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Long Island City, NY October 29, 2012 -
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Hurricane Sandy Updates from the Mayor’s Office
Here are your key updates:
- The storm has arrived and will get increasingly dangerous over the coming hours.
- For anyone still in Zone A: now is the time to leave. Find a safe place for the duration of the storm.
- Schools will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday)
- Some flooding has already begun and New York City is under a coastal flood warning until 3pm on Tuesday and a high wind warning until 6pm on Tuesday.
- Mass transit is completely suspended across the city.
- Road closures and slowdowns are in effect at a number of bridges, tunnels, and highways in all five boroughs.
- City parks and beaches are closed.
- Libraries (all three systems) will be closed tomorrow.
- Gale force winds have commenced, with sustained winds of 30+ mph already seen across the city. This will increase to 40-55 mph sustained winds into the evening with peak gusts of 70 to 80 mph.
- The highest storm surges will coincide with high tide tonight. Surges are expected to continue into Tuesday. We expect substantial flooding to accompany these surges. We have already seen flooding at the Battery, in the Rockaways, and on the FDR Drive.
- Moderate rainfall of several inches is forecast from the storm.
- There are already 15 to 20 foot breaking waves along ocean-facing shorelines. This will likely result in some beach erosion.
- This morning we conducted a final sweep of the 26 NYCHA developments in the evacuation zone with buses and public address systems to alert residents of the mandated evacuation.
- We conducted another round of calls to residents and did further targeted outreach to at-risk residents (disabled, etc.) who had not yet evacuated.
- Elevators, heat, and hot water have been shut off in all 26 of these developments in the evacuation zone since last night.
- 76 evacuation centers across the city are open and will be for the duration of the storm.
- Anyone who has prescription medication and goes to an evacuation center should bring their prescriptions with them.
- These facilities are open to anyone who needs them, will provide a safe place to sleep, and will have food. Pets are welcome.
- All shelters have at least one entrance usable for wheelchairs. More information is available via 311, the
New Yorkers can find the closest evacuation center to them here.
- Mass transit throughout the city is suspended, including:
- MTA subways, buses, and rail
- Staten Island Ferry
- East River Ferry
- PATH trains
- NJ Transit
- The Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Holland Tunnel will be closed as of 2pm.
- The northern portion of the FDR is closed.
- Driving conditions are dangerous. People should stay off the roads as much as possible.
- Alternate side parking is suspended.
- The Department of Transportation and the MTA will closely track wind conditions on the city’s bridges and implement further slowdowns and closures as necessary to ensure safety.
Department of Environmental Protection:
- They have been cleaning catch basins over the past 3 days and will continue to for as long as possible.
- The department is also addressing instances of highway flooding and repairing water main breaks.
- Senior centers will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday).
- The Department of Homeless Services increased street outreach to encourage the homeless to seek shelter during the storm.
- Sanitation workers are flipping over corner trash bins as they conduct their routes across the city. This is to help prevent the bins from flying away in the wind. If people see these bins upside down, they should leave them that way.
- The Department of Sanitation is conducting normal Monday pickups.
Parks and Beaches:
- All city parks are closed.
- Going to parks and beaches during the storm is and will be very dangerous. Falling tree branches and strong ocean currents will be constant threats.
- A full list of details regarding park closures can be found here.
- Public hospital emergency rooms are open and will remain so throughout the storm.
- New York Downtown Hospital, Manhattan VA Hospital, and South Beach Psychiatric have all been evacuated.
- The Coney Island Hospital emergency room is open for walk-ins; however it is not taking any ambulances.
- The Coast Guard has closed New York Harbor.
- All cruise ships scheduled for arrival on Monday and Tuesday have been diverted.
