WHEN Danielle Campbell moved to New York 18 months ago, she never imagined she would be caught up in one of the worst storms to strike the city in a generation.
Living in one of the worst-hit areas, the former Griffith girl's Lower Manhattan apartment block was flooded with seawater as high tides swamped the city.
With electricity and water cut off for the time being, Ms Campbell has been forced to move in with friends in Harlem until the flooding recedes.
Entire communities have been decimated and more than 43 lives lost in the freak storm that tore across the US east coast and for Ms Campbell, the experience has been "unnerving".
"We saw a power station blow up there was this blue flash of light across the sky, it was quite apocalyptic," Ms Campbell said.
"We were off the grid for 24 hours with no power and no cell phone reception and once we came back on, we realised how bad it really was."
Ms Campbell, who moved to New York after she landed a job in marketing, bunkered down to wait for the storm on Monday but was relatively unaffected by the wind and rain.
She said the high tides that followed have caused the most damage, flooding streets and buildings and shutting down the city's iconic subway system for what could be months.
With the clean-up effort now well under way, Ms Campbell said community spirit is beginning to shine through.
"People with power have brought adapters outside their apartment so strangers can plug in their phones and charge them. It gives you a nice feeling and makes me appreciate the city more," she said. "As the days go on, it's slowly starting to feel better."
Former Griffith man John Woodbridge, who was planning to run the New York Marathon on Sunday, said he has been relatively unaffected in Soho but has a number of friends who have been impacted.
"We have been very fortunate that our power and water is still on and we live on high ground in a low-rise building so the flooding and winds weren't bad," Mr Woodbridge said.
Mr Woodbridge said supermarkets were bedlam with people desperately stocking up on food and with mass transport closed, people were struggling to get to work.