Mason alumnus Alex Romano watched the devastation of Sandy unfold right before his eyes.

David Shankbone/Creative Commons

Working with CBS News in Midtown, Romano worked throughout the night, coordinating coverage for the incredible storm and reviewing live shots taken from all across New York City.

“I could see the storm evolve from all different parts of the New York metropolitan area at the same time,” Romano said.

Romano, a native of Sea Cliff, NY, watched as Battery Tunnel in Brooklyn flooded. He sifted through video footage of power lines and trees being snapped in half. He saw roads and subways just down the street from his office pummeled by rushing water.

“Every couple of minutes, there were new feeds coming in,” Romano said. “When you watch the live news, you’re only seeing clips that last a few seconds. We’re seeing hours of footage.”

Completely swamped with work, CBS News had arranged for a number of its workers to stay the night in the Le Parker Meridian hotel.

As a surge of videos piled in, Romano watched as the crane atop a luxury Manhattan skyscraper partly collapsed, leaving its arm dangerously hanging over West 57th Street. The New York Office of Emergency Management evacuated several blocks of the surrounding area and within the evacuation radius was the Le Parker Meridian.

Though CBS News moved its employees to another location, Romano was without his belongings, which had already been checked into the hotel, for several days following the incident.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Romano said.

Romano, who lives on Long Island, was unable to return home for several days, as all bridges, tunnels and public transportation had been shut down.

Without many of his belongings, Romano continued compiling footage of the devastation in workdays of more than 12 hours a day. He received hundreds of video feeds detailing the damage across the state of New York and, according to Romano, he was in awe the whole time.

“Seeing the devastation and destruction was remarkable,” Romano said. “Scary as hell, too.”