We already know that lots of people have decided to hunker down in the safe-sounding Zone A (we would have gone with something like Zone of Watery Death to really get people moving ). Mayor Bloomberg really wishes they would get a move on, but there’s not much time left to do so.
“If you are still in Zone A and can find a way to leave, leave immediately. Conditions are deteriorating very rapidly, and the window for you getting out safely is closing,” the mayor said at his morning briefing. “As the winds start building this afternoon, it gets more and more dangerous to go outside. And so you’re sort of caught between a rock and a hard place. You should have left, but it’s also getting to be too late to leave. If you really experience an emergency, 911. We will send our first responders in, although we’d love very much not to have to put their lives at risk, and you can control that by getting out now.”
The mayor also reiterated a point that has been heard again and again, that the storm will be worse than it seems.
“You can look outside and say, ‘Oh, this is not bad,’” Mayor Bloomberg said. “That’s correct, but it is going to be. Forecasts are reasonably accurate this close to when we’re predicting something and it’s going to be very high winds, going to be a lot of road closures. You know mass transit’s not working, and driving when you have big gusts like that is dangerous.”
The mayor said there was no plans to evacuate any of the other zones (like, say, the Bowery). “If the water gets to Midtown, I think we’ll have a lot of other serious issues,” the mayor said.
He also suggested that despite warning from the police that people staying in the evacuation zone would be issued a misdemeanor, this would not be the case.
“We have mandatory evacuations in Zone A, but there are no penalties,” Mayor Bloomberg said.