Update: Sandy came ashore at 8pm EDT.
Image from the comments of flooding on the lower east side near the Battery.
ABOUT 5 MI...10 KM SW OF ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY
ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM NE OF CAPE MAY NEW JERSEY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 23 MPH...37 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...946 MB...27.93 INCHES
SURFACE...RADAR...AND AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT
DATA INDICATE THAT POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE SANDY MADE LANDFALL NEAR
ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY AROUND 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...WITH
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 80 MPH...130 KM/H.
NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE TIDE GAUGES HAVE RECENTLY REPORTED STORM
SURGE HEIGHTS OF 11.9 FEET AT KINGS POINT NEW YORK...8.4 FEET
AT THE BATTERY NEW YORK...AND 8.6 FEET AT SANDY HOOK NEW JERSEY.
Sandy is coming ashore in minutes as a post tropical storm (a zombiecane) between 7 (now) and 8pm tonight. Wave heights NOAA buoy 44065 at the entrance to New York harbor are 31 feet at a period of 15 seconds at 6:50 pm EDT. At 8:50 pm buoy wave heights peaked at 32.5 feet.
Storm surge levels are presently exceeding predicted levels by 2 feet at the Battery in New York City. A forecast of 12 foot above sea level (mean low tide level) tides plus storm surge will apparently be exceeded by 2 feet as the surge is exceeding the model's forecast. Water levels of 14 feet can be expected at high tide tonight.
UPDATE: 13.34 ft above mean low water level at 7:59pm
Update again: The Battery is peaking at about 14 feet (It's 13.87 at 8:59pm)
Water levels are dropping now (just before 10pm. time markers on graph unclear.)at Battery Park. Conditions will begin to improve on the lower east side.
The Battery has clearly peaked at about 14 feet.
Sandy moved ashore at a speed of about 24 knots. That is close to the propagation speed of 15 second period waves. This situation is producing a captured fetch that has amplified the swell height. The combination of tides exceeding predicted levels by 2 feet plus the huge swells will devastate local beaches and waterfront properties in New Jersey and New York. As Sandy moves ashore, winds in New York Harbor will turn southerly, driving water pushed landward by easterly winds up the harbor as high tide approaches. This situation is likely to be very destructive in New York harbor. Water levels in Atlantic City have started to drop ahead of the predicted time. Conditions may begin to improve in Atlantic City while they get worse in New York harbor over the next few hours.
Kings Point, New York (on the sound side) had water levels 4 feet higher than predicted about an hour ago near low tide. Continued southeast winds could make the peak water levels exceed predicted levels by 2 feet if present trends continue. This would put water levels at 15 feet above mean low water levels.
The latest levels at Kings Point are over 12 feet. Kings Point is exceeding predictions, but I've noticed a problem with the other graph not updating, so I'm not quite sure what's going on. I changed NOAA istes to get this graph.
Sandy Hook NJ, near New York Harbor is already 12feet above MSL, 2 feet more than forecast. It may rise to 14 feet above MSL in the next hour if the the anomaly holds as can be expected for another hour. It looks like surge forecasts in the New York City area will be exceeded by about 2 feet.
-----note @ 11:05pm est
The Sandy Hook tide gauge appears to have failed at about 8pm. Storm surf may have destroyed the gauge.