New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed major bridges in the New York City region to all traffic as of 7 p.m. Monday evening to protect vehicle against mounting wind gusts caused by Hurricane Sandy.
By mid-afternoon, the storm-driven winds were already high enough to cause the collapse of a crane on top of 157 West 57th Street across from Carnegie Hall. The crane, which was dangling from the top of the building, caused police to close 57th Street and evacuate the buildings next to the high-rise condominium under construction.
The building, which will be the tallest apartment tower in the city, is attracting purchases by Russian and Chinese billionaires. One penthouse apartment has already sold for $95 million.
The bridges affected include the George Washington Bridge, the Verrazano Bridge and the Whitestone Bridge.
The storm, which was about 100 miles southwest of the city at 4 p.m., was moving northeast faster than earlier in the day and is now expected to hit the city at around 6 p.m., some two hours before the high tide.
When the storm hits the city, it is expected to have wind gusts of up to 90 miles an hour.
For continuing coverage of the storm and its aftermath, see the JOC's Hurricane Sandy special topic page.