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New York grinds to a halt

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: New Yorkers awoke on Tuesday to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy after it smashed into the eastern United States, swamping New York's subway system and submerging streets in low-lying areas throughout the city. The damage left by Monday evening's storm surge could be seen in many areas of the city, including along First Avenue in the upper east side. Workers on Tuesday began the slow clean up process that is expected to take days or weeks. Downed trees were a common site in the city, as well as minor damage to many structures, including the United Nations building which was closed due to the storm. But the biggest obstacle for the city is going to be getting the transit system working again so the city's residents can return to work. Grand Central Terminal, whose iconic floor is usually filled with a sea of commuters on any weekday, was empty on Tuesday, as the building was closed to all but essential workers. New York City's subway is likely to be out of service for another four to five days after monster storm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Tuesday. All seven subway tunnels running under the East River from Manhattan to Queens and Brooklyn took in water, and any resulting saltwater damage to the system's electrical components will have to be cleaned - in some cases off-site - before the system can be restored, MTA spokeswoman Diedre Parker said on Tuesday. The city is hoping to resume limited bus service on Tuesday and full bus service on Wednesday. The New Jersey PATH train service between New York City and New Jersey is likely to be suspended for at least a week to 10 days, the state's governor, Chris Christie, told a news conference on Tuesday. In midtown people continued to be captivated by a partially collapsed crane that could be seen dangling from a tall residential building. The crane collapsed on Monday and streets in the area continue to be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

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