New York City Shuts Down for Hurricane Sandy:
Subway Will Close Tonight as Storm Is Set To Be the Biggest EVER
To Hit United States
Beth Stebner and James Nye
Barack Obama warned on Sunday that Hurricane Sandy was a 'serious
and big storm' weather forecasters said that tens of million of
people across 800 miles of the East Coast need to prepare for the
event which could be the largest ever storm to hit the United States.
to come ashore late on Monday, could deliver a harsh blow to major
cities in its target zone including New York, Philadelphia, Washington,
Baltimore and Boston. Its center was forecast to strike New York-New
Jersey area and then move inland toward Philadelphia and the rest
The sheer size
of the storm meant its effects would be felt from the mid-Atlantic
states to New England. Officials warned of widespread power outages
that could last for days.
And with several
state of emergencies already in existence across the country, New
York City's MTA announced that subway and bus operations would begin
to close down at 7 p.m. on Sunday as Mayor Bloomberg ordered the
mandatory evacuations of 375,000 people from low-lying coastal areas.
of New York City's mass transport network for the second time in
two years and only the second time in history will mean that almost
12 million people in the wealthiest city in the U.S. will be prevented
from taking their usual route to work by the oncoming storm system.
Bloomberg said he ordered an evacuation of the low-lying areas along
the edges of the city including parts of lower Manhattan, sections
of Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Rockaways in Queens.
He said 72
evacuation centres had been created around the city and he also
ordered the closure of schools.
the Rockaways and a low-lying area of Queens are the first areas
to be evacuated.
'If you dont
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 said at a news conference Sunday.'... This is a serious and dangerous
But, he said,
those who didnt leave wouldnt be arrested.
hold, and especially if the storm surge coincides with high tide,
the effects should be much more severe for the city said Klaus Jacob,
a Columbia University researcher who has advised the city on coastal
While the storm
may not be the worst-case scenario, Jacob said he expected the subway
system, as well as underground electrical systems and neighborhoods
in Lower Manhattan, to be at least partially flooded.
The City that
Never Sleeps will suspend its train, subway and bus service Sunday
night ahead of Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to bring strong
winds and dangerous flooding to the East Coast, New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference.
'If it turns
and moves off, great. Really great. But if not then we will be prepared
for it,' said a cautious Cuomo.
system is the lifeblood of the New York City region, and suspending
all service is not a step I take lightly.
New Yorkers safe is the first priority, and the best way to do that
is to make sure they are out of harm's way before gale-force winds
can start wreaking havoc on trains and buses.'
is expected to resume operations about 12 hours after the storm
ends, officials said at the news conference which would put
services on track to resume for Tuesday afternoon.
New York City's
Metropolitan Transportation Authority said service on subways will
be curtailed beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. The bus network will begin
shutting down within the next two hours.
Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will start their finals trains
by 7 p.m. from terminal locations. Stations will close once the
last trains pass through.
With a daily
ridership of more than 5 million, New York Citys subway system
is by far the largest in the U.S., and many New Yorkers do not have
cars and depend on subways and buses to get to work, school and
New Jersey Transit announced they will implement a gradual system-wide
shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail and Access Link service, ahead
of the massive storm bearing down on the state.
Christie announced the plans Sunday afternoon. He says the shutdown
will start at 4 p.m. Sunday and continue through 2 a.m. Monday.
suspension process requires the relocation and securing of buses,
rail equipment and other NJ Transit assets away from flood-prone
areas. It also requires complete coordination with state and local
officials throughout the process.
officials also say the Atlantic City Rail Line will suspend operations
at 4 p.m. Sunday due to the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions
and the continued evacuation of Atlantic City.
announced in New York City come as governors from North Carolina
to Connecticut declared states of emergency ahead of Sandy's arrival
said on its current projected track, Sandy is most likely to hit
anywhere between Delaware and the New York/New Jersey area but said
it was too early to pinpoint where the storm, which has the potential
to be the biggest to hit the mainland, would make landfall.
at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,' said Louis Uccellini,
head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
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