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NYC Begins Clean-Up Of 'Not Enormous' Damage From Tropical Storm Irene

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Tropical Storm Irene has left and New York City's evacuation order is lifted, but the storm's impact continues to be felt.

"We are seeing some very serious consequences of the storm, including flooding and downed trees and power outages. And as we anticipated, the storm surge has caused serious flooding across the five boroughs including here in Lower Manhattan where the East and Hudson Rivers are flowing over their banks into the parks," Bloomberg said.

"We did have substantial erosion at the Staten Island beaches and in the Rockaways," he added.

More than 370,000 people had been ordered to leave parts of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.  MTA Chairman Jay Walder said that many bridges would not be collecting toll to facilitate people getting back to their homes.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Irene | Viewer/Listener Pics

WCBS 880's Steve Knight: Bloomberg Says "We Are In Pretty Good Shape"


The mayor also toured Ground Zero Sunday. He said the September 11 Memorial is not damaged.

"All in all, we're in pretty good shape," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was happy to report there were no deaths or serious injuries as a result of the storm, and calling the damage the city sustained as "not enormous."

The mayor also said only 45 people were arrested in the city on Saturday night -- a far cry from the typical 345 arrests made on a Saturday night in August.

Firefighters rescued dozens of people from flooded homes on Staten Island, residents removed garbage and debris from clogged sewer gates and once-quiet roads became busier soon after Irene crossed New York as a powerful tropical storm.

Evacuation Center
Gary Watters at evacuation site at Park West High School. (credit: Juliet Papa, 1010 WINS)

LISTEN: 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports from Staten Island


In Queens, bungalows floated down the street and emergency crews were checking to make sure no one was inside. There was heavy flooding in other parts of the city, but Manhattan was mostly spared.

Coney Island boardwalk landmarks like the red parachute drop tower, the Cyclone roller coaster, and Dino's Wonder Wheel appeared intact. Residents there pitched in to dislodge debris from the sewer gates.

"It's working," said Daniels Stevens, as a small whirlpool appeared where the water was draining out. "When we started, the water was almost up over the hub caps on that parked car."

Bloomberg said that there were about 650 downed trees throughout the five boroughs.  The Parks Department had more than 100 forestry crews working to remove downed trees and limbs, the mayor said.

The mayor also warned that trees could still be vulnerable, adding "nature is dangerous so pay attention."

WCBS 880's Alex Silverman With The Mayor At One Police Plaza


Con Edison is reporting thousands of outages across New York City.

But one of the biggest concerns in the city was flooding, especially in low-lying areas of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Rainfall overnight sent water streaming into some streets from overflowing sewers and seawater from New York Harbor poured over the edge the sidewalk at Battery Park.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Mayor Michael Bloomberg meets with officials in the Situation Room at the Joint Operations Center at One Police Plaza - New York, NY - Aug 28, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Along the coast, flooding is worse. Water was pouring into streets of the Rockaways, an area Bloomberg had ordered evacuated. More than 370,000 people around the city were told to be out by 5 p.m. Saturday.

WCBS 880's Alex Silverman: Irene Left A Crab In Lower Manhattan


There is some heavy flooding in Brooklyn. Many streets in Coney Island are under water and in Red Hook, water was coming in about 100 yards. There are also reports of downed trees and power outages.

In Queens, residents are worried about the flood waters. Terry Sheridan of 1010 WINS reported that many large trees were  down in Queens as well.

Is your neighborhood flooded? Is there damage from the storm? Let us know in our comments section below...


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