6th Avenue in New York looks stark and desolate. Service for the buses and subways have been suspended. Businesses and schools are closed. People please, don’t think you’re invincible, use common sense and seek safety. Remember, you aren’t just putting your life in danger but also that of the First Responders, family and friends who may try to rescue you if necessary.
City faces a seawater surge that could reach 11 feet
Updated Monday, Oct. 29, 11:33 a.m.
A woman takes a picture as water washes over the sea wall near high tide at Battery Park in New York on Monday. (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) – Waves splashed over the sea walls at the southern tip of Manhattan, already at Hurricane Irene levels Monday hours before the worst of a mammoth storm was to hit the nation’s largest city with a wall of water that could reach 11 feet.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed two key tunnels to downtown Manhattan after the city shut its mass transit system, stock exchanges, schools and Broadway and ordered hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes ahead of Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge. While light rain fell steadily and New Yorkers still bustled on the streets, Cuomo warned residents to get out of the way.
“Don’t be fooled, don’t look out the window and say, it doesn’t look so bad,” Cuomo said. “The worst is still coming.”
Cuomo said emergency boats were being moved downstate and the Brooklyn Battery and Holland Tunnels, both prone to flooding, would close at 2 p.m. The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was deserted in its first unplanned shutdown since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. More than 20,000 customers, mostly in Long Island, has lost power in the area by Monday morning, utility officials. Most of the city’s 3,600 outages were in Brooklyn, officials said.
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On Monday, crowds gathered along the South Street Seaport, until police shooed them away. In Battery Park City, a complex of high-rise offices and apartment buildings erected on a landfill in lower Manhattan, holdouts watched as the Hudson rose and began to breach sections of scenic walkways along the river.
Many people were still out jogging, walking their dogs and even taking infants out in strollers amid gusts of wind.
Mark Vial pushed a stroller holding his 2-year-old daughter Maziyar toward the door of a building where they live on 15th floor.
“We’re high up enough, so I’m not worried about flooding,” he said. “There’s plenty of food. We’ll be ok.”
Vial, 35, said his building had several holdouts. “The laundry room was packed last night,” he said.
Some New Yorkers packed grocery stores for water and food and scrambled to get out of flood zones, while others insisted they weren’t going anywhere.
Others heeded warnings. Clutching a white pillow in her left hand and two computers in another, Alyssa Marks rushed to get to the subway before it stopped running Sunday evening. She’d gotten cash but had no time to get toiletries and water.
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“I’m nervous, but I’m also excited,” she said as she left her apartment in a lower Manhattan evacuation zone for a friend’s place on higher ground.
Warnings about the superstorm – a predicted combination of Sandy, a wintry system moving in from the West and cold air streaming down from the Arctic – took on a much more ominous tone Sunday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s environmental protection chief, Louis Uccellini, called the projected storm surge “the worst-case scenario” for New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey.
It threatened to swamp parts of lower Manhattan, flood subway tunnels and knock out the underground network of power, phone and high-speed Internet lines that are the lifeblood of America’s financial capital.
The major American stock exchanges closed for the day, the first unplanned shutdown since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. The floor of the NYSE, typically bustling with traders on a Monday morning, fell within the city’s mandatory evacuation zone. The United Nations canceled all meetings at its New York headquarters. New York called off school for the city’s 1.1 million students.
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The NYSE’s parent company said late Sunday that the shutdown might be extended through Tuesday “pending confirmation,” according to exchange operator NYSE Euronext.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday announced a mandatory evacuation affecting 375,000 people in low-lying areas from the beaches of Queens to Battery Park City. Subways and buses were shut down Sunday night, leaving more than 5 million mostly carless daily riders on their own to get to higher ground.
Cuomo deployed National Guard troops to the city and Long Island. Consolidated Edison weighed the possibility of shutting down power in parts of lower Manhattan to protect equipment. Broadway shows were canceled for Sunday and Monday. One small hospital was being evacuated, while several others were moving patients to higher floors.
It marked the second time in 14 months that New York City has faced a scenario forecasters have long feared: a big hurricane hitting the city or a bit south, such that the cyclone’s counterclockwise winds drive water into miles of densely populated shoreline.
Hurricane Irene ultimately came ashore as a tropical storm in Coney Island, with a 4-foot storm surge that washed over parts of the southern tip of Manhattan but didn’t wreak the havoc that officials had feared, although it caused tremendous damage elsewhere. Some experts have said that a surge 3 feet higher could have caused huge damage.
PHOTOS ON SKYE: Waters Rise as Superstorm Threatens Coast
After a wonderful celebration with family and friends in LA on my actual birthday of October 19th, my friends in New York planned a 2nd birthday celebration. This time it was in New York or Brooklyn to be exact, at the fabulous River Cafe. This place is hands down, one of my favorite places to dine. If you want to have a romantic evening or just gather with your family and friends, this is the place to be.
The River Café draws more New Yorkers and visitors into Brooklyn than just about any entity since Coney Island. It has been the location of many major films, hundreds of commercials and countless television shows. It has hosted many of the most famous – from within government and business to celebrity and royalty from around the world.
The River Cafe has won numerous awards including The 2012 Michelin Guide Award, Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award (DiRoNA), The New York Parks Council Award and The Municipal Arts Society Award.
I would highly recommend if you’re in New York, make a reservation, because if the food doesn’t do it for you (and it would be surprising if it doesn’t), the spectacular views and excellent service will have you hooked!
One Water Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
**After 5:00 p.m. each day, jackets are required for gentlemen in the Main Dining Room and the Bar. Ties and collared shirts are always preferred.
Appropriate clothing and footwear is always required in all areas at all times. Men wearing backless sandals are not permitted.
This weekend was the Covenant Service for my niece/god-daughter Mallory. She was given her Hebrew name of Michaela, named for my sister-in-law’s mother Michele. As a surprise for my brother and sister-in-law, I wished Mallory a “Happy Baby Naming” in Times Square – New York.
My girl looks beautiful, appearing on the jumbo screen at the ‘crossroads of the world”. Whoo…Hoo!
I know it’s early in the morning but this story breaks my heart. There’s this wonderful family of 4 living here in Los Angeles. I met the mother briefly in my exercise class. She has stage 4 Lymphedema (which is a terrible debilitating disease of the lymphatic system). It has gotten so bad for the family that they literally have little to no food, money and must vacate their apartment has soon as possible.
The problem is that the system is so backed up and flawed that she doesn’t qualify for food assistance because her disability payment is too high…basically, I’m sorry your family has no food, but we can’t help you. Housing isn’t an option because the wait-list is well over a year. I will do everything I can to help them, but if there’s
anything any of you can do, please contact her family at 310.902-3134 – Evette.. No one in a country like the US should go hungry especially children.