three quarters of a million New Yorkers have no power in more than 26,000 apartments, Mayor Bloomberg says. South of 42nd street, power was pre-emptively shut down by the utility ConEd, and outages are likely to continue for two to three days, possibly longer.


    NY Mayor Bloomberg says the crippled crane dangling 74 storeys above Midtown Manhattan is unlikely to be removed for some time until fierce gusts have subsided.

    Nicholas Burton, Chicago, Illinois

    emails: We are feeling some of the effects of Sandy even here in Illinois. High winds and waves on Lake Michigan have resulted in some parts of the Chicago shoreline being affected. Some trees falling across powerlines have caused small local power outages.


    Federal government offices may remain closed, but life goes on for Washington DC's irrepressible joggers:

    A jogger in Washington DC on 30 October 2012

    An update from Mayor Bloomberg on New York City hospitals: New York University, Downtown and Manhattan Veterans Affairs hospitals were evacuated. Bellevue and Coney Island hospitals have no power. There were no storm-related fatalities in the hospitals.


    Atlantic City, New Jersey, earlier this morning. Sandy made landfall nearby on Monday night.

    Downed power lines on the beach of Atlantic City, New Jersey

    This just in from the White House: "The President will remain in Washington, DC on Wednesday to monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy... As a result, the President will not participate in the campaign events that had been scheduled in Ohio tomorrow."


    Check out the BBC's graphic outlining the scale of the devasation to New York City.

    Claire Cameron, Harlem, New York

    emails: The speed with which things progressed overnight was just incredible. My apartment shook with the wind every so often and the lights flickered on and off. The gusts were ferocious. All you could hear were the buildings creaking, sirens and the wind. Everything is a mess.


    A tweet from the New York mayor's office confirms all bridges over the East River are now open. That includes Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Ed Koch Queensboro (59th Street) bridges.


    BBC World Have Your Say will hear from people across the eastern coast of the US following the disruption caused by Sandy - live between 13:00-15:00 EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT).


    More scenes of devastation in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Onlookers at the spot where the "uptown" boardwalk used to stand:

    People look at hurricane devastation in Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is at a storm-relief event in the key swing state of Ohio. He praised the crowd in the city of Kettering for providing tinned food and other goods. His campaign cancelled some events on Monday and Tuesday.


    You can see some of the best images of Sandy and its aftermath, sent to us by BBC News website-users, in this gallery: Storm Sandy: Your pictures


    Here's the flooded entrance to New York City's Brooklyn Battery Tunnel today:

    Flooded entrance to Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, New York

    The New York Post tweets: BREAKING: We are looking into reports of looting at the Southstreet Seaport #nyc #hurricane #sandy http://instagr.am/p/RaVbIyIr5K/


    Devastation in Breezy Point, New York after a fire overnight. About 190 firefighters battled to put out the blaze, which occurred in an area flooded by Sandy.

    Devastation after a fire in Breezy Point, New York

    The Associated Press is now reporting that 33 people have died in the storm, which would be nearly double the previous known death toll of 18.


    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign says he'll be back on the trail tomorrow, appearing in Florida with former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.


    Advice from the New York governor to citizens facing power outages that could last for several days: "Eat the most perishable items first: leftovers, meat, poultry & foods containing milk, cream, sour cream, or soft cheese #SandySafety #Sandy"


    The row rumbles on between Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The governor criticised the mayor for allowing residents to shelter on a barrier island instead of moving them inland. On Tuesday, Mayor Langford told NBC News he wanted to confront Gov Christie "mano a mano". At a news conference, he's now accused Gov Christie of finger pointing.


    In Philadelphia, some train, trolley and bus lines have started to run again. Regional rail services are still down because of wind damage and fallen trees.


    The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper tweets: RT @inkyamy: #Corbett #storm30 PA to house up to 1800 displaced NJ/NY residents.


    Sandy is gradually weakening as it heads west across the state of Pennsylvania. Winds are down to 45mph (72km/h), the National Hurricane Center says. But high-wind warnings are still in place for the central and southern portions of the Appalachian mountains and the Finger Lakes region. Winter weather advisories are also in place for the eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and western North Carolina.


