East River Promenade – Monday Morning Update

The East River Promenade has been blocked off this morning, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

No flooding along the East River Promenade as of yet, but the running path entrance at Pier 36 has been closed off in preparation. The river is extremely choppy and rather tumultuous already. More photos after the jump.

Hurricane Sandy: East River

Photo
Just after 920 a.m.– Water is beginning to lap up onto the walkway under the Manhattan Bridge.

Hurricane Sandy: Monday Morning Update

Good morning.  Here’s the latest satellite image, via the Weather Channel.  We’re experiencing light rains at this hour — winds gusting to about 19 m.p.h.  The winds will pick up to 35 m.p.h. or so in the next couple of hours and we’re likely to see about a half inch of rain by mid-day.  Forecasters are still expecting Sandy to come ashore tonight in New Jersey.  Right now the storm is 425 miles southeast of New York City.  Top sustained winds are 85 m.p.h. and hurricane force winds extend 170 miles from the center of the storm.

An evacuation order is in effect for Zone A, which includes a sizable swath of the Lower East Side waterfront.  A seawater surge of anywhere from 6-11 feet could swamp sections of this neighborhood.  Subway and bus service have both been suspended. MTA officials say it could be Wednesday before public transit is back online.  By last night, more than 300 people had checked into a shelter at Seward Park High School. We’ll have storm updates throughout the day.  Let us know what you’re seeing and hearing.

 

Smith Houses a Focus of Evacuation Efforts

Smith Houses, early this evening.

All day long, officials urged residents in New York’s Zone A to evacuate by 7 o’clock this evening.  But they have been paying particular attention to the Smith Houses on James Street, near the Brooklyn Bridge.   School buses were still lined up when we visited the 12-building public housing complex a couple of hours ago.  City Council member Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron were among those on the scene today at Smith, urging people to heed the evacuation order.

Mayor Bloomberg Tours LES Shelter; 90 Residents There

The mayor and many local elected and community leaders are gathered at the city’s storm shelter inside Seward Park High School for an update on Hurricane Sandy preparations.

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.

Storm Prep: Evacuation Zone Map

If you’ve been having difficulty accessing the city’s interactive evacuation zone map, you are not alone. It seems to be stuttering in the face of heavy traffic, so we’re posting WNYC’s excellent offering above.

In answer to questions about the city’s application malfunctioning at a press conference in Seward Park High School just now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it takes “about 20 minutes. “We’re doing the best we can,” Bloomberg said, noting his staff is open to “better ideas.”

Zone A, pictured in the red areas above, is under mandatory evacuation orders by 7 p.m. this evening, at which time the subways will also be shutting down for the duration of the storm. Bus service is expected to stop at 9 p.m.

Storm Preps: Latest Developments

Rep. Carolyn Maloney at Seward Park High School.

Preparations for Hurricane Sandy are intensifying on the Lower East Side this afternoon.  A short time ago, we caught up with U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney who was checking out the set-up at Seward Park High School, this neighborhood’s official evacuation shelter.  Mayor Bloomberg, City Council member Margaret Chin and other officials will be holding a 4 p.m. news conference at the shelter.

Earlier today, the mayor ordered an evacuation by 7 p.m. of all residents in Zone A, which includes much of the LES’s waterfront area. Click here to see whether your home is in Zone A.  Subway service will begin shutting down at 7 this evening, and as you’ve probably hear, the New York public schools have canceled classes tomorrow.  Here’s a look at the tips being circulated by State Sen. Daniel Squadron:

 

If you live in Zone A:

Please plan on going to stay with friends or family outside of Zone A.

If you have nowhere else to go, there are evacuation centers throughout the city. For District-1 residents, your closest shelter is 350 Grand Street, Seward Park High School.

Pets are allowed in evacuation centers. Owners should bring proof of rabies vaccine, a carrier, and food.

Take a “go bag” with emergency items, including an extra set of house and car keys, credit and ATM cards, as well as cash, bottled water and nonperishable foods, a flashlight, battery-operated radio, first aid kit, and copies of important documents (photo ID, proof of address, insurance cards) in a waterproof portable container.

You must evacuate your home and be in shelter by 7 p.m. TONIGHT.

Elevators in these NYCHA developments will shut down at 7 p.m. TONIGHT

 

Whether you live in Zone A or not:

Subways will stop running at 7 p.m.  TONIGHT and buses will stop running at 9 p.m.  TONIGHT

If you require Access-a-Ride for transportation, make arrangements to be picked up by this afternoon by calling 877-337-2017.

All NYC public schools will be closed tomorrow, Monday.