Mayor Michael Bloomberg told New Yorkers who live on the lower side of Manhattan and other low-lying neighborhoods to evacuate on Sunday during a news conference as Hurricane Sandy barrels towards New York City.
“If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you,” he at the Office of Emergency management. “This is a serious and dangerous storm.”
Bloomberg also ordered its subways, buses and trains to stop running due to the risk of flooding along with the closure of schools on Monday which includes its 1.1 million-student school system and urged residents who were not in the lower-lying neighborhoods to stay inside as much as possible starting at sundown on Sunday night.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed with Bloomberg’s warnings saying the National Guard is deploying 200 troops in New York City and 400 on Long Island.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Sunday Hurricane Sandy is just about 575 miles south of New York City as tens of thousands of people along the East Coast are also being ordered to evacuate.
Meteorologists also warned on Sunday that the approaching mega storm will be very dangerous due to its 80 mph or higher winds and walls of water that are reaching 4 to 11 feet high along the coasts of Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware. They said the storm is wreaking havoc across 800 miles of the East Coast that has the potential to be the largest storm ever to hit the United States.
Click here to read more about the path of Hurricane Sandy.
Cathy Davis who lives just outside Washington, D.C. said her local supermarket was sold out of water when she tried to stock up.
She also said decorating for Halloween this year would be a waste of time.
“I was like, ‘Eh, it will just be blown away anyway,'” she said. “What’s the point?”
Video – Watch the entire news conference as Mayor Michael Bloomberg orders residents who live in lower lying areas of Manhattan to evacuate.
New York City’s Office of Emergency Management offers advice for what to do in case disaster strikes:
- They encourage residents to construct an emergency supply kit, complete with a gallon of water per person per day for drinking, as well as non-perishable foods, first aid kids, and flashlights.
- In case drinking water becomes polluted, they also recommend iodine tablets, and supplies for personal hygiene such as toothbrush, tooth paste, soap, and any medications needed.
- The office urges people to designate two meeting places – one near the home, and the other place in the neighbourhood, like a library or place of worship.
- It is also extremely helpful to keep a list of emergency contacts, both in the area, and out-of-town in case those in the city cannot be reached.
- Those living around bodies of water have the greatest risk of flooding from Sandy’s storm surge and are now subject to mandatory evacuations ordered by Mayor Bloomberg. Those further inland have less of a danger.