Sandy as seen from the 'bunker'

Jason Tagg.
Jason Tagg.
From the roof of his "bunker" in Brooklyn Heights, New York, former Dunedin resident Jason Tagg watched, in the dark, as lower Manhattan Island started to go under water.

When the Otago Daily Times first spoke to Mr Tagg, before the worst of the storm had hit, he recounted with amusement how some New Yorkers were stocking up on bread and cans of food while "other folks are searching for beer or mixers for their cocktails".

The storm meant he had a day off from his internet magazine job in the World Trade Centre but was in contact with his colleagues from home via email.

He recounted how the ukulele cabaret he had organised for Halloween had been affected by cuts in public transport and how he had to walk from his home across the Brooklyn Bridge.

People a couple of blocks away were evacuated but in his five-storey apartment building, on high ground across the East River from Manhattan, Mr Tagg was relatively isolated from the storm.

He could barely make out the sound of the wind and his friends began calling his apartment "the bunker".

Most of his information was coming via the internet, including the ODT, which he sought out to gain an international perspective on the storm all around him.

About 2am (local time), his lights began to flicker and he lost the internet connection.

Soon afterwards, he emailed from his phone that he was on the roof deck of his building.

"It is very windy.

"Brooklyn Bridge Park is flooded.

"Lower Manhattan appears to have largely lost power.

"Only one World Trade Centre and the other new tower there appear to still have power."

He then walked to an area known as "down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass" [Dumbo] where he found flooding was much worse than during last year's tropical cyclone Irene.

"Water was almost to the door of the old Grimaldis ... for those tourists who have waited in line too long there for Brooklyn's best pie.

"Internet is gone and cell service is now spotty."

• Mr Tagg, who has been in New York 14 years, is the son of Margaret and Prof John Tagg, of Dunedin.

 

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