New York City is about to get hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered a mandatory evacuation of Evacuation Zones A.
In a press conference on Sunday, Mayor Bloomberg updated New Yorkers on Hurricane Sandy and called for a mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas that are near water.
Those who live in Evacuation Zone A must leave by 7p.m. on Sunday. These areas include Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Red Hook and other areas in Brooklyn; the Rockaways, Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel in Queens; almost all coastal areas in Staten Island; some parts of the South Bronx; and Battery Park City and parts of Lower Manhattan.
About 370,000 people live in Evacuation Zone A.
"This evacuation is mandatory - it is for your own safety," Mr. Bloomberg said during a news conference at the city's Office of Emergency Management in Brooklyn. "This is a serious and dangerous storm."
Those near water should take caution in particular due to an expected storm surge. High winds and several high tide cycles while Sandy hits, will lead to a storm surge of six to 11 feet, which can cause severe flooding conditions.
Bloomberg also announced that all 1,750 of New York City's public schools will be closed at least on Monday and possibly further depending on conditions.
Earlier in the day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the MTA would suspend public train transportation at 7p.m. on Sunday. Buses will stop operating at 9p.m.
Bridges and tunnels may also closed based on weather conditions. If winds reach 40 mph of higher, bridges will be closed, making it hard to evacuate once the storm starts.
For those who need to evacuate, Mayor Bloomberg recommends going to a the house of a friend or family member who is not in the evacuation zone. However, the city also opened 72 evacuation centers at public schools and other areas on Sunday. These evacuation centers also accept pets.
Hurricane Sandy is a Category 1 hurricane. As of Sunday afternoon, it is located in the Atlantic, off the coast of North Carolina. It has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and is moving up north at 14 mph. Sandy will continue up the coast and will make landfall on Monday evening or early on Tuesday.
Here are the evacuation zones. For a PDF Version in which you can zoom in on, click here.