New York has just been declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Sandy which is expected to hit the East Coast late on Sunday, with the possibility it will halt subways and ground planes.
Governor Cuomo said the declaration allows the 62 counties to help localities better prepare for the storm with access to federal funding and the national guard.
Hurricane Sandy is looking more and more ominous as it makes its way towards the East Coast, and local authorities are preparing for the worst, predicting at least $1billion in damage and the possibility and up to 375,000 New Yorkers could be evacuated.
Meteorologists expect a natural horror show of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe even snow on higher ground beginning early on Sunday.
The National Weather Service is predicting sustained winds of up to 80mph for at least a 24-hour period and said it has the potential to be one of the worst in the city’s history with major flooding.
In fact, longtime weatherman Chad Myers, who works for the NOAA, wrote: ‘After 26 years in TV weather and two years with NOAA, Sandy may pose the greatest risk to human life that I have seen.’
State Division of Homeland Security commissioner Jerome Hauer said: ‘They’re saying it’s a worst case. It certainly has a possibility of being one of the worst. We’re at a point of time where people need to take precautions now.’
He warned that New York could face even more devastating storm surge flooding than was anticipated during Hurricane Irene last year when large swaths of the city were evacuated.
Officials will decide by Saturday whether evacuations will again be needed this week, according to the New York Daily News.
The MTA, which shut down all buses and subways ahead of Irene’s blast last year, is considering its second subway shutdown in history.
The transportation authority’s hurricane plan ‘calls for an orderly shutdown of service before the arrival of sustained winds of 39 mph or higher’ in the elevated portions of the subway system and the agency’s railroad.
Parts of the subway that are below sea level are particularly susceptible to flooding.