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30 Oct, 2012 09:16

Hurricane hammers NY: 10 dead, houses destroyed by fire, freak floods in subway (VIDEO)

Explosions, fires, and floods have devastated New York, killing at least ten people statewide. As Hurricane Sandy hit the city it left over 50 houses ablaze, at least seven subway tunnels flooded and nearly 2 million New Yorkers without power.

Parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island are underwater as hurricane Sandy passes over New York. Much of the city is now without power, and mass transit has been shut down until further notice.Sporadic explosions could be heard throughout the city. Emergency 911 operators were receiving 10,000 calls per half hour, NYC Mayor’s Office reported.Downed power lines had sparked numerous fires that continue to engulf the city. First reports of major fire were coming in from the Rockaway Park area of Queens, New York. A few hours later, fire engulfed 15 houses in Breezy Point, Queens, and 190 firefighters were on site battling the blaze. Fire has reportedly destroyed 50 houses. Due to power outages and generator failure dozens of ambulances had to evacuate more than 200 patients from two Manhattan hospitals to Sloan Kettering and Mt. Sinai hospitals. Earlier an explosion took place at a Con Edison power station in Manhattan, New York, leaving nearly 2 million New Yorkers without power.

The streets of New York City filled with floodwater, which poured into NY’s subway tunnels and the World Trade Center site. According to New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority this is worst disaster in the history of the NYC subway system.Sandy sent in a record storm surge of 13.7 feet (4.17m) into lower Manhattan, flooding seven New York subway tunnels. And it could take up to four days to get the water out of the flooded NY subway tunnels, according to Metro Transit Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz.In lower Manhattan, utility workers were trapped for three hours by rising floodwaters inside a power substation and had to be rescued by firefighters in inflatable boats.

Highways, public transit and bridges were closed early on Monday. The city's public schools will remain closed Tuesday, as will the New York Stock Exchange. Some of the city's universities and museums have opted to shut their doors until further notice as well.Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coastline with 80mph (129kph) winds Monday night and continued to sustain that power moving further along the Eastern Coastline. A total of 16 deaths have been reported thus far nationwide.