Maps of Zone A and low-lying evacuation areas:
NYC Severe Weather site:
Ready New York Hurricane Guide:
Ready New York for Business Guide:
- For the latest updates on the storm, New Yorkers can:
- Visit the NYC Severe Weather site on NYC.gov
- Follow @nycmayorsoffice Twitter
- Sign up for notifications from Notify NYC
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS PORT AUTHORITY AND MTA TO CLOSE BRIDGES AT 7:00 PM
State Preparations Continue for Flood Control, Utilities, Health Facilities, Evacuations and Park Closures
New Yorkers Can Now Call Hurricane Sandy Helpline for Information
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to close New York City bridges at 7:00 PM today. With storm gusts expected to be up to 80-85 mph, the bridges in the NYC area are quickly becoming unsafe. However, emergency vehicles and personnel are exempted from traffic restrictions to the degree practical. The following bridges will be closed:
· Throgs Neck Bridge
· Bronx-Whitestone Bridge
· Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
· Henry Hudson Bridge
· Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge
· Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge
· George Washington Bridge
The Staten Island crossings – Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge, and Outerbridge Crossing – and the Robert F. Kennedy/Triborough Bridge will stay open as long as possible consistent with safety. However, closures could occur imminently and motorists should be aware.
In addition, the Hudson River bridges north of the Tappan Zee Bridge are not being closed at this time. New York State Bridge Authority bridges will remain open as conditions permit.
Preparations by state agencies are continuing across the State of New York in response to Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the Hurricane Sandy Helpline is open for the public to call if they need help or more information on preparations.
“With weather conditions becoming more dangerous for drivers, I have directed bridges in the New York City area to be closed,” Governor Cuomo said. “State government is continuing to be vigilant in our preparations for Hurricane Sandy. I urge New Yorkers to continue tracking the storm by listening and watching the news and to follow the directions of local officials for their own safety.”
Effective immediately, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) is prohibiting all non-emergency oversize vehicles routed on or south of Interstate 84 due to the impending effects of Hurricane Sandy. This includes Nassau and Suffolk counties. Oversize vehicles travel by permit. Any submitted permit with routes in the restricted area will be denied until further notice.
DOT advises motorists to drive with extreme caution and to avoid traveling if possible during Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit most of New York State today. DOT this morning began closing roads and bridges in the New York metropolitan area. Road and bridges are being closed on a regular basis due to flooding and downed trees and power lines on roadways. Check 511NY for the latest closures.
Road closures should be strictly obeyed by motorists. They are put in place when extremely dangerous driving conditions exist and motorists could be in danger of bodily harm if they ignore them. Motorists are reminded that, if a traffic signal is dark because of a power outage, motorists should treat the intersection as a four-way stop with alternating traffic proceeding through the intersection. Additionally, motorists should never travel through standing water. It only takes two inches of flowing water to carry away a vehicle.
DOT is preparing for the storm by readying equipment; organizing crews for tree chipping to remove down trees and limbs on roadways; identifying staff to conduct flood watches, monitoring bridges as water rises; and mobilizing staff to respond within each region of the state, including maintenance crews and damage inspection teams. The Department has identified more than 3,900 people and 1,350 dump trucks, 11 bucket trucks, 73 excavators, 311 loaders and 106 chippers for storm response deployment. Staff and equipment will be moved as necessary to assist in areas of the state that are hit by the storm.
Motorists are strongly urged to check 511NY before traveling to access current road conditions. The free service is available by calling 5-1-1, visiting www.511NY.org, or by downloading the new mobile app for smart phones. 511NY will have up-to-date information regarding road and bridge closures, as well as transit, commuter rail, and airport delays. The 511NY website features traffic and transit conditions in a map or list format. It is also available on Facebook and Twitter, which issues automatic updates as roads close and reopen.
FLOOD CONTROL AND UTILITIES
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has taken the necessary steps and precautions at its statewide generation and transmission facilities for the extreme weather in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. This includes deploying extra staff to its facilities. NYPA has activated its Emergency Operations Centers at its regional facilities around the state and at its White Plains administrative office, in line with the Authority’s Corporate Emergency Management Plan.
To minimize potential flooding, NYPA has reduced the water level at the lower reservoir at the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project to the minimum in the event of accelerated storm-induced water inflows to the Schoharie Creek. The hydroelectric project will not generate power during the storm out of concern for any possibility of flood conditions downstream of the facility.
