UPDATE: At least 37 killed, death toll includes cop, teacher

Cars floating in a flooded subterranean basement following Hurricane Sandy in the Financial District.

UPDATE: Hurricane Sandy claimed at least 37 lives as it ripped through New York City leaving darkness and destruction in its path, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today.

The mayor referenced today in a press conference two children playing inside their home who were killed yesterday when a tree fell on the house.

The first reported death was a 31-year-old man who was killed when a tree fell on his home in Flushing, Queens Monday night.

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he expected yesterday, more people have been found killed by the storm.

This number included a woman walking her dog, another who stepped on a live wire during the storm and people whose bodies were found inside their homes.  

Police said Staten Island cop Officer Arthur Kasprzak died when he was trying to help his family get to safety in the borough.  

The NYPD reported that Kasprzak, 28 and a six-year-veteran, went to help his family, helping move six adults and a 15-month-old boy into his attic, but when he went to check the basement, he did not return.

NYPD officers with scuba gear arrived to help, but were unable to find his body until the next morning.  
In Brooklyn, Jessie Streich-Kest and Jacob Vogelman were crushed by a tree in Ditmas Park as they walked her dog, who survived.  

Streich-Kest was a high school teacher in Bushwick. Ditmas Park Corner has information on how to donate to a memorial fund, which will help with veterinary costs for her injured dog, Max.  

Power outages

More than 760,000  homes in New York City and Westchester County lost power during the storm, according to Con Edison. About 200,000 people lost power during Hurricane Irene. In Manhattan, most homes and businesses below 34th Street lost power Monday night. 

About 1,922,945 people in the state are still without power, Gov. Cuomo said.

Workers are scrambling to restore electricity as many areas and power lines remained under water. Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged New Yorkers without power to not expect it to be restored before the weekend. According to Cuomo, the New York Power Authority is sending 1,800 workers from upstate to help restore electricity in NYC. Cuomo said Long Island is faced with the largest challenges when it comes to power.

“This is the largest storm-related outage in our history,” Con Edison senior vice president for electric operations John Miksad said.

(Photo: Getty)

Lower Manhattan goes dark after a power loss Monday night.

Flooding

Many areas of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn were under water Monday night and into Tuesday morning. City streets on Manhattan’s west side, Financial District and Lower East Side were submerged in flood water at the height of the storm.  Brooklyn neighborhoods Carroll Gardens, DUMBO and Red Hook also experienced heavy flooding.

(Photos: Getty)

Cars submerged in flood waters in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Parts of Brooklyn’s DUMBO section remain under water Tuesday.

Fires

In the midst of the storm, firefighters were forced to battle a massive six-alarm blaze that broke out at 11 p.m. in Breezy Point, Queens. According to the FDNY, about 50 homes were completely destroyed. The flames raged well into Tuesday morning. No serious injuries or deaths were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

There was a massive explosion at the 14th Street Con Edison building in the East Village, shortly before power was lost throughout much of lower Manhattan last night around 8 p.m.

Transportation updates

Seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded overnight, according to the MTA. Several subway stations also experienced flooding. Train service is still at a halt. Most major bridges into Manhattan are expected to re-open today. For the latest MTA updates, click here.

(Photo by Getty)

Flood waters rush the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in Manhattan.

Evacuations

People living in Zone A are still under evacuation orders, Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday evening.

Patients were evacuated from the New York University Langone Medical Center last night when a backup generator failed to work following a power outage. About 200 patients, including several infants from neonatal intensive care unit, were transferred by ambulance to other city hospitals.

(Photos: Getty)

A view of the corner of 34th Street and 1st Street in front of NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan during rains from Hurricane Sandy Monday night.

A woman stands outside of the sandbagged East 34th Street entrance of NYU Langone Medical Center.


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