A day after Hurricane Sandy thrashed New York City and the New Jersey coastline, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo praised local first responders for their work in helping save lives. With a record storm surge and significant flooding throughout parts of the city, Cuomo says the loss of life could have been significantly greater, according to The Associated Press.

Hurricane Sandy, a so-called "superstorm," created sights that haven't been seen in New York City in decades, if ever. Battery Park in lower Manhattan was almost completely inundated with water, while the hurricane flooded much of the city's subway system. Additionally, a raging fire in Queens destroyed at least 80 houses while millions were left without power.

Despite the challenging conditions, New York's firefighters, police officers and emergency personnel were quick to respond. By the middle of Monday, officials said at least 10 people in the city had been killed but it could have been much worse.

"That number would be much, much larger if it were not for the truly historic and courageous activities of our first responders all across the state," Cuomo told reporters, according to the AP.

While it is still early to tell, the financial toll of Hurricane Sandy could top out at approximately $20 billion, some experts estimate, according to Bloomberg.