We’re at Seward Park High School on Grand Street, where local leaders are giving a briefing on the status of the city’s preparation for Hurricane Sandy. Earlier this afternoon, Mayor Mike Bloomberg toured the accommodations, where about 90 local residents have already sought shelter.
Residents in Zone A, which in the Lower East Side mostly affects buildings closest to the East River, are under a mandatory evacuation order by 7 p.m. Power to city-owned housing in the evacuation zone will be cut off at that hour. In all, there are 26 city housing developments in Zone A, and only about 60 percent of those residents evacuated last year during Hurricane Irene, Bloomberg said. NYPD officers armed with bullhorns and leaflets in three languages are on site at those developments now, urging residents to take adavantage of the school buses lined up to transport them to higher ground.
Officials are particularly concerned about the Smith Houses, at 388 Pearl St., which are situated in an especially low-lying area. Council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez were there this afternoon, urging residents to take shelter.
City shelters opened at 9 a.m. today and are supplied with plenty of food, water and other necessary items. However, a note to parents: there are infant and toddler supplies, but no cribs available. Note to pet owners: pets are accepted at the shelter.