9:24pm: Six and a half million without power from Virginia to Maine.
13,000 flights have been cancelled from New York's airports.
And the death toll is now reportedly 16 - including one woman in Canada.
7:35pm: The death toll from tropical storm Sandy is now 14.
New York is one of the areas hardest hit - with cars floating down streets, and subway stations filling with water -- five people have been killed in New York alone.
Millions of people across 11 states have no power, but the worst is thought to be over.
President Barack Obama says the clean-up bill is going to be huge.
"I think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. The good news is we will clean up and we will get through this."
6:36pm: Here's a video of today's events courtesy of CNN.
5:41pm: The death toll from super storm Sandy is now at least 13.
The former hurricane swept a wall of churning sea water and driving rain onto the eastern United States, flooding major cities.
Sea water has coursed between the iconic skyscrapers of New York's financial district in lower Manhattan, flooding subways and road tunnels.
It's also shorted out the power grid, plunging hundreds of thousands into darkness.
5:30pm: Our US correspondent Steve Merczynski has just been on with Larry Williams. Steve is currently in New York and describes the situation
5:09pm: New Yorkers are being warned the danger of super storm Sandy has not yet passed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes to get a better picture of the damage suffered by his city in a few hours.
And he says while the worst of the storm might be behind them, the emergency isn't over.
"These are not games, we've said from the very beginning this is a once in a longtime storm. The surge is very high, we expected it to be high it's in fact slightly higher than what was forecasted."
4:19pm: More than two million Americans are without power, across 11 states - as super storm Sandy wreaks havoc.
All tunnels and bridges in and out of Manhattan have been closed.
The death toll has risen to 11 -- with five people killed in New York, three in New Jersey, one in Conneticut, one in West Virginia and another off the coast.
There's also been a death in Canada.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes the worst is almost over:
"In terms of the winds, they should go below gale force in the next few hours. They've already started to drop. As for the storm surge, a very big part of it will be over in the next couple of hours."
3:39pm: - Super storm Sandy has now claimed the lives of at least 10 people.
The deaths have occurred along the East Coast.
Five have been killed in storm related incidents in New York state, including three killed by trees falling on homes in Queens and in the town of New Salem.
Falling trees have also been blamed for two deaths reported in New Jersey and one in Connecticut.
In West Virginia, a woman was killed in a car accident after the storm dumped 12 centimetres of snow in the town of Davis.
3:30pm: More than two million Americans are without power across 11 states as super storm Sandy causes havoc across the north east of the US.
All tunnels and bridges in and out of Manhattan have been closed with seas surges up to seven feet.
Five people have died.
Connecticut Governor Dan Molloy says thousands of people are stranded in buildings thanks to flooding and he has this advice ..
"If it's a one level house, potentially moving to the roof of the house. This is a rather Katrina-like warning that we are issuing to people who did not take the advice that was given to them earlier in this crisis."
2:55pm: The death toll in the United States from super storm Sandy is growing.
It now stands at five.
Two of the victims died when a tree toppled onto a vehicle in New Jersey.
A New York man has also been killed by a falling tree.
There's also been a death in Canada.
A woman in the city of Toronto was killed when she was hit by a falling sign.
2:39pm: Five people have been confirmed dead as Superstorm Sandy pounds New York.
The number has been confirmed by a spokesperson for Governor Andrew Cuomo.
2:03pm: It's getting steadily worse in New York.
Battery Tunnel, which runs under the East River, and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn has started to flood.
There are also reports parts of the subway system in lower Manhattan have also started to fill with water.
1:51pm: Superstorm Sandy has made landfall in New Jersey and is moving into New York.
A man has been killed in the storm after being hit by a falling tree and more than a million people are without power.
Weatherwatch CEO Philip Duncan says the fact the storm has been downgraded from a hurricane doesn't mean anything has changed.
"It is still a superstorm. The only reason why it's changed from a hurricane to a superstorm is because it's gone from having a warm centre to a cold centre."
Mr Duncan says this changes it's classification but as far as wind speed, rain and air pressure goes it's still the same.
1:28pm: The first death in the US caused by superstorm Sandy has been reported.
A New York man has died after being hit by a falling tree in the borough of Queens.
