NEW YORK: Cuomo Orders Complete MTA Shutdown At Noon Tomorrow, Bloomberg Calls For Mandatory Zone A Evacuation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered the complete shutdown of mass transit beginning at noon tomorrow. He also activated the state National Guard.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which provides transit services to New York City and its suburbs, will institute a system-wide shutdown starting after the final runs around noon on Saturday. The shutdown includes subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride. Bridges in the region, as well as the state Thruway, may also close if wind speeds exceed 60 mph, Cuomo said. Those include the George Washington and Tappan Zee bridges and the other Hudson River bridges: Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff, and Rip Van Winkle. Cuomo said the Thruway and possibly other major highways would be closed if sustained wind speeds exceed 60 mph.NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Zone A, the most low-lying portions of the five boroughs. About 250,000 people live in Zone A.
He admitted, "We've never done a mandatory evacuation before. But this is a serious storm. We need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best," and warned, "This is very serious. Do not be fooled by the sun outside." Bloomberg said all residents need to be out by 5 p.m. tomorrow (8/27)—"If you can leave today, that would be helpful...At the moment the strongest winds are expected to arrive in the early evening tomorrow. It is expected to be a category 1 storm. The full brunt of the storm—if you are in its way—is a lot more powerful than any of us."UPDATE: Bloomberg has expanded his mandatory evacuation order to include all of the Rockaways, which are in Zone B. No other Zone B areas have yet been mentioned.