Long Island City, NY October 26, 2012. UPDATED October 28, 2012 -
[ Go to HELPFUL INFORMATION FROM 2011 HURRICANE IRENE: Hurricane Watch: Parts of Long Island City are designated as EVACUATION ZONES
New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones ]
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MTA TO SUSPEND SERVICE IN ADVANCE OF HURRICANE
Orderly Suspension of Subway, Bus and Commuter Railroad Service Begins at 7 p.m.
Transportation System Must Be Suspended to Protect Customers, Employees and Equipment
Monitor mta.info and Media Outlets and Call 511 for Latest Transportation Information
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin the orderly suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service at 7 p.m. Sunday to protect customers, employees and equipment from the approach of Hurricane Sandy.
The New York City subway system will begin to curtail service after 7 p.m., and the New York City bus system within the following two hours. Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road will start their final trains by 7 p.m. Subway and railway stations will be closed after the last trains.
Customers who need to travel today should do so as soon as possible and not wait until the last train or bus is departing. Anyone who does not leave for their destination before 7 p.m. runs the risk of being stranded when service is suspended. New York City Transit, Metro-North and the LIRR will cross-honor each other’s passes today to speed the process of returning customers to their homes.
“The transportation system is the lifeblood of the New York City region, and suspending all service is not a step I take lightly,” Governor Cuomo said. “But keeping New Yorkers safe is the first priority, and
the best way to do that is to make sure they are out of harm’s way before gale-force winds can start wreaking havoc on trains and buses.”
The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for suspending service hours before the approach of winds of 39 mph and higher. That gives MTA crews time to prepare rail cars, buses, tunnels, yards and buildings for the storm, then return to safety. Winds of 39 mph and higher are predicted to reach the metropolitan region during the predawn hours Monday.
“The MTA proved it can suspend service in an orderly manner when it did so last year for Tropical Storm Irene, and we have refined our Hurricane Plan since then to help us prepare for Hurricane Sandy,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “This storm will batter the MTA, but the precautions we take now will allow us to recover much more quickly.”
The MTA has for days prepared for the possibility that conditions would require a service suspension by readying recovery equipment, clearing drainage areas, moving vehicles from low-lying areas in bus and rail yards and sealing some tunnel access points.
The duration of the service suspension is unknown, and there is no timetable for restoration. Service will be restored only when it is safe to do so, after careful inspections of all equipment and tracks. Even with minimal damage this is expected to be a lengthy process.
Metro-North Railroad’s special “Train to the Game” for today’s Jets game in the Meadowlands has been cancelled. Customers who return promptly to Penn Station after the conclusion of the game will be accommodated on MTA services leaving by 7 p.m.
Outbound Access-A-Ride trips are being scheduled only until 12 p.m. today, and return trips will continue until 5 p.m. Any previously scheduled trips after that time, including subscription trips, are cancelled.
The Staten Island Railway will attempt to continue to operate until the Staten Island Ferry suspends service, in order not to strand any customers in the ferry terminal. However, the railway will not operate if conditions are deemed unsafe.
Customers and the media should monitor the mta.info website or call 511 for the most current service information.
FROM COUNCILMEMBER JIMMY VAN BRAMER'S OFFICE
Hurricane Sandy Update: Sunday, October 28, 12:15 PM
I wanted to provide a further update on the storm and preparations for it. This morning Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference about continuing preparations for Hurricane Sandy. The Mayor issued an evacuation order for low lying "Zone A" areas. In our district, this includes some areas of Hunters Point/Long Island City. Evacuations are to be completed by 7:00 PM tonight.
If you live in Zone A (in orange in the map below), please find shelter in the residence of a friend or relative. If unavailable, the City has set up three evacuation centers close to Long Island City. They are listed below:
Newcomers High School (28-01 41st Ave.)
Aviation High School (45-30 36th St.)
W.C. Bryant High School (48-10 31st Ave.)
Governor Cuomo has announced that MTA service will cease at 7:00 PM today. Please get to where you need to go by 7:00 PM. I will let you know when MTA service should be back up and running.
The beginnings of the storm are expected to reach us late this evening with heavy rains and high winds arrivng later on Monday. If you have not already done so, please pack all emergency supplies you may need and have water and flashlights on hand if they are needed.
We continue to be concerned about flooding and trees falling throughout the district. Please let me know as soon as possible about any downed trees or significant limbs falling.
My staff and I are in the district office and will remain here until it is safe to do so. Please call us at (718) 383-9566 with concerns and continue to email me at email@example.com as well as reaching out to us via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jimmyvanbramer) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/jimmyvanbramer).
I will participate in a conference call with the Mayor in a few minutes and will keep everyone updated throughtout the day.
As a reminder, please find some helpful guidelines to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property during this storm at the end of this update.
Let’s all take this very seriously and prepare for the worst while hoping for the best – better to be prepared than not. Stay safe and I will continue to update you on the storm.
Jimmy Van Bramer
FROM MAYOR BLOOMBERG'S OFFICE
This evening (8:30 PM 10/27/2012) Mayor Bloomberg updated New Yorkers with our latest preparations for Hurricane Sandy. We expect the storm to reach our city early Monday, with the peak of the storm arriving later that day.
This is a serious and dangerous storm. While it is not likely to produce significant rainfall, sustained winds over 40 miles per hour and a storm surge of 4 to 8 feet are predicted over an extended period. Winds are expected to pick up very early Monday morning, with the most intense period of wind and elevated water levels occurring from mid-day Monday through Tuesday afternoon.
