As a hurricane barrels its way toward the Northeast, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Our Grace Rauh has the story.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “We want to make sure we take every precaution possible.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “We'd rather be safe than sorry.”
The weather forecast is in and it does not look good for New York City. Hurricane Sandy is moving north and could hit the city early next week.
Governor Cuomo declared a statewide State of Emergency. He is also asking the President for federal aid and assistance. The request would put the National Guard on notice as well.
“In a situation like this, the National Guard is very helpful to the state in equipment, personnel power, etcetera,” Cuomo said.
Last year, before Tropical Storm Irene hit, the city ordered a mandatory evacuation of low-lying regions prone to flooding. At this point, a similar evacuation order has not been issued. Should that change, Mayor Bloomberg says he thinks there will be enough time for the city to let people know they need to leave.
Bloomberg said, “They'll have to use public transportation or drive. The thing that we worry about most is that people decide not to listen to the order to evacuate.”
The MTA has not yet decided whether to suspend subway, bus and train service in advance of the storm like it did last year. But the city's Department of Buildings moved quickly, ordering a stop to all construction in the city until further notice.
The mayor urged New Yorkers to avoid parks on Sunday in case high winds cause tree limbs to fall. And he said senior centers would shut early on Monday and be closed on Tuesday. The city is considering closing schools on Monday.
One way New Yorkers can prepare for the storm is to make what's known as a go-bag. Mayor Bloomberg says it should include drinking water, a first aid kit, medication, a flashlight, important documents like a passport or a driver’s license and a set of car and house keys.
There should be plenty of time to get a bag like that together. The first part of the weekend looks like it will be mild and storm free.