New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered a mandatory evacuation by 5 p.m. Saturday in the areas of NYC lost likely to be affected by Hurricane Irene, marking the first time the city has ever ordered a mass evacuation.
“If you live in Zone A or any of the Rockaways, you need to move,” the mayor said bluntly at a press conference.
In a press conference, New Yorkers were urged to evacuate in a calm but efficient manner and take belongings off their roof or terrace to prevent those objects from causing injury. In addition to mass evacuations, public transportation in the city will be shut down by 12 p.m. on Saturday.
“People should and need to leave,” Bloomberg said, adding that fines and arrests could be enforced to those who disobey the evacuation orders.
The areas of the city where evacuation orders were made are the coastal areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, along with Battery Park City and the financial district in Lower Manhattan and Governor’s Island. A map can be seen here.