Everyone in New York is bracing for the worst of Hurricane Irene. And it appears that the worst may be yet to come. New York was slammed with driving rains and high winds today, bringing mass transit to a halt and causing large power outages along the East Coast.
Authorities in New York ordered tens of thousands of people to evacuate low-lying areas and they shut down the subways, airports and buses. With Irene’s 480 mile girth, many fear that the worst is yet to come. This was the first evacuation order in the city’s history, as an estimated 270,000 people in areas including Battery Park in Manhattan, Brighton Beach and Coney Island in Brooklyn and the Rockaways in Queens, were all told to be out by 5 p.m. today.
Don’t Ignore Orders, Says Bloomberg
Bloomberg explained that ignoring the orders would be a violation of the law and would be a class-B misdemeanor punishable by a fine and 90 days in jail. He explained, however, that “we do not have the manpower to go door to door and drag people out of their homes.
Nobody’s going to get fined; nobody’s going to jail. But if you don’t follow this, people might die . . . We’re not trying to punish people; we’re trying to protect them.”
Weathering the Storm
As New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “The edge of the hurricane has finally got upon us.” Bloomberg warned New Yorkers that Irene is a life-threatening storm and one to be taken seriously. He said that people should stay indoors as it’s, “dangerous out there.”
Making sure not to scare too many people or to put down his city too much, he later added, “New York is the greatest city in the world and we will weather this storm.”