Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the shut down of all subway, bus and railroad service at 7:00 p.m. today, in advance of strong winds and rain from Hurricane Sandy.
Outbound Access-A-Ride trips are being scheduled only until 12 p.m. today, and return trips will continue until 5 p.m. Any previously scheduled trips after that time, including subscription trips, are canceled. Currently, there is no estimated time for service restoration.
(Get all the latest Hurricane Sandy-related news, announcements and resources, including live video, at our Hurricane Sandy Resource page.)
The National Hurricane Center has warned of “life-threatening storm surges” as high as 11 feet in Long Island Sound and Raritan Bay, just south of New York Harbor and the mouth of Jamaica Bay. Major flooding is expected across the East Coast.
While evacuation orders have been made in New Jersey and other areas closer to where the storm is expected to make landfall – currently projected for South Jersey or near Philadelphia – no such orders are currently in effect for New York City.
Landfall is expected for late Monday evening or early Tuesday, but the rains, winds and high water levels should begin this evening or tomorrow morning.
In addition to the mass transit shutdown, Cuomo has dispatched 200 National Guard service members to New York City, and 400 to Long Island. Utility crews are on standby in case of outages, which are expected to strike Southern Brooklyn and other areas. Adult and nursing homes are being staffed at 150 percent and prepared to stay on-site for 48 hours, Cuomo said.
In addition, New York City is canceling all events after 2 p.m. today, and shutting down all parks, playgrounds and beaches completely at 5 p.m.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered a halt to all construction in New York City, and is also asking city dwellers to lend a hand sweeping leaves and debris out sewer storm drains to prevent flooding. Residents should also tie down or bring inside any loose items on their properties.
Bloomberg will hold a press conference later today where he may issue an evacuation order or recommendation, and will also announce school closures – a likely scenario considering the transit shutdown – and other emergency information. We will update following Bloomberg’s announcements.
Get all the latest Hurricane Sandy-related news, announcements and resources, including live video, at our Hurricane Sandy Resource page.