New Zealanders are among people in the United States bracing for Hurricane Sandy, amid warnings from authorities the super storm could be deadly.
Cantabrian Chris Carter woke this morning to see "huge chunks of debris" floating down the Hudson River.
Carter has lived on the ninth story of an apartment building in Newport, New York for the past three years.
"[The super storm is] really starting to build up and get progressively worse," Carter said.
"It was really bad this morning when I woke up. There was quite a bit of debris, sizeable stuff, floating down the river."
Carter and his wife had not yet been told to evacuate and hoped being on the ninth floor would be enough to avoid flooding.
"It's actually pretty low considering how high the building is but we're hoping we're high enough up. We're going to have a pretty good view."
A concerned atmosphere was growing in New York, Carter said.
"Yesterday, a lot of people were joking around but today I think they're starting to realise it's more serious than that.
"Hurricane Irene was really built up and then a bit of a fizzer so I think people were kind of thinking that about this one. They're just starting to realise it's a bit worse."
Carter and his wife were prepared for several days inside.
"We will be all right for a few days. Work has been cancelled and the subway's down so we're not going anywhere."
Pete O'Keeffe and his daughter Louisa have driven from New York to Connecticut, passing a deserted Niagara Falls.
"All hotels and motels in Fairfield are booked out for tomorrow night due to people being evacuated from the coastal regions," O'Keeffe said.
"We have a room tonight but not sure where we will bunk tomorrow. Interesting the amount of people who are heading to the coast to 'look' at what is or is going to happen."
Three New Zealanders, friends Rikke Harker, Nick Bull and Hannah Clarke-Sersen, are on a private yacht in New York's Hudson River.
Harker said the weather was getting "pretty hairy", but they had decided to stay on the yacht rather than leaving the city.
"We were docked on Chelsea Piers but had to move for safety as water levels were rising fast," Harker said.
"We have lots of supplies and should be safe."
She described Manhattan as a "ghost town".
Simon Home was also staying put at his home in New Jersey, despite his town being at risk of major flooding from the Ramapo River.
"We have been told to expect power outages, flooding and 60-plus sustained mph winds," he said. "All the locals have spent the last two days buttoning up and getting ready, food, propane, water, batteries, generators etc.
"It's almost a party atmosphere here as the nervous apprehension builds."
Former Cantabrian Matt Greenslade is "getting nervous" as Hurricane Sandy approaches his New York home.
Greenslade, who lives with his family about 40 kilometres from Manhattan, said it had started raining about four hours ago and winds had been increasing all morning.
"The trees are really being buffeted about. It comes in huge gusts.
"Lots of sirens going this morning actually. Not many cars out. I saw three people out walking on our street. Madness. These trees are all tall and old and branches are going to come down."
Greenslade had stocked up on supplies but was concerned about potentially losing power.
"My neighbour across the road is worried about a cracked branch on his next door neighbour's tree. This branch is directly above the power lines that supply us all. If the power supply goes it's likely to be several days before they can reconnect it.
"I have friends who had no power for four or five days last year."