As Hurricane Irene barrels towards the East Coast, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is warning some city residents that they may have to evacuate.
Among the neighborhoods he told to be on watch include Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens, South Beach, Midland Beach, and other low-lying areas on Staten Island, and Battery Park City in Manhattan.
“The city has already seen the power of Mother Nature once this week, and Mother Nature may not be done with us yet, the mayor said this morning before attending a community breakfast in Laurelton, Queens. “By the time Irene gets to us, which is forecasted to do sometime on Sunday, it certainly will still be a powerful storm – possibly as strong as a Category 2 hurricane on Long Island, but anything can happen in terms of its direction and its severity. At this point, the forecast does not indicate that the storm would hit New York City with that strength, but we certainly will still see its effects here, including tropical storm-like conditions such as heavy rains and winds of 60 miles an hour or more.”
The mayor added that the city’s Office of Emergency Management has activated the emergency operations center as a precaution, and he said that Department of Environmental Protection crews spent the morning clearing storm drains to help alleviate flooding concerns.