CITY OF FEAR; FRANKENSTORM NEW YORK MAYHEM Killer Hurricane Batters U.S East Coast 1,000s Evacuated & Transport Closed Down

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THE city that never sleeps fell silent last night as Hurricane Sandy bulldozed its way over America's East Coast.

New York faced a "life-threatening storm surge" as streets were flooded, water poured into the Subway and hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated. City Governor Andrew Cuomo said cars were floating down streets in Lower Manhattan.

As dawn broke over the western Atlantic yesterday, the hurricane followed a predicted path through New York, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, on a collision course with two other weather systems.

Experts said the clash could create a "Frankenstorm", with the potential to hit more than 50 million people and wreak havoc across 800 miles.

The centre of the storm hit land about 7pm New York time - midnight here - but heavy rain and strong winds lashed the coast from early afternoon. Higher tides due to a full moon compounded the threat to the metropolitan area of 20 million people. Environmental prediction expert Louis Uccellini said: "This is the worst-case scenario."

Forecasters were expecting a potentially lethal storm surge as 100mph winds battered Long Island Sound, off New York.

Due to collide with a storm moving in from the west and cold air from the Arctic, it blasted areas from the East Coast to the Great Lakes, with states of emergency declared from North Carolina to Connecticut.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier ordered people in lowlying areas to evacuate and all public transport was shut. The mayor's office called in 1,000 National Guard recruits to help with the emergency operation.

But emergency services in Lower Manhattan reported having difficulty in operating due to flooded streets.

The hurricane was still over 200 miles away when a giant crane on top of a partly-built residential tower in Manhattan snapped.

Emergency workers ordered surrounding streets to be closed. Two people were missing yesterday after the HMS Bounty, a replica of the famous ship used in the 1962 Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty, had to be abandoned. …