Hurricane Sandy has moved on but the damage remains. The following picture of Times Square posted on Gizmodo caught my eye. Fortunately, it does not look real. Lights should not be on and there would be debris everywhere.

However, the Metra chairman did say water was “literally up to the ceiling” at one downtown station, so take this image and use your imagination, adding dead rats, debris, and whatever else suits your fancy.

Bloomberg reports the New York Subway System May Take Weeks to Recover From Flooding.

Restoring service on New York subway lines that have been flooded could take weeks, said Mortimer Downey, a former MTA executive director and current board member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

“From the New York viewpoint, they’ve got a lot of work ahead of them,” Downey said in an interview. “It’s going to be days and possibly weeks.”

He declined to estimate what the recovery may cost because there’s no precedent for the work that will need to be done.

Previous reports said the New York city subway would remain closed for 14 hours to four days.

Unprecedented Challenges

Reuters reports Sandy leaves unprecedented challenges for New York City subways

The giant storm Sandy wreaked havoc on the New York City subway system, flooding tunnels, garages and rail yards and threatening to paralyze the nation’s largest mass-transit system for days.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night,” Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, said in a statement early on Tuesday.

He later said that water was “literally up to the ceiling” at one downtown station.

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 Deirdre Parker said on Tuesday.

At dawn, emergency crews were assessing the damage to tunnels and elevated tracks. Restoring the system is likely to be a gradual process, Parker said.

“It’s really hard to say which areas will come back first,” she said, adding it will likely be a combination of limited subway and bus service. “It will come back gradually.”

The storm brought a record storm surge of almost 14 feet (4.2 meters) to downtown Manhattan, well above the previous record of 10 feet (3 meters) during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.

ABC Video×221&freeWheel.siteSectionId=nws_offsite&closedCaptionActive=true&addThis.playerSize=392×221&closedCaptionsOverPlayer.fontsize=12

Link if Video does not play: Sandy Floods NYC Subway System

80 Flooded Homes Destroyed by Fire

The Huffington Post reports At least 80 Flooded Houses Destroyed By NYC Blaze.

A huge fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood Tuesday, forcing firefighters to undertake daring rescues and injuring three people.

More than 190 firefighters contained the blaze but were still putting out some pockets of fire more than nine hours after it erupted.

As daylight broke, neighbors walked around aimlessly through their smoke-filled Breezy Point neighborhood, which sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Electrical wires dangled within feet of the street.

Click on preceding link for a video and images of the fire.

The economic losses from Sandy will far exceed the physical damages. Ridership losses on the NY subway alone will be catastrophic.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock