After Sandy, New York City Underwater, Cut Off

City's famous subway system was flooded and LaGuardia airport submerged in massive storm.
3:00 | 10/31/12

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Transcript for After Sandy, New York City Underwater, Cut Off
Tonit, lower manhattan remains eerily dark and partially under water. After 18 people lost their lives due to the storm here. My colleague, abc's juju chang spent last night wading through a flooded downtown and today, went to survey the damage. What's going on? You have to go another route. Reporter: It took us much of the day navigating through streets made treacherous through by sandy's fury. We got hit by wave. We managed to rend v ed d to rendezvous for a harrowing view of the city. Look at this neighborhood. Reporter: Devastated. That building is gone entirely. Reporter: Their mission, to get a more accurate picture of sandy's impact. More flooding on the left side. Reporter: And search for stranded souls. Who were you able to rescue today? I had to rescue a couple of males and fae males, he was diabetic and she was pretty shooken up. Reporter: Last night, new york's rivers sunked above the banks of wer manhattan with a record wolff water. Today, you could see the damage everywhere. The vital infrastructure, under ground subway, crippled, the system that carries 5 million riders every day, still a deluged tunnel of darkness. Authorities say it will take days to pump the water out of 46 miles of flooded track, largely because thof that, the city is paralyzed, schools, restaurants and many businesses remain closed. With subways shut down the only only way on and off this island are bridges and tunnels which only today are slowly beginning to reopen. The verrazano is open for business. Last night we met the bradshaw family that live in the shad oest world trade center and ignored mandatory evacuation orders and rode out storm with their 1-month-old. We take this seriously and we're prepared. Reporter: They lost power and at high tide last night river water chest deep was in their lobby. Today they reversed course. The plan is to head uptown to someplace with power, midtown, and stay in a hotel for the next three nights until I fly out to florida to visit family. Reporter: They evacuated down 15 flights of stairs in darkness. That is amazing. But flying out of this city is easier said than done. All three new york area airports remain closed. LOOKS like LaGuardia is sinking into the ocean there. Reporter: That is laguardia down there normally handles 1,000 flights a day, now a modern-day atlantis. It looks like a river. It doesn't look a land mass, it looks like a lake or pond. As we fly around the lower tip of manhattan, even new york's waterways -- a lot of oil there. Reporter: And when with touch down we thought our journey was over. The coast guard guys dropped us off at the wall street helipad which clearly sustained a lot of damage. There is flooding in mere. We're locked. We're locked in. We hit another obstacle. Either we go for a swim in the river or go over that fence. There is no way out. Here goes nothing. I'm out. Tonight, this was the scene in lower manttan as we made our way back uptown. Everyone of the skyscrapers are without power, they are just dark. No streetlights, no stoplights. The only lights are the headlights of the con ed trucks frantically trying to restore power. As they work through the night, which may be fitting for a city that never sleeps. I'm juju chang for "nightline" in manhattan.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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