Downtown towers assess damage
The World Financial Center and other neighboring office buildings in lower Manhattan were operational Tuesday morning, a source said, though Brookfield Properties, the complex's owner, announced it had closed the buildings. "The power is on, there is no sign of water, and I'm taking the elevator up to my office," the source, who asked not to be named, said on the way up to his office in the 8 million-square-foot office complex "Goldman Sachs's headquarters is lit up like a Christmas tree," the person, who asked not to be named, said. Lower Manhattan, along with several other areas of the city, was buffeted by an ocean surge last night as Sandy blew ashore, lifting water levels by 13 feet or more, according to early reports. The deluge was enough to swamp several city blocks, including West Street, which runs adjacent to the World Financial Center. According to reports, the World Trade Center site was inundated with water, though the extent of the flooding there, where billions of dollars of commercial development and transit infrastructure is being built, was not immediately clear. A spokesman at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey declined to comment, stating that the authority was still assessing the situation at the WTC site. In photographs taken before and during the storm in lower Manhattan, the entrance to the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters at 200 West St. near the World Financial Center was walled off with a tall ring of sand bags in preparation for the flooding. How effective this barrier was or if the building even needed it was unclear early Tuesday. A spokesman at Goldman Sachs could not immediately be reached. A spokesman for Silverstein Properties, which along with the Port Authority is redeveloping the WTC site, also could not be reached. Brookfield Properties' spokeswoman did not return calls.
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