New York, Oct 30 : A superstorm that sent water rushing onto city streets has left a large swathe of the lower part of Manhattan without power.
Superstorm Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline with 129 km per hour winds Monday night and hurled an unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater at New York City, flooding its tunnels, subway stations and the electrical system that powers Wall Street.
Consolidated Edison spokesman Chris Olert said that the power was out for most of Manhattan south of 26th Street.
On the east side, the power outage extended from 29th Street south.
Scattered areas still had electricity, but video shot by cameras on buildings farther north showed some lit up buildings going dark, one by one.
The power outage was separate from a planned power cut that Con Ed instigated in certain lower Manhattan neighbourhoods to protect underwater systems from flood damage.
Olert said the damage stemmed from flooding and the probable loss of a transmission feeder.
He said there were 250,000 customers without power in Manhattan.
Amateur cell phone video shot from across the East River in Brooklyn showed what appeared to be a large transmission explosion in lower Manhattan.
Meanwhile, city and emergency officials are keeping a close eye on a dangling construction crane in midtown Manhattan.
Late on Monday, it was swaying precariously in strong winds and there are fears it may break off.
People in the immediate area have been evacuated.By late night, the centre of the storm was over southern New Jersey.
Just before it reached land, forecasters stripped it of hurricane status, but the distinction was purely technical, based on its shape and internal temperature.
It still packed hurricane-force wind, and forecasters were careful to say it remained every bit as dangerous to the tens of millions still in its path.