NYC Public Transit Shuts Down, Schools Out, Evacuation in Progess

UPDATED Sunday, 7:38 PM:

Hurricane Sandy has been declared a federal emergency. Assistance and resources will be given to state and local governments at no cost to support evacuation, providing shelter in the coming days, clean-up and electric power generation.

The NY state division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has set up the Hurricane Sandy Helpline for residents. Call 888-769-7243 or 518-485-1159 for information. Emergency offices, Red Cross Shelters and road closure information will be available in a variety of languages.

Buses are running until 9 p.m. Sunday.

The Department of Homeless Services has stepped out outreach on the streets to encourage people on the street to go to a shelter and the city has published a list of shelters open to the public on their Web site.

In addition to transit closures tonight, residents in Hurricane Evacuation Zone A, which affects low-lying areas in every borough and is estimated to be about 370,000 people, must observe a mandatory evacuation by 7 p.m. Sunday evening. New York City public schools are closed on Monday.

Locations of evacuation centers throughout the city are found online. There are 26 NYCHA developments in Zone A, including many in the 25th District on the Lower East Side and East Village. Elevators in these developments will shut down at 7 p.m. Pets are allowed at evacuation centers and owners are urged to bring proof of rabies vaccines and a carrier.

Interactive map courtesy of John Keefe/WNYC.

Hurricane Sandy will combine with a winter storm to bring heavy rain and wind to the New York Metropolitan area Monday and Tuesday. Elected officials are encouraging people across the region to stay indoors and the National Hurricane Center has warned that Hurricane Sandy could bring “life-threatening” coastal flooding along the Atlantic coast.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the shutdown of MTA subway, bus and commuter railway services beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday night.

“I do think Monday and Tuesday are going to be difficult days,” said Joseph J. Lhota, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman at a press conference Sunday morning.

Track Hurricane Sandy’s path in real time:

Interactive map courtesy of WNYC.

New York City residents can stay up-to-date with evacuation information and emergency numbers by visiting the NYC Severe Weather site.

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency in advance of the hurricane.

Nassau County’s Hurricane Readiness page also contains information about hurricane preparedness, service shutdowns, and emergency contacts.

Stay with MetroFocus as we continue to cover Hurricane Sandy. Tune in for a special LIVE co-production of MetroFocus and NJ Today on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN and NJTV. The program will be broadcast on WLIW on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m.

NJTV is covering Hurricane Sandy with live updates and special live broadcasts of NJ Today beginning Sunday at 6 p.m.


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