Superstorm Sandy: Surveying the Damage on NY's Waterfront

The Coast Guard took ABC's Josh Elliot on one of its first survey missions.
3:00 | 10/31/12

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Transcript for Superstorm Sandy: Surveying the Damage on NY's Waterfront
Thanks for that, chris. We're getting a closer look from the air, and beneath our city, just how sandy has hammered the east coast and new york altogether. Officials are racing to assess the scope of this damage. To that, we went out with the first survey missions yesterday afternoon. To see the damage of new york left behind in thetion of hurricane sandy. What's the worst-case scenario in terms of what we're looking for? People not really understanding the power of the water. Standing in an area. People may try to approach an area underwater. They could be taken by surprise and get trapped. Reporter: The damage quite severe. Downed trees along the shoreline. E hudson river still not back to normal, one day after sandy's deadly strike. These are big swells. These rough waters, still swollen, still dangerous. Just over my right shoulder, you see the police boat patrolling the shoreline there. That's where the hudson breached last night and began flowing into manhattan proper. The flooding so severe, it cut off all of battery park from the rest of manhattan. That's also where the water first breached the brooklyn battery tunnel, causing the massive flooding that this whole area is still recovering from today. As night falls, an eerie image on the island's southern tip. Building after building after building, absolutely no lights. And from the empire state, down to the tip of manhattan, almost without exception. Tonight, almost 24 hours, still sitting in virtual darkness. It was a stunning sight to see. It was hard to see in the piece, you guys. But it was so desolate out there. Just before 6:00 p.M. Yesterday, which would have been rush hour for new york harbor. It would have been filled with barges, tankers. Except for the one police boat on the shoreline, we were completely alone. It's like two different cities right now. It's so eerie downtown. People looking in the streets for food. The empire state building is not just a beacon. It is the cutoff point. Also getting back to normal,

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