msnbc | October 29, 2012
>>> coverage of sandy and those are night vision lens looking into midtown manhattan and the crane that is dangling 74 stories up a luxury residential building. we are watching that very closely. a very precarious situation there as it is throughout much of manhattan. in fact, there has been a confirmed death. the first in a city. a man in flushing queens when a tree crashed into his house and crushed him. ida of our new york station wnbc, is in lower manhattan . ida, what can you tell us?
>> reporter: chris, we're maybe a couple blocks away from the world trade center site and there was significant flooding out here for much of the evening. i'd say from maybe 8:00 up until -- well, right this very moment. check out the flooding here. these are the northbound lanes of the highway. if i walk back here, i'm probably in the deepest area where we are standing, maybe about ten inches of water here. if we look up north, it's a little dark and hard to see and it looks like there's two feet of water in that direction. all in all, the good news is, we've seen a lot of receding. maybe an hour ago this entire area was completely underwater. i would say half an hour ago, i want to show you this cardboard box that barely survived the storm. this was underwater half an hour ago and that's a good 50 feet from where the water is right now. things are starting to recede. at the height of it, when the storm really hit, we had much of battery park city under water. we were stranded on what amounted to an island of high ground within battery park city and we just had water everywhere we turned. the entire west side highway was under water. it's unprecedented. it's historic flooding here in new york city . much of lower manhattan submerged beneath the hudson river , new york harbor . it's an island, of course, and surrounded by water at every turn and it's very rare to see this much water flow and surge on to city streets . one witness telling us that it looked like the bottom of a toilet bowl the way the water was circling down into the tunnel. we've been told that water has been flowing down well into the subbe way system, flooding the subways there. as you know, the new york city subway system was shut down yesterday. it's likely they thought they'd be able to get it back up at some point tomorrow or later on today, i should say. i don't even know what time it is anymore. but now that there's such massive flooding, getting that system up and running again is going to be extremely difficult. the other issue downtown tonight is the power. the power is out where we are and we're told that anyone south of 39th street, for those familiar with manhattan, have lost power as well. the traffic lights are out. the apartment buildings are out, the industrial buildings are out. no one has a backup generator going. even though the floodwaters are receding, which, of course, is great news, it's still a dangerous and precarious situation out here. a ghost town in lower manhattan , if you've ever seen one because, quite frankly, even though the storm look like the worst of it is on its way out, we're still dealing with the after effects which is the power and the flooding.
>> ida siegal in lower manhattan .