    Sandy, still classified as a post-tropical cyclone, is expected to turn north and track back into New York state tonight, before heading into Canada on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says.


    Morgan Groarke, an Irish electrician who lives in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, emails: "We lost power at 7:00pm yesterday. There are a lot of trees down and we witnessed transformers blowing out. For commuters using NJ transit, we have no idea when we will be able to commute into NYC. The wind was as strong as you would get during a storm back in Ireland, but over here the key differences are the wooden-structure homes (our house swayed over and back last night), basements prone to flooding, huge oak trees in your back garden (not suitable for suburbia), and densely populated areas in proximity to water. I'm getting many calls today, mainly to help hook up generators."


    The New York Stock Exchange is due to reopen on Wednesday after Wall Street was shut down for the last two days.

    1314: Jaimie Buchanan, Preston, UK

    emails: My mum and stepdad live in the Breezy Point area of Queens, New York, along with my stepdad's 95-year-old mother who has Alzheimers. They evacuated to Manhattan on Saturday. Breezy Point has been badly affected, with homes destroyed by fires and flooding... The evacuations were pretty late and badly organised, with many people having nowhere to go.


    NYC Mayor's Office tweets: Alternate side parking and meter regulations are suspended citywide tomorrow. #Sandy


    More than 100,000 have been left without power in the DC metro area, according to the Washington Times.

    Shahnaz Hussain, Manhattan, New York

    emails: I live not too far from One57 - the building a crane is dangling from - and it is not a pretty picture. Window panes were flying off buildings in the area and were striking my apartment building. At first I thought it was very large hail.

    New Jersey governor Chris Christie

    tweets: The NJ_TRANSIT system has experienced unprecedented devastation. Service will not resume until it's repaired, safe, & secure. #Sandy

    Davey Davis in New York

    took this picture of half-submerged cars near Goldman Sachs' building in New York City after Sandy.

    Cars half-submerged in Manhattan Photo: Davey Davis

    He said: "I think the cars must have been parked in an underground car park that then got flooded. The cars then seemed to have floated up and crashed into each other."


    New York City engineers and fire department inspectors are planning to climb 74 flights of stairs to inspect a Manhattan construction crane that's dangling from a luxury high-rise building, Associated Press reports.

    Stephen Jordan in New Jersey

    emails: I live in the Rockaway area of New York. I'm staying in New Jersey and we are safe. But the pictures from Rockaway are horrific. I can't get back in as bridges are closed. Friends there say they can't find their cars.

    1344: Mark Mardell BBC North America editor

    The White House says the president was updated through the night as Hurricane Sandy carved its way up the coast, signing two declarations of disaster in the small hours. He's earned praise from one leading Republican, the governor of New Jersey Chris Christie - he said the president had been outstanding and deserved great credit.

    New York Times

    tweets: Blizzard conditions have spread over parts of Tennessee, W. Virginia, Maryland, Virginia & N. Carolina: http://nyti.ms/Ssr9sM

    Troy Graham reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer

    tweets this picture of boats piled on shore: Boats piled up everywhere. #sandyinphilly pic.twitter.com/Ofrt0a2l


    The French transport ministry has said that at least six French citizens boating in the Caribbean are still missing after they disappeared during Hurricane Sandy's storm swell. Officials told the Sipa news agency that the group disappeared between the islands of Martinique and Dominica on Sunday.


    The death toll is now thought to have risen to 38, according to the Associated Press. Earlier reports said there had been 32 fatalities across the US.

    Laura Trevelyan BBC News, New York

    has been out on the streets of New York. She says:

    It's a post-apocalyptic scene in lower Manhattan today. The streets are deserted, there is no electricity and there is debris everywhere - mattresses, sandbags swept away by the superstorm, tree branches.


    BBC News US tweets: From a @BBCNewsUS follower @Jimimcclure - Space Shuttle #Enterprise exposed to #Sandy at the Intrepid museum http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20121635 … pic.twitter.com/9nz9l1kt

    Enterprise shuttle

    The Washington Post reports that schools in the US capital will re-open on Wednesday.


