US President Barack Obama has declared a "major disaster in New York State and Long island as fires rage, subways, streets and now ground Zero are flooded, and power is cut to millions of homes.

Across the city, a building front has collapsed, a power sub-station has exploded, a hospital was evacuated, among them 20 babies from neonatal intensive care - some on respirators operating on battery power, and fire has destroyed 50 homes.

An estimated 50 million people could still be affected by the storm, with up to a million ordered to evacuate homes. But elsewhere in New Jersey a levee has broken, flooding the towns of Moonachie and Little Ferry .

But essential advice being given out to New Yorkers is; don't use 911, the emergency service, unless it is life threatening, contact family and friends via social media. Don't attempt to wade or swim through any water as it is contaminated. And avoid using generators in enclosed spaces through the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Sandy although now downgraded from a hurricane is still described as a "super-storm", is currently moving north and heading for Canada.

Written and presented by Ann Salter