New York City's Subways, Tunnels, Bridges Recover From Hurricane Sandy

Chris Cuomo on the latest as NYC residents come back from the storm.
3:00 | 10/30/12

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Transcript for New York City's Subways, Tunnels, Bridges Recover From Hurricane Sandy
And "20/20" anchor chris cuomo has been tracking the storm. He has been out all night in the city of 8 million people. Subways paralyzed. Tunnels and roads under water and shows what it is like to live in new york in the wake of this fierce storm. Chris. Reporter: Diane, last night new york city was down but today proof it is not out. Sandy broke a lot of storm records, to be sure we've never seen wind and water punish this place this way. But the men and women who live and work here are now out to set their own record, quickest comeback. Sandy's tidal surge, the scourge of downtown manhattan, a record 14-foot plume pulverized seawalls, made tunnels and construction sites into lagoon, near hurricane force winds turbocharged it making streets nearly impassing plunging 700,000 in darkness but today new yorkers are trying to make light of living in the dark. Even up high. John and his roomies showed us their 12-story trek home. Reporter: This 12, right? 12, here we go. Reporter: Much greater challenges lay below ground in the subways. Manhattan is like a beating heart. The subways, the blood vessels that keep it going and connected to the rest of the sprawling metropolis. Every day they move 5.3 million people on 660 miles of track. They connect to four other commuter rails bringing another 1 million suburbanites into new york. Sunday this underground world ground to a halt and so did life in this city. Within about a two-hour period we started to see the surges coming over. Reporter: Holy cow. We went into the labyrinth of debris, water and damage that are the city's subways with mta official joe leader. What percentage of the railways that we need are underwater? We have 46 miles of track currently underwater right now. Reporter: The biggest problem lies beyond the turnstiles. This is the real deal. These are the stairs going down into the subway. We are actually about two levels up right now. Reporter: What are we talking about, 50, 60 feet? Yes. Reporter: They have to pump out the water and repair signals on 60 miles of track just to start and in joe's eye not concern, confidence. How many men? Close to 1,500 people have been working. Reporter: Like a small army. Yes, we'll just roll with it. We have to do it. It's part of our job. Reporter: Diane, joe says two days. Two days until workers are back on the subway. Here we are in the middle of the financial district, it's just a stone's throw away. Bowling green usually has a flood of financiers and workers that drive our economy now clearly closed but also right now men are down there in the dark on their way to fixing the subway and this city, diane. And they show up and say we'll just roll with it as you showed us, chris. Thank you so much and one more

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