New York: It's the city that never sleeps. But as our own Nina Mehlhaf showed us in videos sent from her iPhone, Superstorm Sandy has left even some of the busiest places in the city deserted.
"This is when I knew Hurricane Sandy was going to be the real deal," Nina said as she struggled with strong winds near Columbus Circle. "Normally, this would be packed with people, cabs and cars at this time of day, people getting cabs. It's totally empty."
Last Thursday, Nina flew into Newark, New Jersey to visit family. She planned to leave Monday night, but 7,000 flights and counting have been canceled, including hers.
Now, Nina and her mother are sticking out the storm in a hotel on New York's Upper West Side.
"Many hotels are packed with visitors stranded like myself," Nina said. "Most of us had to actually stock up ourselves, just in case of a power outage. We stocked up with lots of bottled water, snacks, even a pizza."
"We also made sure to charge our cellphones even our iPad in case of a power outage, and we even got a candle and a lighter, just in case."
In true news junkie fashion, Nina couldn't just sit and wait to see what damage Sandy would do -- she took the the streets and found out herself.
Standing on West 58th and Columbus Circle, near Central Park, Nina pointed out a construction crane half-collapsed atop a new 70-story building. Nina said police and fire officials closed off the nearby streets and there was no word if anyone was hurt yet.
"The Mayor and the Governor of New York said yesterday, all the construction cranes in the city they thought had been reinforced to withstand hurricane force winds, but obviously not in this case," said Nina.
With winds already wreaking havoc, Nina noticed the usually gruff New Yorker mentality was nowhere to be seen.
"Shelves that were filled with bread, milk, proprietor's snacks are all bare," she said. "It's a little unsettling for an Oregonian, because New Yorkers are so unfazed by so many things, but they are heeding the governor's warning to stock up and stay inside."
After showing us around the city, Nina took cover in the safety of her hotel room. Like millions of others, all she can do now is watch the weather and wait for the next flight out.
You can follow Nina on Twitter -- her handle is @ninamehlhaf