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NYC commuters deal with Sandy's wrath

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 31 2012 07:13:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 01 2012 10:33:02 AM CDT
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -

Sometimes getting into New York City is no picnic on a normal day. But Sandy is making life even more difficult for those who live here, but work there.

Bo Koltnow took a photographer to see how the commute would go on Wednesday.

With Transbridge and Bieber Buses both working on a limited New York City schedule, getting to the Big Apple is what you could expect.

Eighty minutes of smooth driving. Then, the first hurdle into Manhattan, a still flooded Holland Tunnel.

This is a site many may not see again: a deserted path to the Holland Tunnel.
However it's still flooded. According to the Port Authority it will be closed for a week.

Our now circuitous commuter route took us to either the George Washington Bridge or the Lincoln Tunnel-both are now open.

After 25 minutes, we made it into a very odd-looking lower Manhattan: without power, traffic was non-existent.

Chic stores now closed and on this Halloween, the typically vibrant Greenwich Village looked more like a ghost town.

For those looking to travel or who work in Lower Manhattan this is what you can expect, at least for the next few days.

The pumping of water replacing the pounding of feet;  the bustle of business replaced by the clearing of debris and a very flooded Brooklyn Battery Tunnel turning around anyone it its path.

To give you an idea of how high the water is: the top of the tunnel is 12 feet, the water is just below that. 

Above 39th Street it's a different city. The power is on, traffic is tight, crowds are heavy.

Bo's wife, who works for an international fashion house here in Midtown, was told by her boss, after two days business is open. But that's on 57th Street.

Downtown stores is a different story.  Work or play, taking a bite out of the Big Apple will have a much different taste, at least for the next week.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered new driving restrictions. He announced that only high-occupancy vehicles - with at least three people --  could enter Manhattan from most bridges and tunnels for the next several days.

On Thursday night, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a transportation emergency for the storm affected region around New York City.

He announced that fares on all mass transit, including busese, subways, Metro North and Long Island railroads and Access-A-Ride, will be suspended for Thursday and Friday.