1:20pm: Authorities in New York are bracing for the worst of the storm surge caused by superstorm Sandy.
A peak of more than three metres is expected this afternoon with the arrival of storm coinciding with high tide.
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers says it's only just started.
"The water is pouring into New York Harbour and also into Long Island Sound. We will see the continuation of this surge for many more hours. It is snowing in West Virginia, Kentucky, parts of Virginia itself."
1:08pm: CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers says this is very similar to the famous "Perfect Storm" that formed in the North Atlantic in 1991.
"Except that storm did not make landfall, it stayed in the ocean. So yes there were winds and yes there were waves but not this. This is worse than anyone has ever seen in a place where there are 60 million people."
Part of town of Seaside Heights in New Jersey is already underwater.
Police chief Thomas Boyd says the damage is widespread.
"The whole north side of town is up to the front doors, midway through the front doors and the flood, six to eight foot of water and we just had a piece of boardwalk with a fence and that was located down by the bay."
12.38pm: Forecasters say Sandy is no longer a hurricane but is still a dangerous system taking aim at New Jersey and Delaware.
The National Hurricane Centre says Sandy is a post-tropical storm and losing strength but still has winds at 136 kilometres an hour.
The storm is expected to make landfall around 7pm EDT.
It's knocked out electricity to more than 1.5 million people and clobbered the boarded-up cities of the northeast corridor, from Washington and Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
Winds of up to 150 kilometres an hour are lashing America's East Coast as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.
The centre of the storm has hit state of New Jersey but 50 million people across several states are expected to be affected.
Dr Rick Nabb from National Hurricane Centre says that won't be the end of it.
"The hurricane is going to become a post-tropical system and weaken, but the large size and expected slow motion over the next couple of days means that there's going to be a long duration of life threatening, hazardous conditions."
New York evacuee Kim Pick, says all they can do is close the curtains, stay inside, and hope the worst will be over in a few hours.
The New Zealander has moved from lower Manhattan, where there's likely to be extensive flooding, to a midtown hotel.
"They're putting movies on for us, giving us popcorn and games to keep everybody from going stir crazy. A lot of people are just milling really around waiting for the latest news, to hear when all of this, or the worst of it's going to be over."
Kim Pick says the storm's brought into question all sorts of events, including the big Halloween celebrations and the New York Marathon.
12.13pm: For the first time since the September 11 attacks the New York stock exchange is closed - it will remain shut for two days as the city is battered by Hurricane Sandy.
Water has already hit record heights as the storm surge brings waves across Battery Park - and it's not high tide for another two hours.
A crane on top of what will be the tallest residential building in the city collapsed and is dangling from a height of about 75 stories.
CNN presenter Piers Morgan heard it crash.
"There was a massive bang, like a thunder clap and we all raced to the windows and you could see that this crane had effectively buckled in half."
Piers Morgan says the crane can't be taken down before the worst of the storm hits in a couple of hours - authorities have cleared four blocks around it in case it falls.
New Zealander Kim Pick fled her apartment in lower Manhattan to a midtown hotel - but she says the family's lucky they didn't chose one several blocks away that's under the toppled crane.
"They've cordoned off I think about four city blocks because they're worried if the crane falls it could pierce the sidewalk and hit some of the gas mains and steam mains below the street which could cause an explosion."
But Kim Pick says New York's only on the edge of the storm - Atlantic City is getting a pounding, and reports of severe damage are already coming in.
New Zealander Katie Flood is in midtown New York - she says it's deserted outside with not a soul in sight.
"It looks like an apocalypse ... there's no one on the street, I've never seen it like that quiet."
Katie Flood says after earlier scepticism drawn from warnings over last year's Hurricane Irene, which wasn't as fierce as expected, people are now taking this seriously and have stocked up with emergency supplies.
11.46am: Hurricane Sandy has brought air travel to a halt in northeast US, grounding thousands of flights and upending travel plans across the globe.
Planes and passengers will remain stranded today and it could be a number of days before airport operations are back to normal.
According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, nearly 12,500 flights have been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, almost all related to the storm.
Major carriers such as American Airlines, United and Delta cancelled all flights into and out of three area airports in New York, the nation's busiest airspace.
About a quarter of all US flights travel to or from New York airports each day.
