New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg today announced mandatory evacuations for about 270,000 people in low-lying areas of the nation’s largest city ahead of Hurricane Irene. It is the first time in the city’s history that evacuations have been ordered.
“We’ve never done a mandatory evacuation before and we wouldn’t be doing it now if we didn’t think this storm had the potential to be very serious,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg ordered the evacuation by 5 pm Saturday for all low-lying areas including the southern tip of Manhattan, Coney Island, and the Rockaways among other neighborhoods in the city. For more specific information on evacuations and what you should do, check this link.
Earlier in the day, New York governor Andrew Cuomo stated that subways, buses, and commuter trains in the city, on Long Island, and in the northern suburbs would be suspended starting on Saturday afternoon. Cuomo was also deploying about 1,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen to help over the weekend.
- For a slideshow of impacts from Hurricane Irene, check here.
Some bridges, including the George Washington, the Verazano-Narrows, and the Tappan Zee were ordered to shut down once winds reach 60 mph or greater, including portions of the New York State Thruway as well.
New York City airports are also close to the water and could be inundated by the storm surge, potentially shutting down the city for several days.
Let us know what you are doing to prepare for Irene. Sound off in the comments section below!
As of 2 PM EDT on Friday, Hurricane Irene was beginning to lash eastern North Carolina as a category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and little change in strength was expected before landfall. A hurricane watch remained in effect for New York City and Long Island for Sunday, with hurricane conditions expected to arrive late on Saturday night.
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