At this time we are NOT mandating any evacuations because of the storm. We strongly recommend that New Yorkers prepare to remain inside as the storm hits, whether at their own home or that of a friend or relative. For anyone who is concerned about the impact of flooding or power outages on their home and would like to seek shelter elsewhere, we will open all 65 city shelters at 9am Sunday morning and they will remain open for the duration of the storm.
These facilities are open to anyone who needs them, will provide a safe place to sleep, and will have food. Pets are welcome.
New Yorkers can find the closest evacuation center to them here.
Here are other important updates that you can disseminate to your constituents:
· The MTA has not made a decision about whether the transit system will close. However, in order to be prepared in case a shutdown is necessary, the MTA has outlined the procedure by which they would close subways and bus lines. This process would begin at 7pm tomorrow (Sunday) evening, with all services completely closed by 3am on Monday morning.
· People should stay off the roads as much as possible. Conditions may become dangerous, and any traffic would impede our emergency services crews.
· The Department of Transportation and the MTA will closely track wind conditions on the city’s bridges and implement slowdowns and closures as necessary to ensure safety.
· The Staten Island Ferry will continue to run unless very high winds force temporary service disruptions.
· The East River Ferry will be shut down after the last run tonight until the storm passes.
· No decisions have been made regarding schools. As of now schools are scheduled to be open on Monday.
· Yesterday the city recommended that healthcare, nursing, and acute care facilities in low-lying areas take steps in preparation for the storm. These recommendations include halting new admissions, discharging those patients who can leave, and making arrangements for those who need to remain in care.
Parks and Beaches:
· All city parks will close at 5pm tomorrow (Sunday.)
· Any events scheduled in parks tomorrow will conclude at 2pm.
· Please emphasize to your constituents that going to parks and beaches during the storm will be very dangerous. Falling tree branches and strong ocean currents will be constant threats.
· The Department of Buildings has mandated that all outdoor construction be suspended as of 5pm today.
Staying Safe and Being Prepared:
· All New Yorkers are encouraged to stock up on necessary supplies. A guide for storm preparations can be found here.
· During the storm flying debris will be a risk. People should stay away from windows and draw their shades.
· For the latest updates on the storm, New Yorkers can:
We will continue to update you as the storm progresses.
Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson
FROM COMMUNITY BOARD #2:
Preparation for Hurricane Sandy Good afternoon all: In preparation for Hurricane Sandy and potential area-wide flooding, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would like to remind residents and businesses of the following:
1) Keeping Streets and Catch Basins Clean: A major contributing factor to flooding is a catch basin clogged by garbage or leaves. New Yorkers can do their part by sweeping and cleaning their driveway and the area in front of their property or business of debris such as leaves, paper and general garbage. In addition, City forces staff will be going out to known flooding hot spots through the City over the next few days to inspect and clean catch basins.
2) Protecting your property: Please do everything you can to protect your property against flooding. This includes raising or removing valuables and appliances (heaters, TV’s, refrigerators, etc) off the ground in basements or low floors. More information is included in the attached brochure.
3) Report Flooding to 311 via phone or on-line: If you experience any flooding or sewer back-ups, please report them to 311, either by calling 311 or going on-line at www.nyc.gov. The City has added additional staff at 311 in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
4) In the event of a life-threatening emergency, do not call 311…PLEASE CALL 911. Also attached is OEM’s Ready New York Flooding Brochure which gives helpful tips and important numbers to contact for information. Please share this information with your boards, civics, community groups and residents.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
RELATED OurLIC NEWS
Hurricane Irene, August 2011
FROM THE OFFICE OF NYC COUNCIL MEMBER JIMMY VAN BRAMER
Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit our area sometime Monday into Tuesday. We should all take precautions to be prepared for a storm of this magnitude. While there are currently no evacuations called for in New York City, parts of the district, including coastal areas of Long Island City, are in evacuation zones. We will monitor the storm and let you know if an evacuation is ordered.
The current storm path is as follows:
We are also concerned about significant portions of the district including parts of Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria and Maspeth that have experienced flooding in the past. Our office has been and will continue to be in contact with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Anyone experiencing difficulties as a result of Hurricane Sandy should contact me and my office as soon as they occur. We will report problems in real time. For those outside of coastal areas that have experienced flooding or are concerned that you may, please click on the link below on how to protect your valuables. In addition to calling our office, DEP is asking for reports of flooding to be called in to 311.
While we continue to hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst. The city has published some useful information in securing your home during the storm. Please click on the link below for recommendations on how best to prepare for the hurricane.
We also include the Red Cross’ Hurricane Safety Checklist below. We have also included information from OEM’s Hurricane Guide at the end of this email should that link not respond when you try it.
In advance of the hurricane DEP wanted to remind you that clogged catch basin grates can aggravate flooding. Although DEP staff – with the help of their colleagues at other agencies - are busy cleaning catch basins now, DEP has asked us to remind homeowners and residents that they welcome assistance in removing leaves, litter or other debris that may prevent water from flowing off the streets and into the catch basins. For any of you that aren't familiar with catch basins the attached link to a page on DEP's website has some text and visuals that will help explain why flooding occurs and how citizens can help DEP minimize flooding by removing debris where they see it blocking catch basin grates.
My district office number is (718) 383-9566. I will be in the district throughout the storm and encourage anyone with problems to email me concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as using social media including Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jimmyvanbramer) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/jimmyvanbramer) to reach me. You may also call 311. Please only call 911 if you have a very serious or life threatening emergency.
I hope this update and the attached information proves useful to you. Again, my staff and I will be working throughout the weekend and please do not hesitate to contact me should you need assistance.
Jimmy Van Bramer
11th Street and 47th Road, Long Island City (Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene 2011)