NYPA has also worked closely with the state Canal Corporation and the DEC to lower the water level of the Hinckley Reservoir where NYPA has a small-hydroelectric project. This action provides more reservoir storage capacity and will reduce water outflows to the West Canada Creek should there be heavy rains over the next couple of days.
NYPA has secured all equipment at its facility sites around the state to ensure there is no flying debris from high wind conditions. Transmission line crews from three NYPA facilities—the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, the Blenheim-Gilboa plant, and the Frederick R. Clark Energy Center—have been placed on standby to work in the event of storm-related damage to the NYPA transmission system or to provide assistance to other utilities in the state in case of damaged power lines and equipment. Transmission line trucks are fueled and loaded with the necessary equipment for quick dispatch. Snow plows at NYPA facilities are fully fueled and ready if needed.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WATER RESCUE
Various state agencies have water rescue personnel and boats available to respond to the storm, including:
NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control
· New York Task Force (NY TF-2): Two Water Rescue Teams (approx. 30 people) – one each from Franklin and Orange counties
Division of State Police
· Two Zodiacs
· One Airboat
· 11 boats of varying sizes and capabilities
Office of Parks and Recreation
· One Swift Water Rescue Team (4-5 people)
Department of Environmental Conservation
· Marine Enforcement Unit- 5 large (over 21')- 1 NYC (on trailer), 2 Nassau (on trailers), 2 Suffolk (1 docked, 1 on trailer)
· Region 1- Nassau/Suffolk 8 small vessels on trailers.
· Region 2- NYC- 2 large- 1 docked, 1 on trailer.
· Region 3- Hudson Valley- 6 small vessels on trailers.
· Region 4- Capital District- 1 large vessel on trailer, 2 small vessels on trailers.
· Region 5- Adirondacks- 1 large vessel docked (Lake Champlain), 6 small vessels on trailers.
· Region 6- Watertown- 1 large vessel docked (Lake Ontario), 3 small vessels
· Region 7- Syracuse- 7 small vessels on trailers
· Region 8- Avon-3 small vessels on trailers
· Region 9- Buffalo- 6 small vessels on trailers
EVACUATIONS AND STATE PARK CLOSURES
The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has prepared Belleayre Mountain for use as an evacuation center and for equipment staging. Belleayre was used as an evacuation center during Hurricane Irene.
The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has closed the following state parks:
· Long Island: All State Parks in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are closed until further notice.
· New York City: All State Parks in New York City are closed until further notice.
· Hudson Valley (Taconic and Palisades regions): The Walkway Over the Hudson is closed until further notice.
· Saratoga-Capital Region: The Avenue of Pines in Saratoga State Park will be closed until further notice due to high wind warnings. A section of the roadway will be open from Route 50 to the Gideon Putnam Road to allow access to the Gideon Putnam Hotel.
· Central New York: Gilbert Lake, Oquaga Creek, Chenango Valley, Delta lake, and Glimmerglass, including the Hyde Hall State Historic Site are closed until further notice due to the potential for damage from high winds.
· Finger Lakes: Soaring Eagles Golf Course, Indian Hills Golf Course, Watkins Glen gorge trail, and the Stony Brook gorge trail are closed until further notice.
· Genesee Region: Hamlin Beach State Park is closed until further notice.
The State Department of Health (DOH) has sent more than 80,000 notifications, which include phone calls, emails, alerts, etc., regarding patient safety efforts and storm preparedness plans to health care facilities, first responders and EMS providers.
DOH has contacted each and every health care facility in Zone A in New York City. DOH staff has been sent to healthcare facilities in the Far Rockaways and Coney Island to support response efforts by assessing staffing, supplies, and patient safety efforts. They ensured that:
· Generators were functional.
· Supplies, including non-perishable food, water, medications, and fuel are on hand and in quantities to meet needs for a minimum of 72 hours.
· Residents, including those wheelchair-bound, were moved safely to higher floors or, if needed due to care-level needs, to other facilities.
At the direction of the Governor, DOH has required that all nursing homes and adult care facilities in NYC, Westchester, Suffolk, and Nassau counties staffing be more than 150 percent of baseline. Since that directive, staffing requirements have been met across the board.
