Like many New Yorkers, Katie Holmes went back to work yesterday. Looking exhausted in jeans and a gray sweater and clasping onto a coffee cup, Katie, like thousands of others, had been forced to abandon her home following Hurricane Sandy and find temporary housing.

“Suri and Katie stood it out as long as they could,” one resident of the same building in Chelsea tells me. “The power abruptly went out around 8:30 P.M. Monday evening, leaving everyone sitting around torchlight or candle light. Most folks stayed in the building over night and most of the next day until the water went out, making it impossible to even flush the toilet. At that point everyone, including Katie and Suri, left.”

The Mercantile building the pair calls home is a luxury building in Chelsea within walking distance of Suri’s school, the new private school Avenues. But along with all the other residents, once Katie and Suri made the decision to leave, the only way out was walking down the dark staircase.

“Suri might be used to helicopters and chauffeured cars, but once the storm hit we were all the same,” the building insider tells me. “They had to walk from the 12th floor, with no lights, like everyone else.”

But mother and daughter are not feeling too much discomfort since they left the building they call home. Reports say they have checked into the exclusive Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side, not far from the Carlyle Hotel, where Katie and Suri often stayed with ex-husband Tom Cruise.

Katie's spokesperson did not respond to calls for comment.

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