Our sister site Sheepshead bites is reporting that Mayor Bloomberg has ordered a mandatory evacuation of all areas within Hurricane Evacuation Zone A.
At a press conference earlier today, the mayor told the media this is the first time in the city’s history a mandatory evacuation has been issued.
From Sheepshead Bites:
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.
An excerpt from the mayor’s statement on NYC.gov:
“The best outcome would be if the storm veers off to the east and doesn’t hit us, or doesn’t hit us hard, but we can’t depend on mother nature being so kind. We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And just because this is the first time we’ve had a mandatory evacuation of any part of the city, I just once again want to repeat this is very serious. Do not be fooled by the sun outside. That is the calm before the storm. And you can’t wait until there are gale force winds and driving rains arrive, it will be too late then. You have to start your preparations to leave right now.”
The OEM Hurricane Evacuation Zone map also includes a list of evacuation centers.
Even those outside of an evacuation zone need to be aware of potential dangers from Hurricane Irene – including the possibility of windows being blown out by fierce winds or broken by flying objects.
Everyone in our coverage area and beyond should take care to stay indoors and away from windows as winds begin to pick up sometime tomorrow.