Updates on Hurricane Status from Mayor's Office

Martin J. Golden

October 29, 2012

Dear Elected Official:


Here are your key updates --

· The storm has arrived and will get increasingly dangerous over the coming hours.

· For anyone still in Zone A: now is the time to leave. Find a safe place for the duration of the storm.

· Schools will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday).

· Some flooding has already begun and New York City is under a coastal flood warning until 3pm on Tuesday and a high wind warning until 6pm on Tuesday.

· Mass transit is completely suspended across the city.

· Road closures and slowdowns are in effect at a number of bridges, tunnels, and highways in all five boroughs.

· City parks and beaches are closed.

· Libraries (all three systems) will be closed tomorrow.





· Gale force winds have commenced, with sustained winds of 30+ mph already seen across the city. This will increase to 40-55 mph sustained winds into the evening with peak gusts of 70 to 80 mph.

· The highest storm surges will coincide with high tide tonight. Surges are expected to continue into Tuesday. We expect substantial flooding to accompany these surges. We have already seen flooding at the Battery, in the Rockaways, and on the FDR Drive.

· Moderate rainfall of several inches is forecast from the storm.

· There are already 15 to 20 foot breaking waves along ocean-facing shorelines. This will likely result in some beach erosion.





· This morning we conducted a final sweep of the 26 NYCHA developments in the evacuation zone with buses and public address systems to alert residents of the mandated evacuation.

· We conducted another round of calls to residents and did further targeted outreach to at-risk residents (disabled, etc.) who had not yet evacuated.

· Elevators, heat, and hot water have been shut off in all 26 of these developments in the evacuation zone since last night.



Evacuation Centers:


· 76 evacuation centers across the city are open and will be for the duration of the storm.

· Anyone who has prescription medication and goes to an evacuation center should bring their prescriptions with them.

· These facilities are open to anyone who needs them, will provide a safe place to sleep, and will have food. Pets are welcome.

· All shelters have at least one entrance usable for wheelchairs. More information is available via 311, the OEM website and the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities website, both of which also provide information about accessible transportation.

· New Yorkers can find the closest evacuation center to them here. (Hi-res version here.)

· A full list of all shelters throughout the five boroughs can be found here.





· Mass transit throughout the city is suspended, including:

o MTA subways, buses, and rail

o Staten Island Ferry

o East River Ferry

o PATH trains

o NJ Transit· The Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Holland Tunnel will be closed as of 2pm.

· The northern portion of the FDR is closed.

· Driving conditions are dangerous. People should stay off the roads as much as possible.

· Alternate side parking is suspended.

· The Department of Transportation and the MTA will closely track wind conditions on the city’s bridges and implement further slowdowns and closures as necessary to ensure safety.



Department of Environmental Protection:


· They have been cleaning catch basins over the past 3 days and will continue to for as long as possible.

· The department is also addressing instances of highway flooding and repairing water main breaks.



Senior Centers:


· Senior centers will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday).



Homeless Outreach:


· The Department of Homeless Services increased street outreach to encourage the homeless to seek shelter during the storm.





· Sanitation workers are flipping over corner trash bins as they conduct their routes across the city. This is to help prevent the bins from flying away in the wind. If people see these bins upside down, they should leave them that way.

· The Department of Sanitation is conducting normal Monday pickups.



Parks and Beaches:


· All city parks are closed.

· Going to parks and beaches during the storm is and will be very dangerous. Falling tree branches and strong ocean currents will be constant threats.

· A full list of details regarding park closures can be found here.



Healthcare Facilities:


· Public hospital emergency rooms are open and will remain so throughout the storm.

· New York Downtown Hospital, Manhattan VA Hospital, and South Beach Psychiatric have all been evacuated.

· The Coney Island Hospital emergency room is open for walk-ins; however it is not taking any ambulances.



The Harbor:


· The Coast Guard has closed New York Harbor.

· All cruise ships scheduled for arrival on Monday and Tuesday have been diverted.



Helpful Materials:


· Maps of Zone A and low-lying evacuation areas: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/downloads/pdf/zoneA_evac_centers_102612.pdf

· http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/downloads/pdf/zoneA_evac_centers_large_10281... (hi-res)

· NYC Severe Weather site: http://www.nyc.gov/severeweather

· Ready New York Hurricane Guide: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/ready/hurricane_guide.shtml

· Ready New York for Business Guide: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/ready/biz_guide.shtml

Staying Informed


· For the latest updates on the storm, New Yorkers can:

o Visit the NYC Severe Weather site on NYC.gov

o Follow @nycmayorsoffice Twitter

o Sign up for notifications from Notify NYC




Thanks, and we will continue to update you throughout the storm.