DOH has successfully relocated more than 2,000 patients, including those who are on ventilators and others dependent on continuous source of electricity to maintain health care services and treatment.
DOH is also continuing to collect real-time data through the HERDS (Health Emergency Response Data System) Survey regarding health care facilities current census data, supply, staffing, and other urgent data points.
ACTIVATION OF HURRICANE SANDY HELPLINE
The state's Hurricane Sandy Helpline is now open for New York State residents in anticipation of the storm’s landfall. Residents can call 1–888-769-7243 or 1-518-485-1159 for information about preparing for the hurricane and its impact.
Information will also be available for referrals to County Emergency Management Offices and American Red Cross Shelters as well as road closures. Language translation services are also available by request. Past Contact Center emergency call experience includes the Haitian Earthquake relief, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the Lake Champlain Bridge closure.
Residents in certain areas can also call 2-1-1 where United Way 2-1-1 operators will provide information on shelters, local assistance center locations, mental health resources, and food banks. Operators will collect and maintain information on offers of assistance, donations and those wishing to volunteer. The following are 2-1-1 hours of operations for different regions of the state:
· New York City, Finger Lakes (including Tompkins, & Bath partner sites): 24 hours a day
· Western New York (serving Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, the Capital Region and Long Island): 9am – 7pm
· Susquehanna River Region: 8:30pm – 4pm
· PLEASE NOTE: 2-1-1 does not operate in most of Central New York.
To get the latest updates on the storm, follow the Governor on Twitter and subscribe to our Storm Watch list. You can also visit www.governor.ny.gov or connect with the Governor on Facebook for more information.
Visit www.dhses.ny.gov/aware-prepare/ for safety tips from DHSES on how to be prepared.
Updates via cellphone and computer are also available from NY ALERT, New York State’s All-Hazards Alert and Notification System. NY ALERT is a free, web-based portal that allows State agencies, county and local governments, emergency service agencies and institutions of higher learning to provide emergency alerting information and private notifications to the public. If you wish to receive emergency information, you can register on the NY-ALERT website at www.nyalert.gov. Your email address will be your identifier. If you do not have access to the web, you may still sign up for NY-ALERT by calling 1-888-697-6972.
Hurricane Sandy Update #1
The City is closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy, which will bring dangerous storm surges and high winds to New York City.
A mandatory evacuation order is in effect for residents in Zone A areas, the Rockaways, Hamilton Beach, and City Island.
- Alternate Side Parking regulations (street cleaning) are suspended citywide on Monday, 10/29, to facilitate storm preparation. Payment at parking meters is also suspended throughout the city on Monday, 10/29.
- The MTA has shut down all subway, bus, and commuter railroad service. For more information, visit the MTA website.
- The Staten Island Ferry service is suspended until further notice.
- East River Ferry service is suspended through 10/29.
- NJ Transit has implemented a gradual system-wide shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail, and Access Link service.
- All PATH train service and stations have shut down.
- Amtrak has canceled Northeast Corridor service north of NYC and nearly all service on the eastern seaboard , including Acela Express Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle trains.
- The Holland and Hugh Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnels are closed.
- Tappan-Zee Bridge is closed due to high winds.
- Hutchinson River Parkway is closed.
- FDR Drive is closed in both directions at 61st Street and 116th Street
- All NYC public schools will be closed to students Monday, 10/29, and Tuesday, 10/30.
- All City University of New York (CUNY) Colleges are officially closed Monday, 10/29, and all classes are cancelled. For more info, visit CUNY.edu.
- All City parks, playgrounds, and beaches are closed. Surfing is prohibited at all beaches throughout the course of the storm. Learn more via the Parks website NYCPARKS.GOV
You may call 311 to report downed trees, please save 911 for TRUE EMERGENCIES!
Subject: American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Report: October 29, 2012
As Sandy continues to move toward the Northeast, with hurricane-force winds extending more than 100 miles per hour from the center, the American Red Cross continues to mobilize resources and workers across the Greater New York Region to help those in our area who are being affected by this massive storm.