    Chris, a photographer for the Coastal Point newspaper on Fenwick Island, Delaware, has been speaking on BBC World Have Your Say: "Daylight brought the views of boats taken off lifts, broken off mooring lines, washing up in people's yards; roofing has come off houses. We still have absurdly high tides and until they recede, we won't have a clear perspective of the damage that has occurred."


    President Obama has issued new warnings about the possibility of more flooding and damage in the aftermath of Sandy. In a visit to the HQ of the American Red Cross, he warned the storm is "not yet over", and pledged to keep up the government's response over the coming weeks.

    Jack Cooke in Staten Island, New York

    emails: I feel lucky to have power, although there is spotty cellphone service and web access. I lived in Florida for several years, and experienced several hurricanes, but have never seen such devastion.


    The BBC has spoken to hospital staff who were involved in the dramatic evacuation of some 260 patients at the New York University's Langone Medical Center in the middle of the night, while Sandy was pounding the city.


    In his visit to the American Red Cross HQ in Washington DC, President Obama sent a strong message to federal agencies, telling them he did not want bureaucracy and red tape to get in the way of delivering an effective response to areas hit by the storm.


    President Obama is going to visit the state of New Jersey tomorrow to survey the damage. He is expected to meet the state's Republican Governor, Chris Christie, while he is there, speak to residents and thank emergency responders.


    It's worth noting that Governor Christie is a valued surrogate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, although he is widely seen as a possible contender himself for a White House run in 2016, should Mr Obama win a second term in next week's election. Gov Christie's generous praise of President Obama's storm response as "wonderful", "outstanding" and "excellent" has set tongues wagging among the political classes in the Beltway.


    Another remarkable story of emergency workers' response to the storm: Emily Rahimi, a woman who has spent seven years with the New York Fire Department, single-handedly manned the department's Twitter feed all night long, co-ordinating with dispatchers on behalf of stranded residents, as well as providing advice and moral support online.


    Weird! This boat was found washed up by the storm on railway track near Ossining, New York state, this morning:

    A boat on the Metro-North tracks north of New York City
    Tim Tyler, Morristown, New Jersey

    emails: We are lucky to be in one of the few communities in north-west New Jersey where significant numbers of businesses have electricity. So many people in the area are coming here to get out of the cold and find something to eat. Trees are down everywhere, but at least there's no flooding here this time, unlike Hurricane Irene.

    Neil, in Little Silver, New Jersey,

    emails: I'm a Brit in New Jersey without power. We've been told that we could be without until 5 November. I am stunned that very few people here (in public office or the general public) question the unfit for purpose nature of a network of overhead power lines serving the majority of one of the most affluent regions in the US.


    A jet bridge dangles over floodwaters at New York's LaGuardia Airport, in this image tweeted by US airline JetBlue:

    An airport boarding gate in flood waters at LaGuardia Airport, New York

    In Little Ferry, New Jersey rescue crews have been using boats to reach stranded citizens:

    Crews use boats to rescue people stranded in Little Ferry, New Jersey

    President Obama at the Red Cross headquarters. On Tuesday, he also held a conference call with state governors and city mayors responding to the storm aftermath, and he is scheduled to survey storm damage in New Jersey on Wednesday.

    President Barack Obama at the Red Cross HQ

    Sara Misenas, pictured here in front of an uprooted tree in Mohegan Lake, New York, told the BBC: "This morning was windy and the fire department were closing roads and attending to live wires caused by the high winds."

    Sara Misenas in front of an uprooted tree in Mohegan Lake, New York

    Water Street and Plymouth, in Brooklyn, New York, was completely underwater when Rondell Meeks took this picture on Tuesday morning.

    Flooded street in Brooklyn

    New York radio host John Hockenberry, tells the BBC that the radio has become the only consistent source of information to New Yorkers without power and internet connections. He says water is still standing in parts of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan and that the sheer ferocity of the storm has "humbled" New Yorkers.

    The BBC's Helena Merriman

    tweets: Now driving through snow in West Pennsylvania @BBCNewsUS #Sandy


    Photographer Richard Shepherd has created a striking timelapse video with footage from a webcam on the roof of the New York Times building, offering a new perspective on Sandy's impact as the storm raged over New York City.


