On the Westside Highway, running north-south along the west side of Manhattan, signs of a significant flood are visible. An abnormally-large slew of cans, papers, cups, and Styrofoam, in addition to shards of broken glass, are objects to dodge as one walks north-bound along the edge of the road.
This typically well-traveled roadway features a mere fraction of its usual crowd, thanks to un-powered street lights and of course the debris. Late Monday night into early Tuesday morning, the Hudson River -- which runs parallel to the Westside Highway-- swelled over its banks, flowing freely into lower Manhattan. This not only caused prompted roads to be shut down, but flooded basements as well.
Alex Demarinis, a plumber in lower Manhattan, tells the tale of a major uptick in business since Super Storm Sandyâ??s visit to New York City.
â??Well, itâ??s been really crazy these last few hours. Weâ??ve tried to setup some portable generators right now to help out these few building that we service in this area," he says. "Besides the entire lower Manhattan power being out, I mean, all of these basements are completely flooded with water; all the way up to the ceiling head of the basement.â??
Of course, on the other side of the coin, building owners like Kit White face a big uphill cleanup battle.
â??The water came into the street with such force, that it essentially broke down the doors of every store on the street. So every store was completely inundated and people had taken enormous precautions," White says. "Everyone had sandbagged their fronts, and put plastic upâ?¦As soon as it came in, there were logs going down our street, we watched a Coke machine float out of the store across the street through the doors that had broken down.â??
With stories like these, itâ??s clear it may be days, even weeks before business returns to normal in lower Manhattan.