28 Oct 2012 05:44 PM EST
-by Trista McKenzie, Contributing Writer; Image: Sandy makes her way up the East Coast. (Image Source: NOAA)
Mayor Michael Blomberg has ordered a mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas in Zone A in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, as a flood surge is expected to be higher than originally anticipated.
Zone A encompasses areas around lower Manhattan along the East and Hudson rivers—specifically the financial district, Battery Park City and the West Side Highway up to 60th St. Also affected are Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and the East River waterfront in Brooklyn, The Rockaways in Queens, Hamilton Beach, City Island and many areas along the coast of Staten Island.
“The measures are aimed at keeping residents safe and not endangering the lives of emergency services personnel,” said the mayor in a press conference.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already announced that New York’s public transportation system will shut down tonight beginning at 7 p.m. Public schools will also be closed on Monday.
“You don’t want to be overly panicked and overly prepared, but you want to be prudent, you want to do what’s necessary,” Cuomo said.
“Sandy expected to bring life-threatening storm surge flooding to the mid-Atlantic coast... including Long Island sound and New York harbor... winds forecast to be near hurricane force at landfall,” wrote the National Hurricane Center today.
The category two hurricane has already caused damage throughout the Caribbean, leaving 65 people dead so far.