- In anticipation of Sandy making landfall in our area, the American Red Cross has been mobilizing hundreds of disaster responders, positioning relief supplies and working closely with government and community partners in preparation for a large-scale response.
- Last night the Red Cross operated 20 shelters across our region with more than 700 people seeking refuge.
- Today, we expect to open additional shelters and the number of shelter residents will increase.
- The main message for today is “Stay Safe” and heed all warnings and orders from emergency officials.
Red Cross workers are providing shelter residents with meals, a safe, dry, place to sleep, health services and emotional support as they safely ride out this potentially life-threatening storm. The American Red Cross has opened the following shelters in Greater New York, as of 11 am, Oct. 29:
Levittown Memorial Education – 150 Abbey Lane in Levittown
Locust Valley Central School District; Bayville Primary – 99 Horse Hollow Road in Locust Valley
Manhasset High School – 200 Memorial Place, Manhasset
Nassau Community College – P Building – located at 1 Education Drive in Garden City East
SUNY Old Westbury – 223 Shore Hill Road in Old Westbury
West Hempstead High School — 400 Nassau Road, West Hempstead
Brentwood High School Sonderling Bldg. – 52 Third Avenue Brentwood
East Hampton High School – 2 Long Lane, East Hampton
Eastport South Manor Jr. and Senior High School – 543 Moriches Island Road, Manorville
Hampton Bay School – 88 East Argonne Road, Hampton Bays
Riverhead High School – 700 Harrison Avenue
Robert Frost Middle School – 400 Half Hollow Road, Deer Park
Sachem East High School – 77 Granny Road, Farmingville
Walt Whitman Hutchinson – 301 West Hills Road, Huntington
Lower Hudson Valley
Grace Community Church – 2839 Route 94, Washingtonville
East Hampton High School – 2 Long Lane East
Port Jervis High School — 10 Route 209, Port Jervis
Rockland Community College – 145 College Road, Suffern
Sullivan Community College —112 College Road, Loch Sheldrake
Washingtonville High School – 54 West Main Street, Washingtonville
William Koehler Memorial Senior Center — 180 Route 6, Mahopac
Albert Leonard Middle School – 25 Gerada Lane – New Rochelle
Boys & Girls Club – 351 East Main St – Mount Kisco
Lincoln High School – 375 Kneeland Ave. – Westchester
Longfellow Elementary School — 624 South 3rd Avenue, Mount Vernon
Muriel Morabito Community Center – 29 Brook Drive, Cortland Manor
Mamaroneck High School –1000 West Post Road, Mamaroneck
Peekskill High School – 1072 Elm S
PAL Police Athletic League – 127 South Broadway, Yonkers
Port Chester High School – 1 Tamarack Road – Rye Brooke
Eastern Middle School – 51 Hendrie Avenue – Greenwich, Conn.
New York City
· Evacuation shelters in New York City are operated by the City. For more information, please call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/oem.
Be safe during the storm
· If you or loved ones are in Sandy’s path, please take precautions to be safe. You can get information what to do during and after this storm here.
· Consider registering yourself at the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know you are safe during this stressful time. Safe and Well is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is accessible in both English and Spanish.
Download the free Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid apps to have safety and first aid information at your fingertips.
· The hurricane app features weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay. It’s also available in Spanish just by changing the smart phone setting to Spanish before downloading the app.
· The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in someone’s hand.
· The apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Important links are also below:
o Hurricane Safety Guide: http://www.nyredcross.org/?nd=hurricane_safety_guide
o Hurricane App: http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app
o Greater New York Website: www.nyredcross.org
How You Can Help: Volunteer for Hurricane Sandy Shelters
· The Red Cross needs your help. Once Hurricane Sandy passes through our region, we may need to open up and maintain many shelters for those who were forced to evacuate their homes. To find out how you can help, read more.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Alexander P. Lutz, Jr.
Regional Senior Director of Community Relations
American Red Cross
Greater New York Region
520 West 49th Street
New York, NY 10019