Here's the bottom line...a storm surge of greater than 10.5 feet would send salt water spilling into the New York streets and cascading down through the subways, causing unimaginable damage to an aging infrastructure system. The system would flood as ancient pumps sputtered, corroded, and failed, movement between the boroughs would cease, and economic calamity would follow.
So - are we there yet?
High tide at the Battery is 8:53 PM. So how do we look, approaching Zero Hour? NOAA reports:
Date Time Normal tide Sandy Surge
20121029 17:48 2.57 9.33
20121029 17:54 2.68 9.48
20121029 18:00 2.80 9.62
20121029 18:06 2.91 9.74
20121029 18:12 3.02 9.95
We may - may - be saved by the fact that Sandy hooked it east a few hours early and it will be making landfall right off of Cape May, New Jersey, as opposed to the earlier predictions placing it some 50-75 miles north, and that much closer to New York.
We'll know in less than 90 minutes...