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Prepping for Hurricane Sandy: Hold the Pickles! Hold the Subways?

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Hurricane Sandy wind modeling from the National Weather Service this afternoon.

In advance of incoming Hurricane Sandy, dubbed “Frankenstorm” for its gigantic proportions and ever-changing variables, the LES Business Improvement District has postponed Sunday’s planned LES Pickle Day, while citywide, officials are beginning to consider measures such as shutting down the subway system in defense.

From our friends at the BID:

The Lower East Side BID was in a reeeaaallll pickle with this one, but due to impending weather threats, the staff has made the executive decision to postpone Pickle Day to the following Sunday, Nov. 4 . . . With Sandy promising Sunday winds of up to 20 mph, the LES BID staff felt that this was the safest and wisest decision to make considering all of the the tents, umbrellas, and astroturf that will be lining Orchard Street. So please bear with us and update your calendars with this change of date.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg gave a press conference a few minutes ago, outlining the storm preparations and urging city residents to “start taking precautions, just in case.”

“If we have to make a mistake, we’d rather make a mistake on being cautious,” he said.

This afternoon, New York State Homeland Security officials told Bloomberg News that the MTA’s safety plan calls for trains to be halted if winds exceed 39 mph, but at his press conference, Bloomberg told reporters he would wait at least a day to decide about the possible public transit stoppage, evacuations and other serious measures.

“At the moment, this storm could be one of those times where we say, ‘Ugh, it’s raining, and nothing more,'” Bloomberg said.

Citing the difficulty that meteorologists have been having with predicting the exact track of the storm, he reiterated several times that it’s just too early to tell how much it will impact the city and how many precautions need to be taken. He said city officials would have more specific plans late tomorrow afternoon or early tomorrow evening.

Two decisions have already been made, however. Admission tests for the city’s specialized high schools that were scheduled for Sunday have been postponed until Nov. 18 (similar tests scheduled for Saturday will go forward as planned). Also, all major construction projects have been ordered halted as of 5 p.m. tomorrow.

On a personal level, it’s never a bad idea to have fresh batteries and flashlights on hand, as well as a few supplies such as bottled water, non-perishable food and prescription medicine refills.

In the meantime, keep up with the city’s preparation plans and determine whether you live in an evacuation zone here.

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