New York has become the fifth state to be put under a state of emergency due to the imminent landfall of Hurricane Irene. Governor Cuomo announced today that New York would be the latest to declare a state of emergency after Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey. The hurricane has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm, with winds clocking in at 115 miles per hour, and is expected to hit the east coast this weekend; the National Hurricane Center predicts that Irene will likely become a Category 4 storm within the next 48 hours.
Serious shit! Chris Christie has already called a S of E for Jersey, warning residents: “Do not try to ride it out. It is not the smart thing to do.”
Cuomo said today: “In this emergency I am activating all levels of state government to prepare for any situation that may be caused by Hurricane Irene. We are communicating with our federal and local partners to track the storm and to plan a coordinated response, and we will deploy resources as needed to the areas expected to be hit the hardest. I urge New Yorkers to personally prepare for hurricane conditions and to cooperate with emergency officials if needed. By working together, we will all be able to face this storm in a calm and organized manner.”
Jen has already gone over what you should do in the event of bad hurricane conditions. You should also figure out whether or not you’ll need to evacuate in the event of an emergency. Check out this map to find out whether you live in an evacuation zone.
As for travel around the city this weekend? It might be severely disrupted. The MTA sent us the following statement:
We are making arrangements to bring in extra personnel over the weekend, preparing our facilities and infrastructure by clearing drains, securing work sites against possible high winds, checking and fueling equipment, stocking supplies, and establishing plans to move equipment and supplies away from low-lying areas as needed. Because of the severity of the wind and rain associated with a hurricane, there may be partial or full shut down of our services to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. We are also prepared to implement evacuation plans if the Mayor and Governor decide that is necessary.
For some other tips on what to do, check out the most thorough hurricane notice ever, issued by a NYC building.