Update, Aug. 26 2:26 p.m.: According to the MTA, subway and bus service will begin "an orderly shut down of all service" at noon Saturday as Hurricane Irene poises to hit the New York and New Jersey coastline.
Saturday will mark the first total shutdown in the history of the MTA, a spokesman for the agency confirmed Friday.
Original story from Aug. 25: Mayor Bloomberg, in a press conference on Thursday evening, said that the city is within the trajectory of the hurricane. Here are some other must-know updates:
- The entire city will experience a total shut down of MTA service if winds reach above 39 miles per hour.
- Bridges will remain open for the time being, but may have to close if winds get so strong that they could blow cars off of them.
- The city will suspend alternate side parking through the hurricane. Bloomberg encourages people living in low laying coastal zones to move their cars inland, to protect them from water and wind damage.
- Police presence will also be beefed up.
- Brooklyn Zone A low-lying areas include Coney Island and Manhattan Beach. Other Zone A locations across the city include Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens, South Beach and Midland Beach on Staten Island and Battery Park City in Manhattan.
- A decision about mandatory evacuations of these areas will be made by 8 a.m. on Friday.
- The five hospitals located in these areas must evacuate by 8p.m. tomorrow night. They are in the process of reducing caseload, placing patients in other hospitals and cancelling elective surgeries.
- Anyone who needs to use Access-a-Ride should do so tomorrow, because Saturday service will be limited.
- The mayor advises people to stay out of parks, or areas with trees as winds could cause them to fall.
- All New Yorkers should create a ‘Go Bag,’ in case they must leave where they are at a moments notice. The 'Go Bag’ should contain passports and other forms of ID, essential documents, drinking water, a first aid kit, medications an a flashlight.
To learn if you are located in an evacuation zone, check here. For our guide to preparing yourself and your home for Hurricane Irene, . Stay with Patch for more updates.