Sandy leaves behind flooding, fire, destruction in New York City

NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the death toll in the city from the huge storm is up to 17.

He also says it could be three days or more before power is restored to hundreds of thousands of people now in the dark. He is giving no estimate on when public transit would be running, though he expects some buses be running later Tuesday.

The megastorm Sandy caused 13-foot storm surges in Manhattan. Trees also fell throughout the area.

New York City is starting to clean up after the storm hit late Monday into Tuesday causing flooding, high winds and major power outages.

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in New York and Long Island.

-- About 1,780,347 customers are without power, according to numbers from power suppliers.

-- New York's LaGuardia Airport is not expected to open Wednesday due to damage from Sandy, but John F. Kennedy International Airport will most likely be reopened, Cuomo said.

-- New York University Langone Medical Center went dark late Monday. More than 200 patients were being evacuated after backup power failed, said Lisa Greiner, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

-- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said more than 80 houses were believed to be lost in the Breezy Point fire in Queens.

-- Water spilled into subway tunnels connecting Manhattan with Brooklyn and with Queens, said Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Aaron Donavan. The water will have to be pumped out as it will not recede on its own.

-- The subway system remains closed entirely, as does MTA's bus system.

-- Two roadway tunnels linking Manhattan to the two boroughs took on water, too, and seven MTA bridges are closed because of high winds.

-- Obama declared a disaster in New York state, freeing up federal funds for the counties of Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York, Richmond (Staten Island), Suffolk and Queens.

-- A crane atop a luxury Manhattan skyscraper under construction partly collapsed Monday, leaving its arm precariously perched and hanging over West 57th Street.

The National Hurricane Center said that as of 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, the storm was moving westward across Pennsylvania and was centered about 145 miles west of Philadelphia.

The advisory is the last the center will issue the storm system.

It lost its hurricane status on Monday and is now considered an extratropical cyclone. It has left more than 7.5 million people without power.

Superstorm Sandy left wreckage in its wake "beyond anything I thought I'd ever see," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at a news conference Tuesday.

"The level of devastation at the Jersey Shore is unthinkable," he said.

The state is "nowhere near" allowing many residents to return to that area, Christie said.

He plans to fly out Tuesday to visit one of the worst-hit areas, but there is nowhere for him to land at the Barrier Islands because of all the damage.

Also, every rail line in the state has faced major damage, he said.

Christie said he's confident that President Barack Obama and the federal government will work with New Jersey and that the state will rebuild.

It is expected to move into western New York on Tuesday night and move into Canada on Wednesday.