Nightly News   |  August 27, 2011

Times Square, Grand Central empty

The iconic Grand Central terminal is empty after all public transportation and trains have stopped running, and the lights of Times Square look dimmer through the rain. NBC’s Harry Smith reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> there are worries about the inmates at low lying reikers island prison, about water overtopping la guardia , jfk and spilling into the pit there at ground zero . trains, planes, automobiles have just frozen in place. no coming in or going out. take a look at what may be the picture of the day in new york city . you just don't seep this. and that's grand central and that's closed. it's absolute dead calm empty. the world's most famous, or at least the united states , most famous train station . there are cab drivers on the streets. they're charging a flat rate for cash. based on a zone policy. harry smith is in times square tonight. harry, i think you will agree it is about the eeriest time in recent memory in this city. there you are at the crossroads of the world .

>> think about this -- times square on a saturday night in the middle of the busiest tourist sea son of the year and all you see is a handful of folks out here who are, basically, wandering around looking at each other. because everything is closed. we met some people from manchester, england, who wanted to go to the stach tue of liberty closed, top of the rock closed, empire state building closed, all attractions closed. dave matthews concert closed you name it it has been closed. so folks have just been sort of wandering around. as it turns out the folks who have assembled behind me here determined that we are in fact the only main your attraction worth paying any attention to. now, as for the locals it has really been an interesting day here in new york, brian. because there has been a sort of kind of post-9/11 spirit. a lot of the major grocery store chains closed early. so the long lines, the delis and bodegas, and unlike normal days, people are actually having conversations with one another. a spirit of cooperation, even dare i say, a sense of patience. people said, well i know where you can get batteries. i know where you can get bottled water . one of the other concerns, new yorkers are learning how to hunker down, no coffee. all the starbuck's were closed. in a nonscientific survey, we noticed all the liquor stores and all the bars are still open.

>> harry smith in times square , two things should be noted. great taste in baseball caps . and thank you for noting the harry smith delegation of fans that follows harry seemingly everywhere throughout this city. good