The New York City subway system sustained serious damage due to floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy, and a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokesperson said Tuesday morning that seven vital subway tunnels under the East River are flooded, in a historic disaster that "affects every borough" in the city.


"We're in the process of trying to assess the extent of the damage down there in order to begin the recovery process," MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz told CNN. "It really is difficult to predict the amount of time it's going to take to pump water from these flooded tunnels."

Video published Tuesday showed flooding even as far away as the PATH subway station in Hoboken, New Jersey, where water was pictured rushing in through a full-size door. Flooding also "disabled" six bus garages, the MTA said, and in some tunnels the waters are up to four-feet high.

In a statement published to the MTA's website, chairman Joseph J. Lhota declared that the city's subway system has never faced a disaster so great in all its 108 years of operation.

"We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery," he said. "Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal."

This video was broadcast by CNN on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.

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