Lower East Side Storm Watch 1:10 p.m.

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NY Noodletown just closed.

Lower East Side Storm Watch 1:01 p.m.

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Nom Wah Tea Parlor is hanging in there. Better hurry, might not be open much longer!

Lower East Side Storm Watch 12:16pm

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This is your chance! The line at Clinton Street Baking Company is much shorter than normal!

Mayor: Downtowners, Prepare for Possible Power Outages

In a news conference this morning, Mayor Mike Bloomberg reported that Con Edison is considering proactively shutting off electrical service to low-lying areas of the city, including downtown Manhattan, to avoid more serious damage from flooding. Also, elevators at public housing complexes in the mandatory evacuation zone will be deactivated this afternoon.

From the NYT’s City Room blog:

“You can plan on the possibility of no power downtown,” Mr. Bloomberg said, saying damage to the power lines from salt water could be “substantial.”

A spokesman for Con Ed, Alfonso Quiroz, said the shutdown could allow workers to restore electrical power more quickly once the storm had passed.

Public-housing buildings will turn off their elevators to ensure that residents are not stranded in the event of a power shutdown. The mayor urged residents in areas scheduled for evacuation to leave their homes immediately, and he said businesses in those neighborhoods should close up shop and turn off propane tanks and active gas lines.

Lower East Side Storm Watch 12:03 p.m.

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Business is good at Alias.

Lower East Side Storm Watch 12:01 p.m.

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Schiller’s is open and fairly busy, closing around 4 p.m.

Volunteers Needed at Seward Park Emergency Shelter

We have just received a plea from Mayor Bloomberg’s office, via Community Board 3’s Susan Stetzer, asking for help staffing the shelter at Seward Park High School at 350 Grand St., the primary emergency housing for lower Manhattan flood zone evacuees.

Here’s the note from Leland Dyer of the Community Affairs office:  

The Mayor’s Office is looking for volunteers to staff the evacuation/hurricane centers at Seward Park HS and Baruch College. We are asking for any willing volunteers that live in these areas to please help out if they can. Any hours today would be greatly appreciated. Overnight staffers are particularly important. Please have anyone interested in helping us during this difficult time to contact me at 347-844-3309 or via email at LDYER@CITYHALL.NYC.GOV

 

Lower East Side Storm Watch 11:20 a.m.

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The Seward Park High School evacuation center and emergency shelter is now seeing some activity. A number of residents have checked in. News crews are awaiting a facility tour from mayor’s office.

Lower East Side Storm Watch 11 a.m.

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The rain begins on Grand Street…

Storm Watch Saturday: Scenes Around the LES

The outer bands of Hurricane Irene provided a backdrop for a parade of pleasure boats and other watercraft that motored downstream on the East River this morning.

The rain began to spatter around 10 a.m., as Lower East Side residents and businesses braced for Hurricane Irene’s impact. The storm made landfall near Point Lookout, N.C. this morning, and began churning up the East Coast.

Along the East River on the Lower East Side, joggers and bicyclists squeezed in one last run or ride. A handful of fishermen tried their luck while a parade of pleasure boats sailed downriver at a brisk clip, presumably for the safety of dry docks.

Click through for more photos, and we’d love to post pictures from readers; email them to us at tips@thelodownny.com.

Reporters and camera crews from a German television station, the Associated Press and other media hovered outside the shelter at Seward Park High School this morning, waiting for news and interviewing one shelter worker sporting a large backpack, who said he was a city school teacher and had come to work for the duration of the storm.