(NEW YORK) -- New York City's subways, the veins that keep the city that never sleeps alive 24 hours a day, will start reopening Monday morning after fears of Hurricane Irene led anxious officials to shut them down.
Along with the subways, the city's LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports were also scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. Monday, officials said, though there were concerns about how many airport workers would be on the job without the subways running.
Irene was expected to wallop the city, which had led Mayor Mike Bloomberg to order 370,000 people to evacuate their homes and to close the subways and halt all buses 18 hours before the storm was expected to arrive.
As city officials breathed a sigh of relief Sunday that the storm did not bruise the Big Apple as badly as predicted, the mayor defended his decisions to err on the side of caution.
"The good news is the worst is over," he said. "We dodged a bullet there."
In another bit of good news for the city, crime was much lower than usual Saturday night, with only 45 arrests, Bloomberg said. On a typical Saturday night in August, there are 345 arrests, he said.
But the storm did not pass without making an impression on the city. As the center of tropical storm Irene passed through, the East River breached its seawall and major highways around the nation's largest city shut down due to heavy rainfall and flooding.
Water flowed through the streets in lower Manhattan and work crews pumped out water from several flooded buildings. One 31-story building on the corner of Fletcher and Front streets had 15 to 20 feet of water in its basement. Engineers tried to pump out the water, fearing an explosion if they couldn't contain it.
Con Ed reported Sunday morning that 72,000 customers were without power in New York City, 25,000 of whom are in Queens. And city officials estimated that there were more than 700 trees down, split, or uprooted throughout the five boroughs.
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