    In the state of Connecticut, Governor Dan Malloy offers some guidelines for citizens filing storm damage insurance claims.


    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has instructed the Pentagon to provide any available disaster response resources requested by Fema, the federal emergency agency. On Tuesday, his department said 7,400 members of the National Guard were on active duty providing assistance to first responders and rescue crews.

    1647: Liz Rae, in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey

    emails: Just been out for a walk round my neighbourhood prior to the 17:00 curfew. The air was filled with the noise of generators and chainsaws and the smell of fresh-cut pine. We were very lucky with just a branch impailing itself through my deck and denting the bbq. Many houses had trees across the yards and several neighbours spent the night in their basements. Many live wires still down.


    Sandy continues to dump heavy snow on parts of West Virginia, and western Maryland. This photo shows an ambulance struggling in more than a foot (0.3m) of snow near Belington, West Virginia.

    An ambulance is stuck in over a foot of snow off of near Belington, West Virginia on 30 October 2012

    CNN reports there are about 60 people are stranded on New York's Fire Island with contaminated water and no power.

    Jim Roche, in Toronto, Canada,

    emails: Rain and high winds were the biggest problem here in Toronto on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Tens of thousands without electricity. Restoration is happening slowly - very slowly, considering the predictions.


    David Davis, a Brooklyn resident, told the BBC there was an "apocalyptic" feeling in the city, and the "metropolis was in stasis".


    The New York mayor's office tweets: Limited bus service coming back now RT @NYGovCuomo: MTA buses have left the depot and are on their way to start picking up passengers #sandy


    The National Hurricane Center reports that post-tropical cyclone Sandy is nearing Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It's 50 miles (80km) east of the city, with maximum winds of 45mph (72km/h). Warnings for storms, gales, floods and blizzards are still in place across the mid-Atlantic and north-east region and the NHC predicts Sandy will turn north-west later tonight, moving across Pennsylvania into Canada on Wednesday.

    CNN's Jim Barnett

    tweets: More than 18,100 flight cancellations (including 1,875 for tomorrow) as a result of Superstorm #Sandy

    Caroline Snyder, in West Virginia,

    emails: It is below freezing at the moment with a howling blizzard but we are warm inside. So glad we were ready. I ordered up two pairs of snowshoes. I got all the bedding, towels and the winter clothing ready. We split and stacked eight cords of firewood. The power went off but we have a stove roaring and the freezers are full - so we are not in bad shape.

    Fort Defiance bar/restaurant

    The Wall Street Journal's Jeannette Neumann tweets a photo of a defiant message - "Chin up, Red Hook! We're alive, aren't we?" - on the door of the Fort Defiance bar and restaurant in Brooklyn.

    1740: The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall

    says: "High winds and rain in Cleveland, Ohio overnight. Trees down, some traffic lights out, flood warnings along Lake Erie. Opposite our downtown hotel where the US flags above the entrance were ripped to shreds by the wind, firetrucks and police cars arrived to cordon off an office block, afraid that concrete slabs on one side of the building would be ripped off by the wind."


    How this plays out in the election will, of course, depend on how President Obama and the federal government are judged to have done, the BBC's Bridget Kendall adds. Tricky moment also for Mitt Romney - with electioneering on hold he has to be careful not to look as though he wants to intrude on the disaster for political purposes. Hence the slightly awkward non-campaign appearance this morning. He's due to restart campaigning in Florida tomorrow, but what tone should he adopt?


    An "unwatering SWAT team" is on its way to New York. The Atlantic reports that this team from the US Army Corps of Engineers has the "finest unwatering experts in the country, given their experience in dewatering the inundated areas of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina".


    As the working day draws to a close, many disrupted services are preparing to resume on Wednesday. The federal government is due to re-open, as are public schools and transit systems in Washington DC and Philadelphia. Recovery efforts will continue over the coming days as the storm moves across Pennsylvania into Canada.


    With that, we end our live coverage of post-tropical cyclone Sandy and its aftermath. You can keep up with the recovery efforts and the storm's progress in the days ahead in our Storm Sandy special report. Thanks for being with us.


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