So cancellations here can dramatically impact travel in other cities.
And at least one storm shelter in Atlantic City is already flooded as Hurricane Sandy approaches landfall on the US East Coast.
An unknown number of people are in city after they were encouraged to ride out the storm by mayor Lorenzo Langford.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says those people are on their own.
"I cannot in good conscience send rescuers in as the storm is about to hit, nor can I send them in in the dark, given all the various hazards that would occur."
And Governor Christie is scathing of those who have ignored repeated appeals to evacuate.
"So for those who are on the barrier islands who decided it was a better idea to wait this out than to evacuate, and for those elected officials who decided to ignore my admonition, this is now your responsibility."
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers says the wind direction is about to change.
He says that will push the the water from where Lady Liberty is in New York Harbour, up the East River and there will also be a wall of water pushed down the East River from Long Island Sound.
"That crashing of water will only lead to extensive flooding there from Queens and Brooklyn and then on the east side of Manhattan as that water has nowhere to go but up."
New Zealand's Ambassador to the UN Jim McClay is in New York and says the situation there is getting worse by the minute.
"We're basically now cut off here - the tunnels are close, very little traffic is allowed across the bridges because it's obviously quite dangerous, and basically Manhattan Island, which is about two thirds of the size of Waiheke with a 1.5 million people living here, is for all intents and purposes, cut off."
10.53am: Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall within the hour along Cape May, New Jersey.
Eight states are currently in a state of emergency, and that includes some of the biggest cities on the East Coast, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
The Governor of New Jersey has told those residents who have not fled Hurricane Sandy, it's now too late.
Chris Christie says emergency services are taking cover until tomorrow with the huge storm expected to make landfall over the next couple of hours.
He's also furious with Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford for ignoring his calls and encouraging some residents to head to shelters instead of evacuating.
"A large number of people, we can't quantify it at this point, they're in Atlantic City and at this juncture there is no other way for us to go in to get them - they're going to have to ride out the storm there."
Chris Christie says all those still in the path of Hurricane Sandy are now on their own.
There are 900,000 people without power in New Jersey and New York, with power also out in Atlantic City.
Twenty-three foot waves have been recorded in New York Harbour.
The Director of the National Hurricane Centre Rick Knabb is advising people not to let their guard down.
"Do not think that land fall of the centre of circulation of this system is the end of it, the back side of it is large, there's a lot of wind, the water rise is going to continue at the coastline."
US President Barack Obama says it's time to band together.
"This is going to be a big storm, it's going to be a difficult storm. The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this, we all pull together. We look out for our friends, we look out for our neighbours."
New Zealand's own Labour MP Damien O'Connor is holed up in an apartment in New York City.
The West Coast MP tacked on meetings in New York and Washington to the end of a parliamentary conference in Canada.
His meetings have now been cancelled and he's instead on an extended stay with friends in an apartment in the city.
Mr O'Connor says there's a calm and eerie feeling in the city.
"On a good wild day it's a bit like this down on the West Coast or indeed in Wellington. But I guess we don't understand the ferocity of some of the storms that they can have over here so I'm not underestimating the potential of this."
He says there are very few people out on the streets, and he was among those stocking up on food and drinks last night.
"Went out for a run this morning just before the wind got too bad, just to see what was happening. Central Park has been blocked off because of the danger of trees and branches blowing in on people but generally speaking everyone's cautious and they're just getting on with what they need to."
And organisers of the New York Marathon are confident the event will go ahead despite Hurricane Sandy causing havoc this week.
New Zealand tour organiser Paul Forward says flight disruptions are a problem and they are working on making alternative arrangements.
He says the New York Road Runners Association believes the marathon will run as scheduled on Sunday.
"They have thousands of volunteers and they have contingency plans in place for everything and they've never cancelled the event so they're incredibly confident that the event'll go through and it will be a success like it is in every other year."
Meanwhile CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers says on top of the rain and wind about to wreak havoc on the East Coast, there will be a huge amount of snow for those further inland.
"Up to 60 inches of snow. That's like 160cm worth of snow and blizzard conditions on the western flank of this storm that could last for 48 hours."
Photo: Ocean Avenue flooded in NJ (Getty Images)