7:29 pm Oct. 27, 20121
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this evening said that Hurricane Sandy will bring, "a lot of water, and low-lying areas will experience flooding."
Speaking to the press from the Office of Emergency Management's Brooklyn headquarters, Bloomberg said that tomorrow there won't be much rain or wind, but he warned against getting "lulled" into complacency.
Starting Sunday night, the storm is expected to worsen.
"The trajectory says that the storm will hit a little bit south of us—the Maryland-Delaware area," said Bloomberg. "Nobody's exactly sure where landfall is going to be."
"This is a dangerous storm," he said. "And I think we're gonna be O.K. But if it were to strengthen unexpectedly or change its expected path, it could do a lot of damage and you could be at risk."
Lower Manhattan remains the most vulnerable to a storm surge, along with other coastal areas, but Bloomberg said he is not ordering any evacuations yet.
Parks will be closed as of 5 p.m. Sunday, and the mayor urged everyone to stay indoors.
East River ferry service will be suspended as of Saturday night. And Staten Island ferry users should expect unreliable service once the storm hits.
The city has set up 65 wheelchair-accessible emergency shelters in schools around the city, which will be open at 9 a.m. Sunday. Pets will be welcome.
"The biggest unknown here is the storm surge...on Monday night, which could be a record," he said.
Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, has asked if the city needs any help.
"I assured him that we had, we think, everything under control, but we appreciate the effort," said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg said he will decide tomorrow whether to open schools on Monday.
As of now. the M.T.A. hasn't decided whether to shut down subway and bus service, but if it does decide to do so, the service shutdown would likely begin tomorrow at 7 p.m.
He also urged New Yorkers to remove objects from rooftops and terraces, and to anchor heavier items, like gas grills.
He recommended New Yorkers prepare "go kits," have water on hand, and during the storm, avoid elevators, close the drapes and stay away from windows.
He said the city workers have visited every crane and construction site within its borders to ensure that all equipment is appropriately tied down.
Kevin Burke, Con Edison's C.E.O., told New Yorkers to assume downed wires are electrified and to stay away from them, and report them to 1-800-75-ConEd.
The storm surge is expected to accumulate slowly and be highest Monday evening. Bloomberg had a special warning for surfers.
"Let me say something again and again and again," said Bloomberg. "Please, the beaches are dangerous and surfing is extremely dangerous. No surfing please tomorrow. You may want to run the risk, but if we have to send our emergency workers into the ocean to save you, their lives are at risk. And you just don't have a right to do that to somebody else."
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