Residents of Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach and sections of Sheepshead Bay – as well as others living in Evacuation Zone A – are being ordered by city officials to evacuate to safer grounds as Hurricane Irene approaches.
Along the southern tip of Brooklyn, Zone A includes all of Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach and Coney Island, as well as all residences between Emmons Avenue and Shore Parkway. The entire waterfront commercial district of Sheepshead Bay – including all businesses and residences between Ocean Parkway and Ocean Avenue from the water to Avenue X are also in Zone A.
Residents must be out of the area by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, the city said. Additionally, the entire city’s mass transit system – including buses, subways, ferries and light rail – will shut down at noon on Saturday.
Penalties for failing to evacuate could include fines or prison time, though it’s expected the city would only levy such punishments in severe cases.
Mayor Bloomberg ordered the evacuation during a press conference this afternoon, a step that he said has never been done in the city’s history. Approximately 250,000 people – in areas including the financial district of Manhattan, all of the Rockaways and huge swaths of Staten Island in additional to local Brooklyn coastal communities – are being required to evacuate.
The city’s 91 evacuation centers will open at 4 p.m. today, allowing residents and their pets a place of refuge. You can find a list of evacuation centers here.
Need to know if you’re in Zone A? Here’s an interactive map from WNYC: