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PHOTOS: Hurricane Sandy Devastates New York City

By Patrick Hedlund | October 30, 2012 5:46pm

NEW YORK CITY — In what authorities are describing as possibly the most devastating storm to hit New York City, Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York late Monday, killing at least 18 people and creating chaos across the five boroughs.

More than a quarter-million people from Coney Island to Westchester were left without power, a massive fire decimated 80 homes in Breezy Point in the Rockaways, and record flooding washed away entire cars and left boats on the street, authorities said.

“Make no mistake about it, this was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, with the damage particularly severe in the Rockaways and Staten Island.

MTA officials expect subway service to remain shut down for the next four to five days, and hundreds of thousands will be without power as Con Ed works to restore completely blacked-out swaths of the city below 39th Street.

"Sadly, this storm claimed the lives of people throughout the region," the mayor added. "And tragically, we expect that number to go up as information continues to come in."