New York transit irene

New York transit irene

New York transit irene. New York City officials opened shelters for residents from low-lying neighborhoods and prepared for a noon shutdown of mass transit as Hurricane Irene neared the most-populous U.S. metropolitan area.

As much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain and a storm surge accompanied by high tides are forecast for tonight as Irene swirled up the East Coast after making landfall at Cape Lookout, North Carolina. The New York area’s first hurricane warnings since 1985 extended from the New Jersey coast through Connecticut to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island off Massachusetts.New York City officials expect a “strong” Category 1 storm with winds as strong as 75 miles an hour, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a televised 9:30 a.m. news conference in Coney Island, a neighborhood facing mandatory evacuation.

“You have to leave right now,” Bloomberg told 370,000 residents ordered to vacate areas including Manhattan’s Battery Park City and the Rockaways in Queens. “No matter how much it weakens, this is going to be a life-threatening storm.”

Consolidated Edison, the city’s electricity provider, said it may have to shut power to the areas before the hurricane hits, which would leave a wide swath of the city dark tonight. Many shops had closed by the time the mayor made his appeal to evacuate.

Read more: bloomberg